• 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.

Remembrance of Biscuits Past:25 Years in the Life of a Biscuit Eater

1. 1985.  When I close my eyes, the resulting darkness isn’t completely flat black – there is something simultaneously both smooth and rough about it, both uniform and pitted.  I instantly equate the texture with the surface of ginger thins and continue to do so for the next 20+ years.  Ginger thins remind me of closing my eyes, closing my eyes remind me of ginger thins.

2. 1989.  Weekly pocket money from Nana must be spent instantly at the newsagents around the corner and the transaction must always include the purchase of a Choc Dip.  It is eaten quickly as not to spoil my appetite for the impending Sunday roast.  The majority of the biscuit sticks are eaten dry; the last biscuit alone delivers the anticipated orgy of chocolate goo.

3. 1992.  I don’t know – am genuinely perplexed – why anyone would pick an orange, mint or fruit Jacob’s Club when the all chocolate version is available.  They are eaten in the following way every time, without deviation: bite off the chocolate from the ends, gnaw off the chocolate sides, peel off and eat the chocolate on top, scrap off the cream with top teeth, attempt to clear the chocolate base with teeth (not always successful but an attempt is necessary) then finally, eat the biscuit.  The best part is the cream layer.

4. 1995.  I visit Ikea for the first time and discover their double-chocolate oat biscuits.  A new obsession is born.

5. 1998.  I travel 80 miles to meet my then-boyfriend’s family for the first time and after dinner, a tin of biscuits is opened – left over from Christmas but still full.  Amongst the assortment are some small biscuits: golden, slightly domed and vanilla flavoured.  The melt-in-your-mouth texture is divine and I instantly annex them off from the boyfriend and his brother.  The boyfriend calls them “forbidden biscuits” and realising they smell like my vanilla body spray, we call my scent “forbidden biscuits” for the duration of our relationship.  It’s the only thing that makes me nostalgic for that time.

6. 1999.  Oreos are a precious treat – only available once in a while, when the bargain shop in town gets a random delivery.

7. 2001.  Bourbon biscuits dunked in tea are the only weekend breakfast for me.

8. 2002.  Dan is obsessed with Echo bars.  I try to share his joy but don’t think they taste of much.  I repeatedly try to see what he sees in them and help him get through his stash in double-quick time.

9. 2004.  I realise I reach for dark chocolate digestives as my everyday biscuit of choice now and see it as a signal that my biscuit palate has matured.

10. 2005.  The anticipation of a cookie – not the finest quality but large and a refreshing choc-mint flavour – is the only thing that gets me through the day.

11. 2008.  I’m sitting on a bench outside the former kitchen block at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, listening to an audio commentary about life – and starvation – in the camp.  I eat a dark chocolate wafer biscuit as discretely as possible and I’m ashamed how good it tastes.

12. 2010.  The New Year is welcomed with friends, port and cheese.  We have homemade ginger shortbread in the shape of squirrels and dinosaurs – blue cheese and brie are (separately) pasted along the top for the ultimate sweet and savoury experience.  It begins and ends with ginger.

Louisa Parry


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2 Responses

  1. Lovely list. Short and sweet like good biscuits should be.

    I wonder what other everyday objects would work as memoir lists.

  2. […] prove I’m not actually the same person as Clare by writing my own post for their site. It was published yesterday over there but I’m publishing it here too. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, […]

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