• 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.

The Stacker

They were in a small plastic bag and I guarded them with my life. Breaktime ­ or feast as it was known ­was a bunfight and keeping hold of your mid-morning snack was vital.Get your own feast, the four-year-old me would say to any pushy boy and wheedling girl who tried to get me to part with my precious treasure.

I wonder if it’s because I had to guard them so fiercely that my love for Rich Tea biscuits has remained for my whole life. They’re not a glamorous biscuit. They have nothing of the unctuous silkiness of an orange Club or the indulgent tang of a Jaffa Cake. Eaten alone they are pedestrian, dry, the sort of biscuit you would pass over in the tin for a chocolate digestive or, at the very least, a shortbread finger.

I’m not sure what possessed my mother back in the early 70s to first reach for the butter knife before handing me and my brother our biscuit elevenses, but who knows how genius begins? Because when you spread a Rich Tea biscuit with butter and add another Rich Tea on top, then you enter completely different territory. The mundane becomes heavenly ­ your teeth crunching through a crisp layer to find a cool, salty creaminess lurking inside. This, my friends, is the Rich Tea Stacker.

Since those early days in the playground, I’ve tried to bring bit of myself to the Rich Tea Stacker, to make it my own. There was a brief flirtation at university with the Triple Stacker ­ de trop, I decided in the end ­ and then that regrettable Digestive Stacker episode in my mid 20s ­ too buttery. I soon came to my senses: you can’t improve on the Rich Tea Stacker. Don’t mess with perfection.

Kindly submitted by Alex Mitchell (@alexmitchelleg)

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4 Responses

  1. Very true. You have to be careful whilst assembling a stacker as, drunk with excitement, it is easy to create something that exceeds the diameter of your mouth.

  2. It’s happening again!
    What is it with people putting things on biscuits. If a biscuit needs a topping before it can be appreciated, then there is clearly something wrong. And if there is something wrong with your biscuit then you should just put it down and walk away. I just can’t fathom why anyone would do thislkfdlfgj..
    Choking
    Choking
    GAH!

  3. Why is a Rich Tea called a Rich Tea?
    The tea thing I can understand (dunking etc etc) but why Rich?
    It is is not a wealthy biscuit: it is almost monastic in its humilty.
    It is not Rich as in Dundee Cake or Jugged Hare.
    It is not really Rich in experience because (
    a) it is a biscuit and they do not get about much in society and
    (b) it is the biscuit equivalent of a 45 year old clerical accountant from Penge who lives with his mother and eats Dairylea sandwiches every day for lunch.

  4. Meaning of Rich tea = BISCUIT MEANT FOR DUNKING IN A BREW.

    Which makes said brew immeasurably, gloriously, lush.

    Pure genius.

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