So, what did we learn? A question I’ve often posed when summarising my research and this time I have a final, definitive answer.
Put simply, I’ve grown tired of writing about biscuits, or rather, I grew tired of writing about biscuits quite a while ago. I told you how to build a house out of them, confounded your expectations by drawing a wider comparison with an ailing software giant; ridiculed a nation’s tastes and, most memorably, critiqued Hit Biscuit’s TERRIBLE marketing campaign, aiding its rapid demise, (unfortunately the ‘viral’ isn’t online any more <it was great>). I also undertook all the usual biscuit reviews which on reflection really need editing, typo-ing and / or removed from public scrutiny. In short, or rather in long, I did a lot.
Instead of letting the good ship Biscuitswin drift off across the horizon into petty obscurity, I thought I should at least have a final show off, and, like all scientists, I could think of no better way than to summarise my findings. A lifetimes work, yes, but one which I found easy to compile into a handy list, compatible with your vapid attention spans and appetite for a shareable, dramatic title, that people will ‘like’ no end.
‘What Happened Next Defied the Biscuit Community!’or ‘16 Things I Learned from a Lifetime* in Biscuit Research’.**
**Unrecognised by science due to a dearth of references, (none).
1. Digestives whether plain, chocolate or otherwise, are rubbish. In a country no longer under threat from rationing, I don’t understand their continuing presence; it’s like choosing to go on a winter break to Weston-Super-Mare.
2. Biscuit adverts from the subcontinent are better than ours.
3. If you want to build a house out of biscuits, don’t use icing sugar and water to stick it all together, unless you have an entire day clear and a healthy appetite for failure.
4. You should instead use stacking; stacking is proven, it’s old technology. Therefore, buy biscuits with a good flat edge: custard creams, shortbread (essential), Garibaldi’s and dry, boring, wafers. You’ll struggle to make a dome, but frankly it’s a nightmare making buildings out of biscuits anyway.
5. Never build a house out of biscuits.
6. No matter how many times Burton’s release a new Jammy Dodger flavour, it’s not going to beat the original. Stop trying, you’re wasting our time.
7. The evidence (mine) suggests that dunking is indeed a terrible idea. Let’s all stop ruining both our drink and our biscuit.
Some of my workings^
8. Tim-Tams, ‘Australia’s Favourite Biscuit’, are essentially a good old fashioned British Penguin. A worrying time in the colonies.
9. Chocolate Leibniz are the shit. Go and buy some.
10. Jaffa Cakes are, well cakes, a point they proved in court many years ago, thereby rating them as zero VAT; a saving they have yet to pass on to the consumer. I’m left wondering: why aren’t they 20% less expensive? Who’s making all the Jaffa Cake money?
11. I’ll happily pay more for a Jaffa Cake.
12. Chocolate Hobnobs are close to being the greatest biscuit of all time; a real all-rounder. However, I also believe that eating biscuits is about choice, something I like to exercise regularly by buying a rotating cycle of biscuits brands, new and old. Conversely, Chocolate ‘Hob-knobs’, those who endlessly pontificate about and consume them, are the Nazis of the biscuit fancier world. I think they fear change.
13. Chocolate Bourbons are bloody awesome. They’re cheap, they’re chocolatey and they’re from a noble lineage; Peak Freans, creator of not just Bourbons but also the mighty Garibaldi. I imagine they used a lot of white boards, post-its and thought-shower, break-out sessions, back in the day.
14. Any vaguely yuppie biscuit with ‘artisan’ in the title, is going to be disappointing nine times out of ten. Just trust me on this, save your money.
15. I haven’t got the test results back from the lab yet, but I’m pretty certain Maryland Cookies are laced with crack.
16. Cookies aren’t biscuits; they’re cheating.
So there you have it, a lifetime’s research crammed into 16 easily digestible points. But how does one end the publishing of work enjoyed by so many; a chilling and somewhat poignant moment? Like a lot of great authors I think I’ll go with the easy option; a nice, genuine quote.
Farewell biscuit fans.
“Biscuitswin is a canonical and primary source for any biscuit information I need for the show. You’ll find many a reference in the end titles of River Cottage to biscuitswin.com. A true giant in the world of people who describe food“
*This quote may not be real.