• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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Around The World In 80 Biscuits (Part One)

The fact remains; the UK has the best and greatest variety of biscuits in the entire world. Possibly the entire universe too.

As UK citizens, we often find the need to head off and visit other countries, tour gardens, and occasionally even experience other cultures. For the biscuit-dependent, a visit to Europe is perhaps the most tolerable. There are usually some chocolate-covered wafers or thin almond biscuits that means that one can survive for several days, after the emergency case of Jaffa Cakes has run out.

One of the famous biscuit landmarks of the world was appropriately named several centuries ago. Charles I was one of the great biscuit lovers in history, and after hearing of various biscuit flavourings in the Far East, was keen to encourage trade along the spice route. Ship after ship was sent around the coasts of France, Spain and Portugal, laden with assorted biscuits. Although many of these were flavourless, trade was apparently brisk among the starving spice merchants. The precious cargoes of biscuit flavourings, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger to name a few, were returned home to waiting bakers in England.

One of these outbound ships was involved in a tragic accident one dark, stormy night. The ship lost its way off the West coast of France, and was wrecked after sailing into some jagged rocks. Devastatingly the biscuit cargo was lost. Most of the mariners lost their lives too. But the lost biscuits will always be remembered, as the famous biscuit landmark was dubbed, the “Bay of Biscay” (the old English word for biscuit).

To be continued…….

Robert Stacewicz


5 Responses

  1. “after the emergency case of Jaffa Cakes has run out”?

    That just smacks of bad planning to me. Surely any normal person would have simply turned back long before such a tragic event occurred rather than put up with thin almond biscuits.

  2. In America it is just possible to keep body and soul together in the short term by eating things called, I think, salteen crackers. Tom Hanks did it in Terminal (where he had to live in the airport). They are provided free to customers: like salt or paper napkins.
    I did the same while in hospital in a town called Truckee in California (I was on honeymoon at the time but that is a long story). There did not seem to be enough food for some reason (maybe I was just greedy) so I used to go and pinch crackers and apples in the middle of the night. It involved sneaking past a nurses station pushing a drip stand: bet they don’t teach that on SAS training.

  3. This post has inspired another one to go on the list from me 🙂

    It’s about survival in Dublin…

  4. Was it a cargo of water biscuits?

  5. I like to think that by googling such items as “Bayeaux Tapestry”, and “Spice Trade”, inquisitive young historians will eventually come to this blog, and wonder what the hell we’re going on about!

    JA-S, your honeymoon sounds like it was fun. Character building? I’ve not tried Salteen Crackers, but I was sorely tempted by some South African “Salticrax”.

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