• 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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By Definition

From the google search of the phrase:
English Oxford Dictionary Definition Of Biscuit (this is the link)

Dictionary: bis·cuit (bĭs’kĭt)

n., pl., -cuits.
A small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda.
Chiefly British.
A thin, crisp cracker.
A cookie.
A pale brown.
pl., biscuit. Clay that has been fired once but not glazed. Also called bisque.
[Middle English bisquit, from Old French biscuit, from Medieval Latin bis coctus : Latin bis, twice + Latin coctus, past participle of coquere, to cook.]

A baked flour confectionery dried down to low moisture content. The name is derived from the Latin bis coctus, meaning cooked twice. A 100-g portion provides 400-500 kcal (1680-2100 kJ). Known as cookie in the USA, where ‘biscuit’ means a small cake-like bun.

[BIHS-kiht] 1. In America, biscuits refer to small quick breads, which often use leaveners like baking powder or baking soda. Biscuits are generally savory (but can be sweet), and the texture should be tender and light. 2. In the British Isles, the term “biscuit” usually refers to a flat, thin cookie or cracker. 3. The word biscuit comes from the French bis cuit (“twice cooked”), which is what the original sea biscuits aboard ship had to be in order to remain crisp.

…Oh there is more, much more. So much more that my eyes crossed, twice, trying to get to the bottom of the page without glazing over. Glazing, isn’t that about donuts? We won’t even go there. Click on the link to read for yourselves.

Let it be said that the problems this American is having over what is, and what is not a biscuit according to the British blog readers are systemic to the differences in definition as explained so thoroughly confusingly by so called authoritative sources.

But the pursuit to understanding remains untarnished.

(But taste testing is more fun.)

The Orange Frances Garrison.


4 Responses

  1. Don’t worry Frances, I’m confuddled too. All that twice cooked business has quite thrown me. Never twice baked a biscuit (or cookie for that matter) in my life.

    • Thanks for your unflagging suport VP. I wrote this post in response to a comment from dear Carrie who suggested I check the English Oxford Dictionary after the post about the Ritter Sport CANDY BAR being a cookie/biscuit or not. I might have been miffed, but realized the dictionary here is an American one. No wonder we are confused.

  2. Never mind Frances, all will be revealed when we meet at Malvern. 😉

    cheerio from the one and only expert on all things cookie and biscuit

  3. Mr I has twice baked a cookie to make a delicious biscotti…Yummie. Frances, are you Orange to the Tenth Degree?

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