A great accompaniment to any cuppa, and a true British staple of many households. They are a perfect snack when you just need that little pick-me-up and with so many varieties to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice! From small to large, iced or covered with chocolate, what’s not to like?! These sweet treats bring so much joy and provide us with a brief moment of pleasure.
History of Biscuits
The Romans certainly had some form of biscuit, known today as rusks. Essentially, this is bread re-baked to make it more crisp. This enabled the consistency to last longer and was used as rations for soldiers. In the 14th Century, the biscuit had become more common in England but its definition was broadening to include variants such as wafers. However, the original, long-lasting biscuit remained popular as was used as naval provisions for sailors out at sea. The ‘ship biscuit’ as it became known, was renowned for its toughness and some sailors even used it as a postcard to send home. Leading into the 17th Century, the biscuit began to change due to the introduction of sugar. Britain had colonised all of the West Indies, implementing the plantation system and building an empire for sugar. In England, the price of sugar fell and it became more accessible. As such, sugar became an ingredient used in more food items, including biscuits. New cooking technologies were also responsible for the biscuit boom during the 17th century as more people were able to make their own biscuits at home. Also, tea and coffee were introduced to Britain during this time which played a huge role in the importance of biscuits. As tea became part of the social scene, biscuits and tea became part of a new ritual: Afternoon Tea.
In the 19th century, biscuits were everywhere and were available for all classes from middle to upper classes. They could easily be made at home in the kitchen, and there were numerous varieties available to suit different tastes. Bringing it up to modern day, biscuits remain a true staple of british snacking and offer a moment of joy from the busyness of daily life.
Biscuit Personality Types… Now That Takes the Biscuit!
Do you ever have the time to think about what your biscuit choice says about you? Or are you too busy making your way through the whole packet?! No judging here. Apart from satisfying your sugary cravings, biscuits can reveal great insight into your personality traits. Are you someone who likes reliability and stability in life, or are you a little reckless and don’t think about things more than you need to? Well, your biscuit choice can reveal all. So, next time you’re diving into a pack of digestives (or whichever variety takes your fancy) think about what your biscuit says about you.
Shortbread Biscuits - Kind
You’re a simple person who believes it’s the little things in life that matter.
You don’t like any fuss and like to go through your days with minimal stress and disruption. You have a stable job and enjoy a regular routine. Shortbread biscuits are perfect for sharing, so if you’re a fan of this one then you’re probably a sociable person who loves spending time with friends and family. You’re also kind hearted as you don’t mind sharing your favourite variety of bikkie as you like to make sure people are having a good time. What’s more, you’re loyal and committed. You’re not swayed by fads of biscuit flavours, you know what you like and you stick with it.
Custard Cream - Traditional
You’re retro, and this throws you back to happier, simpler times. Originating in the early 1900’s, the Custard Cream is a true British biscuit and takes you back to a simpler era. Maybe you used to go to your grandma's house as a child and these could always be found in the biscuit tin. Even now, eating these biscuits will transport you back to those memories and means you truly value memories with your family. It’s also an uncontroversial choice (who doesn’t love a custard cream) and always makes for good dunking! It also makes the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or any catch up with friends and family. If you enjoy this biscuit, you appreciate the finer things in life, as the custard cream was originally intended to be used as decorative biscuits with the design encompassing baroque markings such as victorian ferns. Very fancy! However, quite contradictory, it’s a bargain bikkie choice! So with the custard cream, you can get a taste for the finer things in life but at a rock bottom price. Win-win.
Oreo - Complex
Whilst most bikkies are best dunked into tea, Oreos are best enjoyed dipped in milk. And, there’s so many different ways to eat them that each method reveals something different about your personality. Who knew?! If you eat the full oreo in one go then this means you enjoy life without thinking. You’re fun, exciting, and carefree, and you live your life to the fullest. But, you are a little irresponsible and at times wreckless. If you twist the two halves apart before dunking, then you’re a curious breed and enjoy breaking things down to find out how they work. You’re experimental and like to try new things but you’re also a little devious and like to get rid of any evidence.
Fig Roll - Optimist
Maybe you’re a historian and love the ancient Egyptian origins of this one? You’re an optimist and like to think you’re getting 1 of your 5 a day by eating a fig roll. Sadly not true, but worth a try! You’re a positive thinker and believe in your own choices. You also love a bit of controversy (similar to your fellow friend, the Jaffa cake) as people are divided in opinion as to whether the Fig roll actually constitutes as a biscuit. Could you really imagine dunking this into your tea? Either way as a fig roll lover you’re not bothered. You do as you please and you’re set in your ways. You also like sweet flavours and have bursts of energy. The fig roll is made up of a sweet, crumbly pastry which encases a fruity, fig filling so plenty of sugar to be enjoyed here.
Jammy Dodger - Big Child
Another throwback favourite, the Jammy Dodger takes you back to a happier, simpler time when you were an innocent youngster. It’s a playful choice, as you can separate the two discs of biscuit for multiple dunking pleasure and enjoy the fruity jam in the centre. And we all know someone who just has to stick this to their forehead, taking advantage of the sticky jam consistency. You’re also the life and soul of any party, brimming with energy, humour, and excitement. You like to have a good time wherever you go, and are always making people laugh with your antics. The Jammy Dodger is the biscuit to bring out your inner child and your silly side. If you only eat the frosting inside, then you’re selfish and greedy (apparently). You use things once or twice then simply throw them away. This can be reflected in your love life - very deep!
Jaffa Cake - Controversial
You’re an energy junkie and love the energy boosting properties in the chocolate and orange jelly combo. You also thrive from variety and enjoy the different flavours and how they accompany one another. The sponge centre provides a bit of indulgence whilst the chocolate mixed with the orange creates an interesting zingy twist. What’s more you also love a bit of controversy, getting involved in the whole ‘Is it a biscuit or is a cake’ debate. Either way it doesn’t matter, it’s delicious and you’re going to finish off the whole pack. Full moon, half moon, total eclipse!
Bourbon - Bargain Buyer
Hardy, reliable, consistent. The personality traits of any bourbon biscuit lover. Bourbons have been a resident in many kitchen cupboards for years, dating back to the 1900’s. With a bourbon, you’re never disappointed. The chocolate, crumbly consistency melts perfectly in your mouth and even better, you get two layers! As a bourbon fan, you like structure and consistency in your life. You don’t enjoy the element of surprise and like to have a plan. Bourbons buyers also love a bargain. You can find these classic biscuits in pretty much any corner shop or supermarket and a pack will only set you back around 50p.
Rich Tea - Reliable
A classic. A true british staple of tea dunking. You like reliability, consistency, and a biscuit you know you can rely on time and time again. You don’t need these new flavours and interesting spices, you want a steady choice that tastes the same each and every time. Make way for the great rich tea bikkie. This classic has barely changed over time and gives tea drinkers what they want. A firm yet soft centre when dunked in your cuppa, the rich tea can supposedly be dunked a whopping 14 times! It’s a comforting biscuit and one you know you can trust. A true hero in the biscuit world.
Ginger Snap biscuits - Strong minded
You don’t overthink situations and you don’t really care what people think about you. Ginger Snap biscuits have the power to divide people with their strong, spicy, gingery flavour. You’re in one of two camps: you’re either a true devoted fan of the ginger snap or you absolutely hate them. There is simply no in between when it comes to this one. As a ginger biscuit lover, you don’t mind dividing opinions and you are a strong minded individual. You know what you want in life, and lead from the front in your social group. Take a look at our delicious Ginger snaps here.
Florentines - Cultured
These biscuits are dusted with sugar and comprise of nuts, flour, spices, and honey. Florentines are a lavish choice of biscuit, and even their name hints towards a sense of luxury. Biscuit lovers of this type tend to enjoy the finer things in life, and like the element of culture when it comes to their snack choices. It’s believed these biscuits originated in France during the 17th century, and are named after Florence out of admiration for their tuscan neighbours. If you eat Florentines you’re an adventurous breed and you like to explore. You’re not content with the mundane options in life, and like to experiment with new flavours. Fancy a Florentine? Take a look at our delicious biscuits!
British Biscuits vs American Biscuits
The term ‘biscuit’ can differ depending on what country you’re from and can look remarkably different from one another. If you go to America and ask for a ‘biscuit’ you might be surprised at what you’re presented with. In essence, a ‘biscuit’ is a flour-based baked product which is usually topped with a variety of ingredients including sugar, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, honey, and more to provide a range of different flavours. In the UK, a biscuit is usually quite flat in appearance and looks similar to a savoury cracker. They are dry and crunchy in consistency which makes them the perfect snack for dunking into a hot drink. However in the US, nearly all biscuits are called cookies, and the term ‘biscuit’ refers to a soft, leavened quick bread which looks similar to a British scone. Usually unsweetened in flavour, an American biscuit is soft and flaky in texture. So next time you’re in America, if you want a biscuit (as we know it in the UK) as for a cookie, or you might find yourself trying to dunk a scone into your cup of tea. Not quite the same!
From eating digestives for health reasons, to the correct way to dunk a bikkie, there’s a whole host of fun biscuit facts to be enjoyed! Here's our top picks:
- The word ‘biscuit’ comes from the french for twice cooked.
- According to research at Bristol University in 1998, the best way to dunk a biscuit is horizontally.
- In 2012 in Broadway, Kent, a man called Elliot Allen broke the record for breaking 18 digestive biscuits with a karate chop.
- If you laid all the Jaffa cakes eaten in one year in a line, they would stretch from the UK to Australia and back.
- The Queen enjoys Rich Tea biscuits with a cup of Earl Grey before breakfast.
- As McVities Digestives are made with baking soda, it was originally thought they could help the digestive system, hence the name.
- In 1911, biscuits were the first food to reach the South Pole and were taken there by explorer Roald Amundsen.
Conclusion: What Your Biscuit Choice Says About You
Whilst biscuits are a snacking favourite of British culture and suit a variety of different tastes and preferences, there’s so much more to be had than enjoyment. Your biscuit of choice reveals important insights into your personality and can determine different characteristics. From revealing whether you're optimistic, strong minded, complex, or traditional, did you ever consider what you were telling the world when you picked up that last digestive? Probably not. Next time you reach for the pack consider this: What is my biscuit choice saying about me? We’ll probably have answered it for you above…