Biscuit Tasting: A Foreigner’s Guide To British Biscuits

En test av 20 britiske kjeks og hva “dunking” er godt for! Text in English and Norwegian to follow.D3CDD784-E858-47B1-8304-D75ADC80D742

A Guide To British Biscuits, Cookies, Shortbread, Organic Alternatives And The Art of Dunking! (unfortunately in my Mother-in-Law’s Book Of Bad Manners.)

The Winner: Custard Cream (average 8.2 out of 10 points)!

Followed by: Rich Tea Biscuit (8), Jammie Dodger (8), Easter Biscuits Hobbs/Better Food (7.4), Oat Crunch (7), Malted Milk Biscuit (7), Digestive (6.6), Jaffa Cake (6.6), Welsh Shortbread (6), Chocolate Chip Cookie (5.8), Bourbons (5.6), Scottish Shortbread (5), Pink Iced Ring (4.8), Ginger Organic/Better Food (4.6), Digestive Organic/Better Food (4.4), Ginger and Dark Chocolate/Vegan (3.8), All Butter Viennies Swirl (3), Easter Biscuits M&S (2.2), Gingerbread Men Milk/Gluten, Peanut, Egg Free (1.4) and last unfortunately: Chocolate Chip Orange Cookie Organic/Better Food (0.2)

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This Easter Saturday, two adults and three children spent some time together around the dining table tasting, dunking and comparing 20 different British biscuits. None of us are normally big biscuit eaters. This was the chance to start endorsing it. One had tea to drink with the tasting, then coffee, whilst the four others preferred milk. Therefore the dunking part became quite limited, but we tried. Towards the end of the tasting we had some Organic Apple Juice for freshness, and maybe a slight bias against the biscuits at the end. Many of the biscuits were suitable for vegetarians, we have included some organic (Better Food shop in Bristol). To our surprise very few were marked “fairtrade”, possibly because they are made in the UK? We also discovered from the children, secrets – that they have custard cream in forest school and a selection of biscuits with jammie dodgers being a favourite in after school club. Happiness in a Biscuit with milk!

Påskeaften var vi to voksne og tre barn som satte oss rundt kjøkkenbordet og gjennomførte “kjekssmaking” av 20 ulike britiske kjeks. Engelskmenn er jo kjent for en utbredt kjekskultur. De dypper gjerne kjeksen i te, kaffe, melk eller varm sjokolade. Hjemme hos oss er det min engelske partner som kjøper inn kjeks. Jeg tenker faktisk på kjeks som usunt magefyll… Men engelskmenn spiser kjeks og dypper det i te eller melk og annet regelmessig, gjerne hver dag. Kanskje litt som “fika” i Sverige? Vi dekker såpass mange som 20 ulike typer, men oppdaget at dette bare er en brøkdel av hva som faktisk finnes på markedet. Etter 20 hadde vi forøvrig fått nok, og vi måtte ty til forfriskende økologisk eplejuice mot slutten for å komme oss igjennom hele smakingen. Kanskje litt urettferdig for kjekstypene vi ventet med til slutt. Et godt utvalg var egnet for vegetarianere, vi inkluderte såkalte “organic”/økologisk godkjente varer (i Bristol fra Better Food). Det som overrasket oss var fraværet av “fairtrade” merket, muligens fordi kjeks i stor grad produseres i Storbritannia? Vi prøvde oss også på å dyppe kjeks i te, kaffe eller melk. Denne delen var noe begrenset siden det kun var en voksen som liker te eller kaffe. De fleste i panelet dyppet derfor kjeks i melk, forøvrig vanlig blant britene. Vi oppdaget også at de minste barna hadde sine favoritter og kjente til flere av kjekstypene, som vi har lite av hjemme. Minsten på 4 år fortalte om lykke når de får servert Custard Cream på uteskolen (forest school) en dag i uka, mens 6-åringen kunne fortelle om et utvalg av kjeks å velge mellom på skolefritids, hver dag. Hennes favoritt er Jammie Dodgers. Lykken er altså: kjeks og melk

 

Details with comments in the order tasted/detaljer med kommentarer i rekkefølgen vi smakte:

 

Digestive 33/50 points

Kids score: 23

Adults score: 10

Description: Crumbly. Good for dunking.

 

Digestive Wholemeal 22/50 points

Vegan Organic Better Food

Kids score: 13

Adults score: 9

Description: Barnyard smell of straw. Good for dunking.

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Oat Crunch 35/50 points

Kids score: 24

Adults score: 11

Description: Wholesome.

 

Malted Milk Biscuit 35/50 points

Kids score: 21

Adults score: 14

Description: Pastey. Salty. Perfect with a cup of tea.

 

Rich Tea Finger Biscuit 40/50 points

Kids score: 23

Adults score: 17

Description: Thin, some say probably the original dunker biscuit, very similar to the Norwegian “Mariekjeks”/Marie or Mary Biscuits. Perfect to dunk.

 

Welsh Shortbread 30/50 points

Kids score: 15

Adults score: 15

Description: Sweet. I love dunking this in tea, but see the point that biscuits for dunking needs to be slightly denser to absorb well and not drop into the drink. Something you might find a bit challenging with this one. So don’t dip it into the drink for too long!

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Scottish Shortbread 25/50 points

Kids score: 13

Adults score: 12

Description: Buttery.

 

Custard Cream 41/50 points

Kids score: 27

Adults score: 14

Description: Artificial. Kids love it! Personally I don’t like to dunk this.

 

Bourbons 28/50 points

Kids score: 20

Adults score: 8

Description: Quasi-chocolate. This is a biscuit I find in my Mother-in-Laws’ biscuit tin. Not for dunking. (Or, hold on – my Mother-in-Law says it needs dunking to sofaen up😳) I’m still not 100% sure whether dunking is for basically softening the biscuit to make it easier to digest, or for taste?

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Jammie Dodger 40/50 points

Kids score: 29

Adults score: 11

Description: Jammy. Good for dunking.

 

Jaffa Cake 33/50 points (officially a cake, not a biscuit)

Kids score: 26

Adults score: 7

Description: Bitter. Not to dunk.

 

Pink Iced Ring 24/50 points

Kids score: 17

Adults score: 7

Description: Armour-plated. Sugar Crash.

 

Ginger and Dark Chocolate Cookie  19/50 points

Gluten Free

Kids score: 10

Adult score: 9

Description: Building material.

 

Stem Ginger Cookie 23/50 points

Free from Gluten, Milk, Peanut, Egg, Soya Organic Fair Trade Better Food

Kids score: 13

Adults score: 10

Description: Dry and spicy. Probably also perfect for dunking.

 

Gingerbread Men 7/50 points

Milk Free, Gluten Free Coop

Kids score: 7

Adults score: 0

Description: Disgusting, “taste-free”.

 

Easter Biscuits 37/50 points

Hobbs House Bakery Better Food 

Kids score: 24

Adults score: 13

Description: Spiced. Yes to dunking this. The bigger one in the picture below.

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Easter Biscuits 11/50 points

M&S 

Kids score: 6

Adults score: 5

Description: Tame.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie 29/50 points

Kids score: 18

Adults score: 11

Description: Too many biscuits…

 

Chocolate Chip Orange Cookie 1/50 point

Organic Better Food

Kids score: 1

Adults score: 0

Description: Yuck, cardboard.

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All Butter Viennies Swirl 15/50 points

Kids score: 8

Adults score: 7

Description: Buttery.

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And still hungry for biscuit facts? Read this, I missed the programme:

‪TV Review, Britain’s Favourite Biscuit (Channel 5): does exactly what it says on the tin https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/britains-favourite-biscuit-channel-5-a8110626.html‬

 

 

 

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