• 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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Test Driving A Few: Part 2 First Group Is Bitten


Allrighty then.  The taste test has been completed.  The results are in, and they may surprise you.  The packages were split into two groups randomly, six kinds to be tasted one day, six the next.  The four adults, two male, two female would take a bite of each selection and write their thoughts on the communal post it note.  There were glasses of water to cleanse the palate between each tasting.  One among us was a former restaurant reviewer, he will be referred to as M.  The rest of us go by the aliases of W, G, and F.  Let’s get to it without delay.

1.  Schuhmann chocolate coated spice cookies with berry fruit filling (Germany)

M-Not bad.  Middle surprising, looks like toe-jam, but tastes better

W-Tasteless with a hint of Gel

G-So wrong- what is that texture?

F-Liked the filling

2.  Cadbury Finger originals-cookies covered with Cadbury milk chocolate (UK)

M-Yuck.  I spit it out.

W-A Cadbury disgrace

G-A Kraft product?

F-Okay-liked the shape

3.  Dean’s shortbread fingers (Scotland)

M-Little dry, not enough butter, needs lard.

W-Dry, no taste.  Where’s the Scotch?

G-Tasty when I got past the paste taste.  Love the domino shapes

F-Okay.  Attractive gold plastic serving tray

4.  Walkers Ginger Royals-luxury ginger shortbread with smooth, dark chocolate (Scotland)

M-Like the cookie-get rid of the chocolate

W-Like the chocolate-get rid of the cookie

G-I prefer the chocolate

F-Chocolate was the best part

5.  Bahlsen choco Leibniz-dark chocolate-butter biscuits and dark chocolate (Germany)

M-Boring-needs filling

W-I just don’t understand biscuits

G-My fav-better chocolate and cookie

F-The best-good chocolate

6.  Daelmans-the original Dutch caramel wafers-delicious wafers filled with sweet cream caramel (Holland)

M-I like it! My fave so far-burnt sugar pre-chewed wafers

W-My favorite

G-Needed to be crunchy

F-Tasted caramel-croun, liked packaging


Well, as you can see our panel of expert biscuit judges are a group with diverse taste buds in their mouths.  They are also a bunch of smart alecks, the mens anyway.  We do not know what word F is trying to use on biscuit number six with *croun*.  Even with the magnifying glass, this is what has been written.  She was not imbibing strong spirits at the time either.  Maybe there was a crown on the package?  Stay tuned for the answer to this burning question and the remaining six biscuit results with a final wrap up.  Heart stopping, feverish excitement will have you sitting on the edge of your seat to see which cookie gets the coveted Big F award as the favorite.


Frances Garrison. plain.



10 Responses

  1. This is the kind of rigorous scientific work that has set this country apart from the rest of the nations of the world as an exemplar of evidence-based enquiry.

    I have to say Im always partial to a biscuit that confers some kind of majestic countenance on the eater. The Viscount, of course was prince amongst them, but I rather like the sound of the Walkers Ginger Royal. I feel a biscuit blog coming on if I keep writing so I’ll shush now and see if it turns into one on my machine

    • Thank you for that, Mark. It is nice to be appreciated, making the sacrifice of biscuit eating for the good of mankind. Royal in the name was considered for bonus points.

  2. LOL! Frances, However does M know what toe jam tastes like! I shudder to think what the Brits would have to say in a similar American cookie taste test! Those Keebler Elves wouldn’t be so jolly.


  3. You know I wondered about the toe jam remark too, Gail. Is toe jam the same as sock fuzz that gets stuck in between one’s toes, or is it produced by the feet themselves. It seems no one is in dispute of the findings, so far.

  4. Even the idea of toe-jam was too repellent to bear further investigation. I chose instead to avert my eyes and move on.
    Part of me wishes that I had not because I am deeply mortified y the jury’s verdict on both the chocolate finger and the Bahlsen Choco-Leibnitz.
    “i spit it out” and ‘boring”
    I mean honestly.
    Then I realised that the jury were Americans who are, as we all know, mostly without tastebuds.
    So we forgive them. Although they had better get a grip before Taste Test Part Three.

    • I don’t know where the toe jam reference came from, but agree that it should have been edited out to save those sensitive souls from fainting spells. I remembered your love for the Leibnitz, and was excited that they were for sale over here. I found them pretty good, but my opinion was not shared by the male tasters. Some of us Americans have more refined taste buds than others.

  5. Surprising results and I demand to know what the sam hill is toe jam!

  6. With no offense, “toejam” is a reference to product made in Austin, TX (see ToeJam.org). Toe Jam is a revolutionary new binding lubricant that is designed using only water and vegetable based ingredients. My use of the term in the context of commenting on the taste of a particular biscuit was that the filling had more of an industrial taste than one generally finds in a cookie. In my prior life as a published restaurant critic I often found it helpful to use references that cause people to pause and think. M.

    • Thank you M, for clearing that up. My idea of toe jam was way off base it seems. We do appreciate your prior restaurant critic experience in helping us with this scientific study of the European biscuits.

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