This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Biscuits – small hard sweets that snap when you bend them – are a fundamental part of British life. Biscuits take a simple cup of tea from a refreshment to a ceremony. Biscuits watch alongside you with the majority of the TV you've ever seen with your mother. Biscuits, chosen from a Family Choice bucket and arranged one-by-one on a plate, remind you inescapably of your nan.
Fall on your knee and cry between the ages of six and 30: biscuit. Hanging out your arse in a bed with a duvet but no duvet cover on it, drinking sweet tea brought to you by your angel housemate: biscuit. Small family party where you all have to drive to Surrey so your uncle can announce he has a hernia: biscuit.
Biscuits are gifts and biscuits are offerings and biscuits are treats. Biscuits blend into the beige noise of everyday life and biscuits elevate it above the chatter. The biscuits are for everybody and that is what makes them great. Biscuits are classless, biscuits without borders. We have all been disappointed by a soft stale Nice. We have all hit that first Rich Tea in the half-open packet, left to go stale in the air. Nobody On Earth Does Not Like A Chocolate Digestive. Biscuits touch every single crevice of our lives.
Here is what they mean to you:
On the surface, Bourbons feel like some sort of prohibition tax-dodge to get around actually making a chocolate biscuit, because they are chocolate but they are not chocolate; they are cocoa powder sifted into a rough dough but never the true decadence of a milk chocolate layer, and for that reason there is something parsimonious about the Bourbon, something lacking. The Bourbon is holding something back, and the Bourbon eater is, too. Bourbons feel like penance for something. Bourbons feel like a Hail Mary dictated by a priest.
But then you dip a Bourbon in tea, and you get it: the bourbon, with its finger-y rectangular shape and bound-in chocolate flavour (without the smudgy, melty grease of a real chocolate layer! Without all the shit that comes with that!) suddenly makes sense when dipped into tea or, if you’re dirty, coffee. The Bourbon can take the rare dunk–bite–dunk routine: the Bourbon does not outrageously collapse or crumb. The Bourbon is sturdy, like a former army stepdad, and all-weather.
Bourbons come in that good packaging where they are stacked up together, two-by-two, like no other biscuit on earth. Bourbons, then, are a totally different biscuit, depending on whether they are wet or dry. Bourbons have a corset on until you dip them into tea and they become a freak. Bourbons are the nerd girl at school who takes her glasses off and becomes the Prom Queen. Bourbons don’t look like much, then they pound you into next week. Bourbons, I’m afraid: Bourbons fuck.
Same way Labradors are the default dog, so Custard Creams are the default biscuit. Same vague blonde colour: check. Close your eyes and think of them as intrinsically linked to the noun that describes them: check. There are better dogs and biscuits, sure, more exciting versions of each, but as a base level for both, you can’t go too far wrong.
Custard Creams are very "married your sixth form boyfriend or girlfriend", aren’t they? Very "hoover the car out every Sunday afternoon like clockwork". I feel like the Custard Cream has a very cultivated Sky+ box and buys a lot of Hinch-approved cleaning supplies to help keep their end-of-the-cul-de-sac three-bed as immaculate as it can possibly be. Custard Creams have been described as “actively aggressive” about collecting Clubcard points.
Remember that ill-looking lad from your halls of residence who turned up the first week with Specsavers' cheapest possible metal glasses bent across his face and an entire Family Guy boxset – and then, weirdly, ten weeks in, he had dreadlocks beneath a cotton headband, always wore a black singlet vest, despite his medically unviable bacne, and had somehow got an off-centre lip piercing? Stopped wearing shoes and started doing fire eating out in the quad? Every time you walked into the kitchen he was in there designing yet another extremely shit tribal-design shoulder tattoo in a loose-leafed A3 sketchbook?
Always got the same vibe as him off the Hobnobs, which – while an acceptable biscuit for sharing around an office – always gives off a sort of "dark Whole Foods" energy, health shrouded in reluctant gothness, same bar of soap for every washing function the body requires, World of Warcraft all-nighters and anime pillows. Big LAN Party Energy.
Chocolate Hobnob, meanwhile, is a biscuit that is so delicious it veers into obviousness, something you can’t enjoy because it fits so tritely within the parameters of taste, a crowd-pleasing beauty, a Germany '06-era WAG. Chocolate Hobnobs are fine, but they’re not an everyday biscuit, are they (they're too much: you do not need to commute to work in an Impreza), and they are not a celebratory biscuit either (too little: any given M&S Belgian chocolate-coated effort out-exceeds the Chocolate Hobnob by every celebratory metric), and unsuitable for dunking in tea (the chocolate instantly melts and the oat make-up of the basic biscuit settles to the bottom like grit).
So where does the Chocolate Hobnob live? In the garage, under the dustcover, waiting for the one Sunday a month it’s suitable to take it out for a drive. Chocolate Hobnobs, like you, are fine for one night, but fundamentally unloveable long-term.
Pretty good if you like soft crap biscuits designed to be chewed by babies as they wean on to the concept of having teeth, bad if you’re an adult with any sort of sense of taste or decorum at all.
Ginger nuts are inextricably linked to wan, freckled ginger children because, from the age of 13 to 17 and possibly beyond, every young British ginger boy has been called “ginger nuts” while being punched in the stomach before a PE class, so while the biscuits themselves – fine in tea! Even finer as a cheesecake base! – are unexceptional to the point of mediocrity, those who eat them absolutely bristle with "waiting for the Ten-Year Anniversary glossy-print reunion invite to drop through the letterbox so I can show them, I can show them all" energy.
Keep getting banned from Airsoft forums for starting threads asking "mod rig more velocity?" Big wardrobe full of canvas bags. Flinches whenever someone mentions dodgeball. Best friend was a dinner lady, that sort of thing.
Good if you like having an uncomfortable tongue for an hour, or shagging your grandma. Bad for everything else. "Ah, but butter—" no. "Scotla—" absolutely not.
"Did I upset you, nan? Did I do something wrong? Am I being punished, for something? Why can’t I just have a nice biscuit? If you tell me what I did I’ll never do it again!"
THE BN OR A SIMILARLY CONTINENTAL CHOCOLATE SANDWICH BISCUIT
A lot of stuff tastes better beneath the lazy stroke of the Mediterranean sun, behind the quiet swell of the sea, among the shade of oversized umbrellas – a Corona with a wedge of lime in the top of it, wearing swimwear beneath your clothes, catching a venereal disease, tapas – and for some reason BN (and all associated chocolate-flavoured sandwich biscuits, which are all the same biscuit with different names, always have a cartoon of a child kicking a football on them, or something, a parrot with a gun) falls into that same category: your mum buys a big sleeve of them from the supermercado on the first day Big Shop, and it sits on the central marble island in your never-lock-the-doors one-storey beachside apartment, never seeming to ever expire despite you all dipping in and eating them, the BNs endless, the BNs infinite, and then you all rush to eat the last remaining three – staled, the choco-icing layer already smudged with someone else’s fingerprint – as you race to get everything in the hire car back to the airport, and you remember them fondly, the BNs, the solid shape, the way they tasted of chocolate without melting.
Then, one drizzly September when you’ve long-since returned and the slap of tan has faded entirely, you see them in a corner shop and you take them home triumphant – "Remember the holiday biscuits! Remember how dad burnt his feet and couldn’t walk for three days!" – and you try one, here in the comfortable surroundings of home, and: mm. No. I get it, but… mm. No. BNs are the biscuit equivalent of that one girl a year who always flees Britain to go and marry the waiter they met on holiday, and there’s a whole international incident about getting them back. Fine on a two-week package tour but, in the confines of real life, so wrong that everyone gets mad about it.
Bit like Jim Davidson: probably quite acceptable in the 80s, but now society has moved on and we have more than 1 million superior options, and as a result both are now less than pointless.
The Penguin made this list because, despite being more of a lunchbox treat (I would argue a biscuit that comes individually-wrapped makes it more of an event biscuit to be eaten one at a time; ideal pudding to have after a slightly warm cheese sandwich and not, say, chain-eaten in front of Hollyoaks) it does have the unique boast of being the only commercially available UK-based biscuit that can feasibly take the sheer heat and force of Australia’s "Tim Tam slam".
For some reason, this video of Natalie Imbruglia doing this with Graham Norton was one of the most formative memories of my early adolescence – is this… my sexuality? Am I… horny for biscuits? – and the fact you can do a close if imperfect approximation of it with a Penguin means it’s as important a facet of British culture as, say, footballers getting MBEs. The only biscuit that could feasibly unite the two opposing forces of Brexit.
The Jammy Dodger has done well for itself, hasn’t it? The Jammy Dodger has out-exceeded its birth. Because think: the Jammy Dodger is just two soft discs of shortbread sandwiched together with a resin-like circle of chewy jam. Little heart-shaped hole and a splash motif baked into the top biscuit. The Jammy Dodger has all the base ingredients of a low, scum-like, working class biscuit. But here: it comes served in a little packet with a cardboard sleeve insert. Look: the Jammy Dodger comes in a careful little serving of six to eight biscuits, as if it is premium, as if it is luxury. Jammy Dodger has powered itself out of the hole it was dug into and become – not the everyday biscuit of Emmerdale and a go through the TV guide! Not your Tuesday night biscuit! – but a celebratory treat, one served on a plate on a paper tablecloth on a trestle table inside a church hall.
The Jammy Dodger was born in the dirt and raised in the rain and has fought, fought, fought to the top. The Jammy Dodger used to wear its sister's trousers and had three stepdads in two years and now it has a Porsche. The Jammy Dodger dropped out of school at an inexplicable 15 to work in a factory and now look, now look at it, the Jammy Dodger is one of the millionaires on Dragon’s Den, perfectly manicured talons guarding a small paper pile of a million pounds. The Jammy Dodger will never quite escape its genetic, in-built cheapness – sometimes the Jammy Dodger forgets itself and slips a t sound, sometimes the Jammy Dodger wears a gaudy necklace and the Daily Mail has a field day – but the Jammy Dodger doesn’t care, does it.
TOWARDS A DIGESTIVE HEURISTIC
1. THE PLAIN DIGESTIVE
A fine biscuit, a pleasant biscuit. Digestive biscuits taste a little bit like you imagine everything horses eat tastes like, but also there’s something very comforting about them, very cosy – the digestive can be enjoyed in every possible configuration of biscuit: "alone", "dunked" and "with cheese" – very solid and very dependable. The digestive biscuit was invented by two Scottish doctors to aid digestion and made with sweet-meal, and none of that fucking matters because even though looking at a digestive is like looking at that girl-and-her-clown test card before terrestrial TV came on when you were a kid, you’re not going to turn one down if your nan waddles heavily into the living room with a fresh pack on a tray and a whole teapot of tea, are you? No. You’re going to say: "Thank you, nan. For the digestive biscuit."
2. THE CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE (pron.: choccy dige [choci dajdʒ])
The most exquisite biscuit. A prince of a biscuit. Biscuit #1. On its own: best biscuit. Dipped in tea: best biscuit. With cheese: inappropriate, still probably quite good though. The C.D. is the best biscuit you can buy. You are sent to the shops with two hot pound coins. “What biscuits do you want?” “I don’t know. You decide.” Dark chocolate choccy dige. No person on earth can resist it. The best commercially available biscuit on the planet. Absolutely no competition.
3. THE CARAMEL DIGESTIVE
It is simply Too Much Biscuit. Digestive: almost enough biscuit. Chocolate Digestive: the exact right amount of biscuit. Caramel Chocolate Digestive? A simply psychotic amount of biscuit. A car revving over your hometown roundabout with two spoilers and some pulsating under-lights. Manchester United buying Alexis Sanchez and never playing him. Katie Price’s 90th boob job. A gaudy, cheap expression of excess. The Caramel Digestive does not behave in tea and the base is too crumbly and dry to enjoy alone. It is a liminal biscuit without a home inside or outside of the water. A freak, an anomaly, God’s Worst Mistake. The Caramel Digestive deserves to have its skeleton displayed in a medical museum. It cannot – does not – fit comfortably into our world.
4. THE ????? DIGESTIVE
The digestive was invented in 1839. The chocolate digestive was 1925. A gap, then the caramel digestive in 1999. By my calculation, in the year 2081, a new, fourth digestive layer will be invented – edible glitter? Sprinkles? Nobbles of honeycomb? – that will sit on top of the digestive–caramel–chocolate final form as we know it now. The digestive is Charmander and the choccy dige is Charmeleon and the caramel digestive is Charizard. One day, the biscuit version of Mega Charizard X will be born, and that is a day we should fear. One day the digestive will get so stacked it’ll be too wide to dunk into a cup of tea. We will know, then, that civilisation is on the ropes.
It’s a wonder Oreo finds time to do anything in between 24/24 Buzzfeed quizzes about the American Office, posting a screenshot of every single song they ever listen to on Instagram Story, driving 0.4km to get a very specific food order from Starbucks, posting "take me back x" holiday throwback photos on Facebook, missing literally every single one of their college classes, completing Tinder like a Mario level, trying to sell a single set of fake eyelashes on Depop and posing – one heel up in the air, one hand in the hair, eyes looking down and to the left – in an Out–Out outfit against a white interior door with the flash shakily operated by their mum.
A nice biscuit! A fine, pleasant biscuit! But when you sit with them in an empty room for anything more than one second of silence they start singing out loud and doing clunky Mariah runs while grinning at you as if you’re a record executive. They dump the same silent boy called "Scott" once every eight days. Permanently! Banned! From! Anthony! Joshua’s! Comments! Section!
Yes, Chocolate Fingers are nice – I, like you, enjoy biting one neatly in half with a click, then chucking the remaining half in afterwards, or even doubling up and doing two at once that way, cuh–click, a sort of rudimentary KitKat, all-in-all a very satisfying biscuit to consume – but there’s also something very fucking unnerving about them, I’m afraid. They are called fingers, for a start, in a way that is laced with innuendo and filth. They are thin and bony like the clawed hand of a witch might be.
Chocolate Fingers are stroking your thigh with their odd little hand. Chocolate Fingers keeps sending you weird late-night Facebook messages where they still use those old school anime-style emotions (“(>'-')> sending you hugs” [pause of three hours] “-_- you think I’m a weirdo, don’t you?”) and try calling you through the Messenger app. Chocolate Fingers insist that your house is on their way so it just makes sense for them to drive you to work so you can get in together, and every morning they bring you a muffin with them (“Your favourite!”) even though you insist they don’t have to. Chocolate Fingers are nice to you with an intensity that verges on being appalling, and you feel wrong for the shudder of revulsion you feel from them.
"I’ve got a girlfriend!" Chocolate Fingers says brightly one day, and you exhale a little, loosen up. Maybe that means he’ll stop buying you slightly-too-expensive Christmas presents. Maybe that means him asking you over for dinner will stop. “Do you want to see a picture of her?” Yes, you say. Where did you meet her. A woman with stumps for teeth and the reflection of her computer monitor on her glasses stares blurrily back at you. "We met in Eve Online!" Chocolate Fingers says. “She lives in Wisconsin!” Ah. Fuck.
There he is again. Engine idling outside. Five minutes before you want to leave, as always. Three little beeps, bip–bip–bip. “You said you liked Dua Lipa last week, so—“ at this point Chocolate Fingers takes an eternity to turn round in his seat and rootle through three Tesco bags hooked inside each other— “so I got you her new album! We can play it on the way to work, if you like!” Chocolate Fingers shoulder-shimmying to One Kiss on the M4, lip-syncing away. Chocolate Fingers showing you a lingerie set he’s thinking of shipping over to Wendy, Chocolate Fingers invites you to his mum’s birthday. Chocolate Fingers, crying at your door, midnight, sobbing that you’re his only friend. Chocolate Fingers asks to sleep on your sofa but you don’t let him. “But we—“ No, Chocolate Fingers. It’s been a draining three years of friendship. Fuck off, now.
Nice but forgettable, like that guy at work drinks who corners you every Friday to tell you about "equity for punks".
"There’s a new round of investm—" no. No!
Rich Teas are the answer to the question "what if we contoured a digestive", and should be treated as such: the harder, more robust cousin to the biscuit tin classic, a Rich Tea reminiscent of hospital visits and coach journeys and other British away-days where the air is warm and stale and your mum has bought a lunchbox. The Rich Tea/Digestive binary is actually descriptive of the wider biscuit whole: I think, if you ask for a biscuit and are given the answer "we only have digestives", you will take one; if you ask for a biscuit and are given "we only have Rich Tea", you are able to turn that biscuit down, and therein lies the difference.
There’s a certain motion that comes from plucking a biscuit when offered to you – a little chin-up peer at the biscuit, a little finger-folded hand motion, a darting arm – and you are more likely to perform that move on a digestive than an RT. Rich Teas have a function – a fine enough biscuit to dunk in tea without thinking – but they don’t serve a purpose. There are a thousand splintered universes off, out there in the abyss, where Rich Teas don’t exist. They are incrementally, by one atom, happier than ours.
CHOCOLATE RICH TEA
Can weirdly eat a whole packet of these in one go, though. Biscuits fit into an odd niche in the dietary pyramid – technically a sweet or "treat", as close to a food sin as anyone who prescribes to the idea might get, but also very much a self-forgiving one. You can treat yourself to a biscuit and feel absolutely zero guilt. You can get halfway through a packet of them – one-handed, mindlessly, dunking – without really noticing at all. Do you feel bad when you’ve eaten an entire packet of chocolate Rich Teas? No. Do you feel good? Also no. You have just consumed 2,000 calories without having an emotion. No other food on earth does this to you.
More a concept than a biscuit, really. "Posh air".
Though admittedly a fan of the Wagon Wheel, I do also fundamentally feel that, as a biscuit-cum-lunchbox treat, it is trying too hard. Shortbread discs in a chocolate envelope: sure, gimme, put it in my gob. But when you wad a clump of marshmallow in there it suddenly feels like it’s just trying a teensy bit too hard to be your friend. The ones with jam in them? Forget about it. There was a kid at my primary school who everyone hated, so he used to show up in the morning at the school gates with a full-sized chocolate bar – remember as a child that an actual-size Mars was one of the most thrilling and illicit treats you could possibly get your hands on, like waiting outside work with a gram of cocaine would be now – and he would hand out the bar to whoever turned up first willing to be matey with him that day. Twirls, Snickers, Double Deckers. Sometimes it was a Wispa Gold. Didn’t matter who turned up, how mean they’d been to him in the past: between 48.5 and 67 grams of pure, unadulterated chocolate bar was waiting for whoever would spend morning break listening to him go on about whatever shit it was he went on about. Listen, he’s fine now. Stop crying! But I do think, spiritually, as a child. he was the same thing as a Wagon Wheel. A little tryhard no-mates.
M&S WHITE CHOCOLATE ROUNDS
If they made the hole in these big enough to slip a ring finger through, more people would impulsively propose to each other on the sofa watching Strictly because these are, frankly, the best and most premium Saturday night biscuit currently available on the market today.
Been haunted for a number of days since someone asked me on Twitter (fun Nazi website I go on) "are choco leibniz tory biscuits?" because the answer is: no biscuit is Tory, but if any biscuit is Tory, then it’s the Choco Leibniz. This is the problem with the Choco Leibniz – an unbeatable occasion biscuit, close to the chocolate digestive in terms of biscuit royalty, but a slight air of smugness about it. It knows it’s premium, it knows it has a thick and satisfying chocolate layer over a continental-style glossed biscuit base. Choco Leibniz is one of my favourite biscuits (and I am convinced biscuits are apolitical: they are an entirely unnecessary, wholly crowd-pleasing foodstuff, and something that exists only for joy cannot have Toryism thrust upon it) but. But. Just sort of feels like the Leibniz, you know, doesn’t pay all its tax. Leibniz is a member of David Lloyd Gym. Leibniz bought a flat this year on its own, but doesn’t want to go into the intricacies of how it paid for it. Leibniz went to private school, but only for a year or two. Leibniz had some very rum opinions about the London Riots. It’s not a Tory biscuit! But, you know. It does think Theresa May is a very brave woman.
A sort of fun almond-flavoured rock.
Have to disclose a personal relationship here: always liked Jaffa Cakes until the third year of university, when some Fun And Wacky students from my year decided to start a "Biscuit Appreciation Society" and the conflict about whether the Jaffa Cake was a cake or a biscuit (“But the tax laws!!!!!” – a virgin) made it into the school paper, and I’m not looking to revisit that dark and intensely annoying time in my life again. So Jaffa Cakes are tarnished for me, but, in brief: great on a hangover, the cheap supermarket-brand ones are better than the moister name-brand version and a 12-pack is fundamentally bad value per unit per pound. If you can shake off the mental image of eight maths students arguing without eye contact about the legal ramifications of a cake going hard when it stales, then yes, fine, enjoy your Jaffa Cakes. For me they are forever shrouded in robes of two-for-one Subway subs, Blackadder quotes and competitive frisbee tournaments.
MARYLAND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
A good biscuit – a good boy! A knobbly boy! – but somehow irreparably sullied by the sheer Americana of the word "cookie". It’s hard like a biscuit, not chewy like a cookie. Don’t make me start the Jaffa Cake argument again. I will RUIN this tabletop board game night so help me THOR!
Real "your mum’s friend" of a biscuit. Takes you to McDonald’s one weekend while your mum’s in hospital for minor surgery. At all of your childhood birthday parties for some reason. You’re forced to call her "auntie" when you answer the phone to her on Christmas to thank her for the tenner in an envelope she sent you. Has diabetes, that sort of thing. "Ooh, I changed your nappy!" Fig Roll is saying. You’re forced to play video games with her two older, mute sons. Absolutely batter you at Mario Kart in perfect silence then rewatch static-y wrestling videos. Take turns Stone Cold Stunner-ing you into a big pile of sofa cushions. “It’s time to go!” your mum says, brightly. Fig Roll sobs at your graduation ceremony. She loves you more than you can possibly love her.
Reckon these absolutely fucking slapped in medieval times, or whenever they were invented (refuse to look it up) where lads with one eye and no teeth ate, like, six biscuits in their entire lifetime, so when you put it in the context of that – pudding was "suck the starch out of this potato", an actual biscuit was a rare treat for wedding nights or 30th birthdays – in the context of that, a small flat chewy biscuit with raisins studded into it and some sort of semi-shiny egg wash was good, probably.
Am I above eating a Garibaldi biscuit? No. Do I think it’s weird they often come packaged together in a sort of flat long perforated mecha-biscuit? Yes. Do they fundamentally remind me of the biscuit equivalent of the one granddad you have who makes wine in his shed (“Out of blackberries I foraged meself!” he says, both hips exploding at once) when he could just go to the shops and buy good wine that doesn’t taste like a sourdough starter got in some petrol? Yes, yes they do. Garibaldis are fine enough, but I do feel like I could make a pretty close version of them myself if I swept a kitchen floor, cracked an egg into the dustpan and baked the resulting mess into a biscuit the size of a flag. That’s not a compliment, but it’s not not a compliment. The Duality of Garibaldi.
BEST BISCUIT DELIVERY SYSTEMS, RANKED WORST TO BEST
#6. (↑) Eating From An Open Packet Someone Left Open And Didn’t Seal Up Properly
Means you have to "eat the frog" of eating the first biscuit in the packet, staled by exposure to air, then "reward" yourself with a +1 additional biscuit on top of the biscuit portion you were already planning on eating, but all the subsequent biscuits feel grubby, somehow, tarnished. Nobody you know has a biscuit tin because we’re not adults, but. This is why your mum had that biscuit tin.
#5. (-) Eating From A Boxfresh Packet of Biscuits
You get to open it, you get to eat the first biscuit from the pack that has inexplicably crumbled into shards, you get to eat the three biscuits that get left in the little sub-sheath of packaging that happens when you bisect the biscuit sleeve according to the small red pull-tab on the side, you get first dibs. You! Are! A! Special! Little! Boy!
#4. (↓) Eating Literally Any Biscuit Someone Else Went To The Shops To Get You
The Hangover Special. Don’t care what biscuit. Don’t care if it has jam in it. Bring me some off-brand sugar-crystal shortbread rounds if you want to. I don’t care. You left me on the sofa to heal while you went to the shop for me. You will always have a place in my heart, until the very day I die.
#3. (↑) Eating Biscuits Delicately Arranged On A Plate
Keep phoning universities and asking them to deeply investigate why three biscuits arranged delicately on a ceramic plate tastes better than the same three biscuits eaten straight from the package or box, but they keep saying “Sir this is just general reception” or “Sir that would be an enormous waste of both our financial and intellectual resources, please stop calling us” so guess we’ll never know.
#2. (-) First Go On A Box Of Those Fancy Belgian Biscuit Selections You Only Get At Christmas, The Ones In The Tin
Always hear angels sing and feel a small faint glow when that box is first opened and the first protective slice of corrugated cardboard is removed, revealing the Belgian biscuit selection below, all feeding into my wider theory that A Box Of Those Fancy Belgian Biscuit Selections You Only Get At Christmas, The Ones In The Tin was actually what was in that briefcase they were all chasing each other for in Pulp Fiction (1994)
#1. (-) Biscuit Dipped In Tea
Just better than any other biscuit. An absurd alchemy. Cereal dry? Good. Cereal wet? Natural, better, makes sense. Biscuit dry? Eh, OK, one. Biscuit wet? Give me 900 until my heart explodes and my body dies beneath it. Why does making a biscuit hot and wet and a bit melted make it taste better? Everyone refuses to explain this to me.
WHATEVER BISCUIT YOU WANT WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
Convinced that the deep truth of biscuits is that biscuits can cure a number of ills, patch up dark crevices in the psyche that no other foodstuff can quite reach, and that is why they endure. A pizza is good, and so is a chocolate bar or a curry or a bag of crisps or a burrito or whatever else your body craves on a hangover or a rainy day, but biscuits, biscuits: nothing else soothes a bad day at work or a bad day at school or a broken heart or just one of those weeks, one of those endless weeks, where it feels like the cycle of life is just never-ending, up early and out late and up early and out late again, and when you finally sit down – hollow, empty, exhausted – you prop yourself nicely on the sofa with a warm cup of tea and some biscuits.
For somewhere between 79p and £2 you can treat yourself in a way that feels like a hug. There is some honesty in there, isn’t there? There is something meditative and soothing about the biscuit – the way you can eat it without looking at it, the ceremony of taking it out of the packet and dunking it into tea, the myriad ways of eating (the bite-in-half! The tentative nibble! The all-in-one!). A biscuit doesn’t judge you and it doesn’t care that you’re crying on it either. A biscuit is there for good days and bad days, and days that are just days. Biscuits brighten a slow day at an office and round off a celebratory spread your mum puts on for your birthday. What other food can straddle such a gamut of emotion as a biscuit? What other handheld food can help you in times of joy and despair? What other food gives you such an electric thrill of pleasure when you open a celebratory tin of them? There is no other. The biscuit is unparalleled. The biscuit is a reflection of life. Raise your mug and ready your biscuit. And then: bisc appetit.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.