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I may have missed something but what exactly are the digestive credentials of the digestive biscuit? I've just eaten the best part of a (small) packet and I feel digestively degraded if anything. Outrageous!
|Nicey replies: It was meant to be the relatively large amount of baking soda used in them. Being a carbonate salt it acts as an antacid. However, it is broken down by heat so I've always thought it unlikely that eating Digestives would cure indigestion.|
Malted Milk Review
On your site you refer to the chocolate covered malted (Sports) biscuit as essentially a biscuit form of the Malteser. You may not know that malted biscuits were in fact health foods in late Victorian times and indeed the Malteser was such a health food, the chocolate adding sugar as well as taste as a dietary supplement for the avoidance of tuberculosis.
Other products which arose at this time include Ovaltine (and later Complan). Before Lucosade was a sport drink it also was a "tonic", an additional form of dietary glucose for the recuperative patient.
Perhaps we should consider the role of cakes, biscuits and tea in the development of health care, not least in stress reduction, as a topic on your site.
As an aside, for many years my wife called me Ovaltine because, like the malted drink, I was often drunk at bedtime.
|Nicey replies: Well, yes I was aware of most of those. Last week I was looking into Bath Olivers which were invented as food for those visiting Bath in the eighteenth century, containing as they do the wonder remedy of the age, hops.|
Great site- good fun to read!
My Canadian (and now ex) girlfriend accused tea drinkers of being rather camp. Of course – I took offence to this. It seems our overseas cousins do not realise that the Great British empire was built by a nation of tea drinkers! So many places wouldn’t know where they were without the English national bevvy! (q.v. “Asterix In Britain”)
|Nicey replies: I'm sure she was only trying to get her own back for the Lumberjack song.|
Just wondering if anyone knows why those crazy Americans use the word "graham" when referring to digestive biscuits.
|Nicey replies: Graham crackers, precede the Digestive by some 100 years and were invented by Sylvester Graham a Presbyterian minister in 1829. He was an early advocate of health food and invented his own coarsely ground wheat flour for its high fiber content. The flour nicknamed "graham flour" after Minister Graham, is main ingredient in Graham Crackers.|
Just reading about my favourite biscuit, the biscuit brown.
A funny little fella, I remember they came in packets of 4. They could be easily placed in a smock chest pocket and munched on during those lonely night vigils. They were also very versatile!! Not quite in the biscuit ethos, but for a filling and nutritious hot beverage, crush 4 biscuit browns (don’t open the packet), then pour into a mug,add the oxtail soup powder from the ration pack and then top up with hot water.
It was like the haagen das of the 48hr exercise, most of the biscuit would form a gruel with the soup, but sometimes you would hit a piece not quite dissolved, lovely… The next cup of coffee from that mug was interesting to say the least, a voyage into texture and taste.
I also remember a variant on the biscuit browns, they were ‘Biscuits, Fruit’, like a garibaldi but it came from the rough side of the tracks. Very tough to eat and reminded me of eating cinnamon slippers. Attempts were made to actually find fruit in these biscuits, but after 3 years of intensive research they concluded that the ‘biscuits, brown’ had been waved near a banana and so became ‘Biscuits, Fruit’
If I remember correctly, the green foil packet for biscuits brown had ‘AB’ stamped on them. We always thought that meant ‘Anal Blockage’, since 4 BB’s were the equivalent of eating a couple of metric tonnes of hay. Don’t eat too many!
I’ve tried the US ration biscuits too (crackers???!??, ‘ave a word with yerself!, BISCUITS not CRACKERS ), but they are flakey and have not got the fortitude of the British biscuit, at least on this front we are more technologically advanced on the battlefield.
Try them with your tea or coffee though, they make an excellent talking point and I believe they can absorb 10x that of the ordinary Rich Tea biccy, without collapsing.