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Biscuits - different cultures

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Biscuits - different cultures

Old 9th Mar 2022, 00:22
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Biscuits - different cultures

They have shite biscuits in the US - in fact "biscuits" doesn't even mean biscuits!!!!!

Now back in Old Country, there was a specific biscuit hierarchy - you didn't get the Chocolate Digestives out for just anyone!

Then there was cake too ... what do you do if you get offered a plate with a (Dark) Chocolate Digestive and a piece of homemade cake? One has one's standards so it just has to be the cake for me. It's the only decent thing to do after all!

Anyone got any special biscuit rules?
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 01:01
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I have mentioned it before, but a Scottish friend in the 50s, visiting Oz (my father had stayed with her parents in Scotland during the war) was offered what we, in Oz, call a scone.
"Tha's no a scone, tha's a biscuit"
Mum brings out a biscuit.
"Tha's no a biscuit, tha's a cookie"
Out comes a cookie.
"Tha's no a cookie, tha's a bun"
A bun emerges.
"Tha's no a bun, tha's a scone", and around we went.

As far as rules go, only one, with a corollary:

Rule 1: Only dunk a biscuit in your tea if you know the other person well;
Corollary 1: If dunking a biscuit, it is very low class to get it so soggy that it falls into the tea.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 04:20
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Having spent many holidays in southern Africa I became hooked on rusks. If you have't had them they are a sweet hard tack type of hard scone, and are usually eaten with the first tea or coffee of the day.

I was delighted to find on living in Hong Kong that my helper had previously worked for a Saffer, and knew how to bake them. The addiction continues...
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 04:57
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This definitely needs clearing up. Biscuit is an umbrella term for anything that is reasonably hard: Crackers, Rusks, Cookies etc are all types of biscuit.

Everything else is a cake or a bread. So what the Yanks call a 'biscuit' should be closer to a Scone. The idea of gravy on a Scone to the English is as abhorrent as the idea of beans on toast is to the Americans.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 05:03
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 05:33
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Sorry, but if 330 million Yanks call a round, slightly salty scone a "biscuit," they outvote 66 million British 5:1. It's a biscuit. Majority rules.

Biscuits with country gravy and real sausages (you know - the kind with no bread in them, just pork and spices) - mmmmm! A breakfast fit for the Gods!

Now personally, I'm rather cosmopolitan, so I'll follow the local tastes ("When in Rome..." and all that). Scones with clotted cream and jam - delicious! "Digestives" - lovely (I prefer most the "Jaffa Cakes" with a bit of orange marmalade layered under the chocolate coating). A nice little throwback to the "British Mandate." Bangers with a fried slice and eggs - Mmmm!

BTW - long before visiting the UK, I grew up with my Dad's eastern Pennsylvania version of a fried slice with egg - a "Spit-in-Your-Eye." Take slice of bread and punch a hole in it with a 2" cookie-cutter. Reserve the cut-out part. Put the punched slice into hot butter - and then break an egg into the central hole. Fry until bottom is nicely browned. Place the cut-out part over the egg and hole, and flip the whole thing over to fry the other side. Serve alone or with a breakfast-meat side (ham, bacon, sausage).

Rules? Dipping sweet biscuits only allowed at home, and while under the age of 15.

Not sure what "rule" it may demonstrate, but the best "sweet biscuit" story I ever heard came from the late Douglas Adams:

Enroute to somewhere in the UK by train, Adams discovered he would have a half-hour to wait. Bought a packet of sweet biscuits at the station tuck shop and sat down at a table to read and snack, where a stranger was also sitting.

After a few minutes, he reached out to the packet of biscuits sitting on the table, and took one and ate it.

The stranger then also reached out, without a word, and took a biscuit and ate it.

Adams was taken aback, but being a proper Englishman, said nothing. The two of them continued sharing the biscuits in silence until they were all gone. Whereupon the stranger got up and left.

When Adams' train was called, he got up and collected his belongings. And there - sitting in his own open-top travel bag - was HIS package of biscuits.



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Old 9th Mar 2022, 06:48
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The first thing Ms BB has to have on reaching the US of A is biscuits and gravy. It's been two years now; she's going frantic.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 06:58
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Originally Posted by Sue Vêtements View Post
They have shite biscuits in the US - in fact "biscuits" doesn't even mean biscuits!!!!!

Now back in Old Country, there was a specific biscuit hierarchy - you didn't get the Chocolate Digestives out for just anyone!

Then there was cake too ... what do you do if you get offered a plate with a (Dark) Chocolate Digestive and a piece of homemade cake? One has one's standards so it just has to be the cake for me. It's the only decent thing to do after all!

Anyone got any special biscuit rules?
As I have long been open about, I have no social skills or etiquette...thus when confronted with a plate with both cake and biscuits on, I will happily scoff both, in no particular order....working on the principle, it somethings free, then it's churlish not to indulge.! I would qualify however, that, I would eat both offerings independently.

Hope this answers your question...
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 07:23
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
This definitely needs clearing up. Biscuit is an umbrella term for anything that is reasonably hard: Crackers, Rusks, Cookies etc are all types of biscuit.
A biscuit, left out, becomes soft. A cake or bread, left out, becomes hard.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 07:26
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Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
Biscuits with country gravy and real sausages (you know - the kind with no bread in them, just pork and spices) - mmmmm! A breakfast fit for the Gods!
Ah, that's a breakast I have enjoyed many times across the pond, usually with a good helping of scrambled egg, bacon and some hash browns. And lashings of coffee naturally...

Biscuits in Britain? Plain chocolate McVities, or their ordinary digestives. Rich tea. Cornish wafers or those slightly spicy jobbies for cheese - McVities digestives cut the mustard there as well. Ginger nuts. Choccie chip cookies, especially those big ones bakeries sell. Shortbread but not dusted with too much sugar. Most other biscuits don't really interest me. Is a kitkat a biscuit or a chocolate bar?

Bugger, just got back from Tesco, now I wish I'd bought a packet of biscuits... (got some crumpets though!)
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 07:30
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Tim Tams...say no more.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 07:54
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Jammy Dodgers or ginger biscuits don’t last long in this house.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 08:57
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Originally Posted by vne165 View Post
Tim Tams...say no more.
Possibly Australia’s greatest offering to the culinary world…
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 10:11
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Just Googlied Biscuit and Gravy, not what I expected, look more like cheese scones and bread sauce.


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Old 9th Mar 2022, 10:15
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That cat is not well!
Must have been the biscuits!
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 11:24
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Originally Posted by vne165 View Post
Tim Tams...say no more.
Tim Tam straws - awesome snack. First introduced to these at a break in a sea kayaking trip up near Byron Bay with my niece!
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 12:13
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Tim Tams - I think my sister lives on them ... and she just turned 91 !

Originals - not the double chocolate or dark chocolate or ...
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 12:48
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teej013

An interesting observation. I made bread sauce for Christmas lunch and Ms BB said "We'll have it with biscuits tomorrow" - she couldn't quite bring herself to say Boxing Day.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Sue Vêtements View Post


Then there was cake too ... what do you do if you get offered a plate with a (Dark) Chocolate Digestive and a piece of homemade cake? One has one's standards so it just has to be the cake for me. It's the only decent thing to do after all!
One only accepts cake if a plate and cake fork is provided. Well, one has to have some standards.
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Old 9th Mar 2022, 16:51
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The French word 'biscuit' comes from the verb cuire meaning to cook and the adverb bis to show it is cooked twice.

However the word 'biscuit' in French is used to describe what in English would be called a thin layer of sponge as in a cake.

A biscuit, as the English would describe it, is called a 'petit gateau' ... in other words, a small cake!

Oh the joys of faux amis!
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