The British know a thing or two about biscuits. No, not the fluffy, buttery ones we eat in America (although we love them with all our hearts), but the packaged cookies that they eat at tea time or whenever they damn well please. Britons consumed 141 million packages of biscuits in 2010, and the younger generation is not losing its taste for the things. Seventy percent of young Brits "have an appetite for traditional biscuits," market research firm Mintel reports.
So what do the British know that we don't? They know that it's always a good time to eat a biscuit -- whether it's as an afternoon snack (the most common time to eat one is at 3:10 p.m., apparently), or as a mid-morning pick-me-up with a cup of tea.
They also know biscuits are the ultimate cure-all -- the ideal comfort food. The Guardian sums it up well: "There is little doubt that a choccy digestive and a sulk is often the best medicine."
There are almost too many good ones to choose from, but here are 11 biscuits you need to try.
Also known as bourbon creams, these sandwich cookies consist of two chocolate biscuits with a thin layer of chocolate cream filling. The Essential Waitrose Bourbon Creams
from the British department store are pretty fantastic.
These semi-sweet wheat biscuits were first made by McVitie's in 1925 under the name Chocolate Homewheat Digestive. Today, they come in the original flavor, milk chocolate, dark chocolate or with caramel. They're Britain's favorite biscuit
, and might be ours too.
Jam 'n Creams
Jam 'n Cream cookies consist of a sugary layer of cream sandwiched between two shortbread cookies. They are topped with a thin disk of raspberry jam. These biscuits by Fox's are as tasty as they are adorable.
These cookies are coated in sugary icing and swirled with different colors. They taste like childhood and should be eaten by adults and children alike.
These cake-like cookies consist of a sponge-like base, a layer of jelly and a coat of chocolate. The jelly is traditionally orange-flavored, but other varieties
include lemon-lime and strawberry. You can make them at home
, but the boxed ones are so good we don't know why you'd want to.
Malted Milk Biscuits
Also known as "cow biscuits," these sweet, malt-flavored cookies have one or two cows depicted on them, depending on the brand. They're buttery and perfect for drinking with tea.
These classic, savory biscuits are more cracker than cookie. They may be described as "bland flavoured
," but they're bland in the best way. Eaten alone or with cheese, they are the perfect simple comfort.
Walker's Shortbread Fingers
Buttery, crunchy and crumbly, these Scottish shortbread fingers aren't too sweet and are supremely comforting. Walker's was established in 1898, and their shortbread is a "100-year-old family recipe."
A custard-flavored cream -- that tastes pretty much like vanilla -- is sandwiched between two elaborately decorated cookies in this classic sandwich biscuit.
These unlikely cookies are actually amazing, in spite of (or maybe because of?) the intense pink dye. If you're wary of such unnatural coloring, just go with it. You'll be happy you did.
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