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Biscuits - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Jul 5, 2008
I am a certified biscuit fan. A perfect Sunday to me would consist of a cup of tea, a pack of biscuits, a duvet and a couple of films. Tea and biscuits are simply ideal to lift the mood on boring work days and provide an excellent comforter for when you are feeling down. Biscuits and tea in my opinion is a match made in heaven, they are the Brad and Angelina of the food and beverage world.

I am also a certified biscuit dunker, a master in the correct amount of dunking time and a connoisseur in the type of biscuits to dunk. Not every biscuit can be dunked, the liquid to biscuit ratio is not compatible to certain kinds of biscuits. For example I do not rate Rich Tea biscuits, don't be fooled by the name - these biscuits were not meant for tea. Once plunged into the hot liquid, Rich Tea's turn to floppy mush within seconds, leaving you to quickly flip it into your mouth and swill the gloopy mess around before swallowing. Also, the flavour of the biscuit doesn't contribute to the overall experience, bland springs to mind.

As you can see I've put alot of thought into this and I find that rating biscuits in these categories "the good, the bad and the ugly" helps sort the perfect dunkers from the common biscuits.

Firstly lets touch on the good. The cookie wins a first class medal in this section, the sweet biscuit infused with chocolate chips is a genius idea and it still holds extremely well when dunked in Tea. Consumers get the added bonus of melted chocolate chips when mixed with a hot beverage.

The age-old argument of Chocolate Hob Nobs verses Chocolate Digestives takes pride of place in the "good" section, many work arguements have arisen over this debate but I think both are equally good and are soild favourites of mine. Both are firm enough to take a dunking in the tea and both offer a layer of chocolate which deliciously melts when submerged.

Malted Milk - with chocolate base, a bland biscuit on it's own, but when joined together in holy matrimony with a thick layer of chocolate - a super biscuit is formed. Once again a good solid base, but on the downside they are quite small so you end up eating twice as many.

Christmas favourite, the Scottish Shortbread. These biscuits are so scrumptious I have to limit myself to eating these during the festive period otherwise I would become obese. The buttery goodness is simply perfect with tea and the taste is out of this world when soggy.

The Jammy Dodger, an unusual choice for dunking but sublime nonetheless. Hot beverages wet the biscuit and warm the jam leaving less crumble and more enjoyment. Unfortunately there isn't so many in a pack, so these type of biscuits are usually brought as a treat or in celebration.

The bad, as I've mentioned before I can't stand Rich Tea biscuits and personally think that they should be banned. Their dryness is deadly, I'm pretty sure if I researched hard enough I could find some Rich Tea related deaths. The makers tried to improve on their death biscuits by adding a layer of chocolate recently, but they overlooked the fact that the horrific dry base is still there.

The Custard Cream is a taste bud offender, so sickly sweet and disgustingly repetitive. If you've never tried a Custard Cream then you may enjoy your first one, but the third and fourth won't be so nice. When dunked, the too-hard biscuit repels the liquid but melts the cream, so it squelches out of the sides when you bite.

Gingernut, even the name is disgusting. I'd describe these biscuits as almost spicy because of the sheer content of ginger in it. Personally I hate ginger, the taste is putrid, so to combine that with a rock hard biscuit that grates the roof of your mouth is just idiotic. Dipped in tea, the ginger in this biscuit intensifies and as a double whammy it ruins the taste of your tea as well.

Although I feel bad for saying it, I think that the plain wholemeal digestive belongs in the bad section. It is just a bit bland when it's without it's chocolate jacket. If you are forced to have a digestive without chocolate than you can only ever managed one because I find you feel ill just thinking about having a second. However, it does get a plus point for being a good dunker.

The ugly section, now when I say ugly I mean the biscuits that are always the last ones left in the tin. When you buy a selection pack, the ugly biscuits are the ones that sit in the pack after all the good ones are gone and only get eaten in desperate times.

Bourbon biscuits - the ultimate king of last resort biscuits. In no way would you reach for them first but they are certainly the best of a bad bunch. I have to give them credit for their dunking ability, good biscuit to cream centre ratio.

Nice biscuits - why are they called nice? Is it in the hope that people are dumb enough to fall for the advertisement "they say nice so they must be nice", or is it because they know they'll be left in the biscuit tin because of their bland quality so they added an element to make them stand out. Either way they are a last resort biscuit.

Many people can't stand raisins (I personally like them), so for that the Fruit Shortbread will fall under this section. The biscuit itself is ok I guess, but it's littered with raisins so there lies the big issue. Once again you wouldn't reach for it over a Viennese Whirl or Fox's Crunch now would you?

Knock off, selection pack shortbread. It can't compete with the mighty Scottish Shortbread so it decides to be a mix of both biscuit and shortbread, and ultimately left in the tin. Yet ugly and confused - these knock-offs work as excellent dunkers for tea.

So there you have it, my reasoning behind to good, bad and ugly biscuits. All that's left to say is put the kettle on and choose your biscuits wisely!
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