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||Is a biscuit the same thing as a cookie?|
|Nicey replies: Some would say so, but not us. Biscuit is derived from the French 'bis' for 'twice' and past participle of the verb 'cuir' to cook, and so means twice-cooked. This described the process by which flour could be preserved by making ships biscuits. An initial baking of a simple flour and water dough was followed by a long second drying process, hence twice cooked.
Now comes the pure speculation on my part. Presumably the same derivation led to the naming of biscuits in the southern states of the USA by French settlers where a 'biscuit' is somewhat like a British 'cobbler', a small floury baked item which is enjoyed with savoury dishes to soak up gravy. As the word biscuit had already now been used for something in the American cuisine, a new word must have been needed to describe what the rest of the world thinks of as biscuits. Many American cookies would be recognised as biscuits in the UK, however, the large diameter soft baked variety, are what we think of as Cookies.
||Firstly what a great site and brillaint idea. I thought that I would pass on a little bit of inspiration that I discovered whilst in the Alps this year for some skiing. they are the joy that is "Longue du Chat".or as we on this Island know them, " Cats Tongues".|
they are brilliant for dunking, imagine the skill that is needed for a hob-nob so it doesn't breakup and the chocolate Rich tea. Fabulous! as the tea is soaked up into the body of the biscuit the tea turnms the sugar into a slightly caramalized yumminess that to this day still needs to have an entire packed eaten, it is nigh on impossible to leave any of them in the packet. If needs be I make another cup of tea and have another sit down.
It is imperative that you try some of these in the near future and may I take the libertly to recommend those produced by Fortnum and Masons of london
Enjoy and kind regards.
|Nicey replies: Yes those old Cats Tongues are nice little butter biscuits aren't they. If they didn't look like cats tongues then maybe they would have been called 'petit beurre' instead. They often make appearances in desserts as they are very good for eating with mousse.|
I am soon to be going for an interview to be a buyer of raw materials and packaging at my local biscuit factory.
As part of my research I was wondering if you have any links that you could provide or any comments about the current state of biscuit packaging in order for me to gain advantage for my potential employment .
(rich tea dunker)(sorry)
|Nicey replies: Hey don't apologise for the dunking, you play it how want to.
As for packing mostly its changed little. However we are seeing the emergence of 'convenience' packing for people snacking on the go. Here packs made may be made from foil lined card and even plastic. We would like to see that reversed, and manufacturers draw attention to parts of the pack that maybe recycled, such as cardboard liners.
One of the abiding memories of schooll trips and day trips to the seaside or London was the little bag of goodies that mum would throw together for sustenance. This would generally consist of a flask of tea, a packet of crisps, a bar of chocolate and a packet of ICED GEMS. These small biscuits would have to rank among those unsung mainstays of the snack world that have kept busloads of kids happy throughout countless years of geography field trips and tedious days at museums. One feature worth noting is that iced gems had one of the hardest icing swirls ever made, ranking somewhere between carborundum and diamond on the hardness scale. This was allied to a bone dry biscuit base which had you gagging for any form of liquid after eating a packet. If I remember correctly, Iced gems are one of the bsicuits that go rock hard, not soggy, on standing. Maybe we could define an international unit of moistness for biscuits. Although not really a "nice cup of tea and sit down" material in the purist's eyes, surely ICED GEMS deserve an honourable mention on your site. Can anyone remember the colours of the icing?
B J Bunn
|Nicey replies: That's a very sensible appraisal of the Iced Gem. I'm sure there must be some sort of industrial or engineering processes in which the Iced Gem could be utilized such tunnel boring machines, or glass cutting.
|There is a small park at the end of Via Garibaldi in Venice, in the Castello Est. This park was built by Napoleon, and before the gates stands a statue of the man who inspired my favourite biscuits.|
Garibaldi's are the best. The biscuit is spicy, the raisins full of flavour, and although you can't make a map of Italy with a normal packet, you can build little houses. Whenever I am in Venice I always take a packet of garibaldi's with me, for a nibble when I sit in the park.
At them moment I am working in New Delhi, when I opened my suitcase my six-year old son had put a packet of Jammy Dodgers in for me. So a cup of tea and a dunked bikky, with the jam hot and melting, starts my day here.
|Nicey replies: Nice point about the little houses|