Blog

Read all about our Russian box!

Sushki

Sushki are traditional Russian small, crunchy, mildly sweet bread rings eaten for dessert, usually with tea. It is also common practice to dunk these biscuits due to the hard crunchy texture in order to soften them up. Upon baking they often have a piece of string threaded through them and they are then hung in order to brush with a flavoured glaze of choice and this is often how they are presented in stores. This presentation is a through back to when merchants and travelers would put a string through them and hang them up somewhere to be taken off and eaten at leisure.

Black Caviar Zigulevskie

In Russia caviar is referred to as “Black Gold” and not oil like elsewhere around the world. Despite its humble beginnings when caviar was thrown away due to its overabundance. However in today’s world with the increasing demand and the result of overfishing, the food source became much rarer and as a result, drove the price up.  With a 250g jar now worth upwards of £80 each, it is now one of the most luxurious commodities around the world. In 2007 Russia banned the harvest and sale of wild black caviar due to the threat that overfishing was posing to the quality of caviar being produced. The want for caviar in Russia did not stop however and as it was a staple of that countries diet many manufacturers began producing caviar flavoured items. We want to give you a taste of that with our black caviar flavoured Zigulevskie.

Pryaniki (Gingerbread)

Russian for “well-spiced,” pryaniki are made with an irresistible combination of honey, brown sugar, and gingerbread spices. These are the oldest Russian sweet and have undergone many changes, especially in their texture and spicing, since their original form. As with most old dishes, each district – even family – has their own recipe. However, the most classic version is a cake-like spicy gingerbread still made in the city of Tula. The cookies are often frosted, filled with jam or with aromatic flavourings such as banana and vanilla, and have been known to (somehow) survive long enough to wind up in the Leningrad Ethnographic Museum.

Masha and the Bear

Masha and the Bear is a Russian TV show which has now been translated into 25 languages and broadcasts in over 100 countries. Based on a real-life Russian girl who was of an outgoing nature she would interact with tourists, the shows created noticed that after a couple of days the same tourists were actively hiding from the young girl due to her outgoing nature. The cartoon became such a popular brand that it was used to promote food items, something which is rare in Russia, such as sweets and in this case gingerbread.

Oatmeal cookies

If you want to find the crossroad where healthy meets tasty, then try Russian oatmeal cookies. They are made with Hercules oat flakes. These unprocessed flakes bear the name of the Ancient Greek hero because it was easier to persuade children to eat oat porridge if it had the name of a great hero. The oatmeal cookie was called “a soldiers’ cookie,” as the soldiers themselves invented the oatmeal cookie recipe from their provisions. Another theory claims that oatmeal cookies first appeared thanks to the soldiers’ wives, who sent them to the front. Whatever the truth, the cookie preserved its freshness even after a long journey, which was crucial for hungry troops during wartime.

Wafers

Similar to other wafer biscuits we have included in our previous boxes they are light and crunchy, with a smooth hazelnut filling. The wafers were first produced in Italy in the 19th Century as part of the expansion to the ice cream industry. The use of them in the Soviet Unions was due to families being able to purchase the wafers and make sweet fillings without the need of baking them. This allowed families to make quick desserts at a relatively low cost

Read all about our Belgian Box!

A country famous for its chocolate, it’s not a far reach to say that other sweet treats are equally as delicious. A real mix of biscuits in this month’s box should certainly have your mouth watering.

Lotus Speculoos

Speculoos are thin, crunchy, caramelised biscuits traditionally baked to celebrate St. Nicholas’ day in Belgium. Similar to our Christmas stocking in the UK, the lightly spiced speculoos are traditionally placed into children’s shoes left at the bottom of their beds on the 6th of December before St. Nicholas’ day. The name “speculoos” is believed to have derived from the Latin word “speculum” meaning mirror – as the moulds used to create the intricate patterns on top is mirrored onto the cookie.

Sondey Cent-Wafers

Cent wafers are well known and very popular in Belgium. Originating with a man named Edward Parein, an importer of flour and grain in 1890, these wafers were created after the purchase of a struggling business to help make use of his imports. The business continued to grow following a merger and grew in popularity as a common teatime treat. Light and crunchy, with a smooth hazelnut filling – it’s not hard to see why!

Prince Chocolate

You’ll find these Prince biscuits in many different households. Although extremely popular in France, these biscuits have a Belgian hailing: the Prince biscuit was created in Antwerp in honour of Leopold II nicknamed “the Prince of Belgium” in order to provide him with a chocolatey treat that would not melt in his hands. With marketing of the biscuit around 80 years after creation, these biscuits grew in popularity throughout Europe.

Haust Toast ‘n’ Chips

This is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread which historically was baked in this way to reduce moisture and risk of mould, allowing it to last longer when travelling.  Traditionally called beschuit, also known as Dutch crispbakes, they are light, round, crumbly rusks. It is customary to serve beschuit met muisjes (sprinkled with “little mice”) which are anise seeds covered in white, pink or blue sugar at the birth of a baby. Beschuiten are also eaten as a breakfast food with a variety of toppings, most commonly butter. This modern take on them comes in a garlic flavour, and would go fantastically with cream cheese.

Vanillewafels

While the first written mention of the ‘Brussels waffle’ dates back to 1874, it’s pretty safe to say that the doughy treat has been around a lot longer than that. The word ‘waffle’ pops up in Brussels literature as early as 1604, and in a Dutch caricature about the Belgian independence in 1830, Willem I’s throne has a picture of a waffle on it next to two types of Brussels’ beer. Truly popularised during the 19th Century, their appeal grew following Expo 58, encouraging worldwide appeal. Often adorned with fresh fruit and cream, you can taste them here with some famous Belgian chocolate.

Banaan Melkchocolade

During the 17th century and while still under the control of the Spanish, who had explorers travelling around South America (home of the cocoa bean), Belgium first began producing its now famous chocolate.Chocolate was initially a luxury, reserved only for the wealthy. It was first used primarily for hot chocolate, designed to impress visitors and nobility. When Belgium colonised the Congo, they stepped up their  chocolate-making game. It was here that they discovered a huge number of cocoa beans. Their ruler King Leopold III quickly took advantage of this, and Belgium became the main trader of cocoa and chocolate. Today chocolate is a major contributor to the nation’s economy and with over 2,000 chocolatiers in the country, many different variations are now produced.

Read All About Our Indian Box!

The month of March takes us to India – a country well known for its spices. You’d be forgiven, therefore, for overlooking the biscuits popular in India – but there are many! We’ve selected a few of the most popular varieties for you to try, with some surprising histories behind them too.

SESAME SNAPS:
Sesame seeds have been used for a long time in India – and not just for snacks! Sesame is thought to have significant health benefits, and has even been noted to be used in the 6th century BC before, during and after surgery as an antiseptic! It is present here in a delicious sesame brittle! A lovely flavour of toasted sesame seeds in a crunchy, but not-too-sweet caramel.

GOOD DAY BISCUITS – ALMOND & PISTACHIO
A classic Indian flavour combination of almonds and pistachios, these biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to a British cuppa! Light, crumbly and nutty these biscuits are manufactured by one of India’s largest biscuit brands, voted in the top 100 trusted brands in India.

PARLE-G BISCUITS:

Extremely well-known in India, Parle biscuits are frequently noted as the largest-selling brand of biscuits in the world. The “G” in Parle G originally stood for glucose, being a sweet biscuit. Pre-independence, biscuits in India were seen as a luxury, and so Parle G were born to provide biscuits made within India, which grew significantly once independence was achieved. Over 400 million biscuits are produced a month!

RUSKS:
Dating back to 1595 as “panis biscotus” and meaning “bread that’s been baked twice” rusks are a traditional Indian snack. Commonly dipped in tea, they are very crunchy with a mildly sweet flavour, and soak up tea or coffee brilliantly when dunked! Rusks are thought to have originated as a portable snack on naval ships, that survived well in moist conditions. The double-baked aspect means they have little moisture for bacteria to interact with and so lasted very well on long journeys.

KHAKHRA:
These are a thin cracker made from several types of (gluten free!) flour. Khakhra are popular in Wester India. Similar in theory to rusks, these snacks were often used as portable food for armies travelling overseas. In traditional Indian style, these khakhras pack a punch – made with fresh green chillies and ginger. For a truly traditional experience, serve these at breakfast with chutneys and yoghurt.

GOOD DAY BISCUITS – BUTTER:
A traditional brand, Britannia biscuit sales significantly increased during WWII when biscuits were in high demand. This variety is light, crumbly and indulgently buttery. A moreish biscuit, these brilliantly accompany any hot beverage! Try these with a chai latte or chai tea – a traditional Indian drink!

And speaking of tea… we’ve also included some chai tea in March’s box! A traditional blend of black tea and spices to be enjoyed with milk and sugar to taste!
We hope you enjoyed this month’s box… until next month!

Read All About Our Spanish Box!

It’s the shortest month of the year, but less days doesn’t mean less biscuits!

This month we took our biscuit adventure to Spain – a country known for sunshine and siestas. We wanted to capture the traditional Spanish culture with this months’ biscuit selection, and each biscuit had its own history and story to tell.

We’ve delved deep into the origin of these biscuits, as we enjoy learning about them almost as much as we do eating them! Who knew there was so much history attached to what we now know as a tea-time treat?!

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Magdalenas

Let’s get this one out of the way before we start a Jaffa Cake war (but seriously, is it a cake or a biscuit?). We know Magdalenas aren’t technically biscuits, but these cakes are enjoyed by Spaniards with their cuppa. Traditionally eaten over breakfast, they are dipped into milky coffee or tea – much like we would do with our biscuits!

The origin of these cakes if vague and varied, however it is most probable that they are based on the French madeleines. One version of their history is that a Nun convent dedicated to Mary Magdelen (hence the name!) brought the recipe from France during the French Revolution when all convents were banned, and sold it to Spaniards – growing in popularity so much so that it is still present today.

Filipinos

Available in many different varieties, these Filipino biscuits are small, ring-shaped biscuits – crunchy biscuit on the outside with the original variety having milk chocolate on the outside. A long-standing item on Spanish biscuits shelves, they have been around for over 40 years. However, they have seen quite a lot of controversy from their name with some believing them to be offensive to those from the Philippines. That said, the likely reason behind their name is that they are based on the traditional Philippine biscuit “Roquillos” (ring-shaped crunchy biscuits), but because the Spanish already have a product called rosquillos (baked doughnuts) they could not share the same name, and so the name was based on the country they originated from!

Tortas de Aceite de Oliva

Though nothing like the biscuits we enjoy here in the UK, these biscuits are very popular in Spain. Light, crispy and flaky, the ingredient anise is traditionally used – which we’ve included in this box! As with many foods, they have evolved to include other flavours too, such as orange and cinnamon.

They are said to have been invented over one hundred years ago by a woman named Ines Rosales, who sold these simple snacks at Seville train station. They provided an easily portable snack for those passing through and grew in popularity across Spain as a result.

Maria Biscuits

You may recognise these biscuits if you’ve ever had a Rich Tea here in the UK. They are very similar in appearance, although they have a lighter texture and are flavoured with vanilla.

Hugely popular in Spain, these biscuits have a surprising history – they were first invented in London! These were created in 1874 to commemorate the marriage of the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (hence the name!) to the Duke of Edinburgh, and they became well liked across Europe as a result.

Although known within Spain, they truly grew in popularity after the Civil War where – after the poverty they had endured – Spaniards rushed to harvest lots of wheat to obtain the bread and bakery products they had missed. As a result of this excitement, they had a lot of spare wheat, and so extra Maria biscuits were baked to help consume this. As such, Maria Biscuits are often seen as a symbol of the economic recovery of Spain.

Polvorones

The name of these biscuits comes from the Spanish “polvo” meaning powder, and we can see why! These Spanish delicacies are extremely crumbly shortbreads made with almonds. Traditionally a treat at Christmastime, with their lightly spiced, anise flavour and generous dousing of icing sugar, they were only produced between September and January, but these biscuits can now be enjoyed all year round.

Traditionally made with pork fat (although other ingredient substitutes are now available) this was used as a tactic during the Spanish Inquisition to detect those who were of Jewish or Muslim faith in Southern Spain.

Still popular today, Andalusia has the largest production volume – with over 70 factories. That’s a lot of biscuits!

 

Let us know what you think! Until next month…

The Biscuit Baron

Read all about our January Box

January can be a rather difficult month, Christmas is over and for most of us it is back to work and normality. That’s why the Biscuit Baron decided to travel to a country which boasts of warm and exotic climates, a country which will make you forget all about the January blues.  That country is the crackertastic Philippines. Sit back and make January that bit easier by indulging in on one of the flavoured crackers which dominate the biscuits produced in this country.

Grahams – Honey flavoured

Although these might not be much on their own these semi sweet crackers are famously combined with chocolate in the Philippines to make the ideal desert.  All you have to do is melt some chocolate, add 2 cups of milk, 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour and whisk together over a medium heart. Once it thickens break in the crackers and mould in ice cube containers. Drop in a pop cycle stick and put in the freezer. We promise that it is worth the effort!

Sunflower crackers- Strawberry and Lemon flavoured

These are probably the highlight of the box for us this month and love both the lemon and strawberry flavour equally.  We would describe these crackers as delightfully flavoured which will have you wanting more. There is less of these in the box compared to the other biscuits, so you might want to savour these and really take your time to enjoy them.

Butter Cream- Ensaymada flavoured

Ensaymada is a sugary buttery pastry which originates from Mallorca, Spain and dates all the way back to the 17th century. However, in recent years it has becomes a sweet treat notorious with the Philippines who have put a cheesy twist on the original recipe by adding, you guessed it, cheese! These crackers really convey that sugary cheesy flavour which although, unusual is without doubt tasty.

Magic Creams – Chocolate flavoured

Sticking with the cracker theme, these Magic Creams are pretty much what you would expect for a chocolate flavoured cracker. Reliable and consistent, they are great for just munching on in front of the TV. Our top tip would be too dunk them into a mug of hot chocolate, as is there anything that compliments chocolate better than more chocolate!

Otap- Purple Yam flavoured

Before we even tasted these biscuits, we were instantly drawn to the unusual appearance of them. A bright purple coloured sugar biscuit which is flavoured with a vegetable called a Purple Yam, we certainly had never come across anything like them before. We soon found out that the Filipinos are massive fans of purple coloured food with many of their snacks being flavoured by Purple Yam, also referred to as Ube. Its not just the appearance of these biscuits which make it unique, but the texture is rather strange too. We will leave you to make up your mind about this one!

Read all about our December Box

Christmas will soon be upon us and to help celebrate the festive period, this month we have packed your box with delightful biscuits all the way from Poland. Unlike traditional Christmas in the UK, Christmas in Poland is generally celebrated on Christmas Eve which involves a day of fasting before feasting on sight of the first star in the sky. Don’t worry though we are not advocating that you save these biscuits until Christmas Eve but rather encourage you to crack them open and spread the biscuit love with all your loved ones throughout the season!

 Merry Christmas from the Biscuit Baron!

Dr Gerard Magic Creams

A cream and cherry filling sandwiched between two biscuits we can see these being a big hit with all our friends and family this month! What did perplex us about these however is the unusual phrasing of the filling….. creamy flavoured cream!  Regardless of this slight anomaly we think they are a delicious biscuit.

Tago Piernik duo

Piernik is the name for traditional polish gingerbread which is a firm favourite at Christmas time and we can see why. These soft heart shaped biscuits are a perfect match with a mug of hot mulled wine on a cold winter night. The layer of chocolate only makes them harder to resist.

Dr Gerard crispy biscuits with icing sugar

These hard and crispy biscuits shaped like little croissants are the perfect combination of crispy biscuit and sweetness. Warning: Try not eat them all as the icing sugar around your mouth will be a definite give away!

Beskidzkie Paluszki

Although subtle, you can definitely taste the cheese and tomato flavour in these stick snacks. Shut your eyes and its almost like having a margarita pizza in stick form. If you are not sure, do what we did and eat them all one after the other just to be on the safe side!

Beskidzkie Nadziewane

These salty shelled stick type snacks are commonly found in houses across Poland and are similar in texture to pretzels in the UK. We can’t wait to dish them up to our guests over the holidays as part of our festive snack table.

Familyne Wafle

A delicious crunchy wafer biscuit with a zingy lemon filling, these are a true delight which will have you coming back for more. The classic polish biscuit will soon be a family favourite with everyone in your household.

Grzeski

One for kids and adults alike, these wafer bars coated with milk chocolate and filled with a cocoa cream filling are delicious with a cup of tea as an after-dinner treat. Be sure to get your hands on this one quickly as they will be sure to go as soon as the box is open.

Read all about our November Box

Welcome to your November box! What better way to get through the winter months than some lovely biscuits to devour as the weather turns that bit colder.  This month we head to Turkey, a country which you may not associate as being a biscuit capital of the world but that’s what we love about this country, – its ability to constantly surprise!  One of the oldest civilisations in the world, Turkey is full of wonder and excitement and the biscuits don’t disappoint either. Turkey is also home to one of the largest producers of tea so we recommend getting hold of some traditional Riza Tea to accompany with this bumper sized box. Enjoy!
Halley Snack
Think Wagon Wheels without the jam. These bitesize biscuit goodies have a great texture, the combination of the soft gooeyness of the marshmallow and the crunchiness of biscuit makes every bite as delicious as the last.
Biskrem Apple
These biscuits are definitely the marmite of the box. One half of the Biscuit Baron duo loved them and the other wasn’t too keen. They are basically apple pie in biscuit form so love or hate them, you decide!
Eti Puf
The founder of Eti, Firuz Kanatlı, created the company in 1961 in an aim to bring a taste of happiness across Turkey. He believed that each biscuit he produced was a little ray of happiness and we definitely have to agree with him. These are probably our favourite in this month’s box and we love how convenient and deliciously moreish they are! Marshmallow has never tasted so good!
Rondo Classic with Strawberry Cream
A much-loved biscuit across the country and we can see why. The delicious strawberry flavour sandwiched in a buttery textured biscuit has made it a firm favourite in all well stocked biscuit tins in Turkey.
Hanimeller
Crunchy and moreish with a brilliant texture for dunking, these are ideal for the biscuit lovers who enjoy a classic chocolate chip cookie. Stick the kettle on, pour a cup of your favourite hot drink and get dunking!
Biskrem Cherry with Chocolate
Containing a Chocolate and Cherry filling, we think these deliciously unique biscuits contain a combination of flavours which work brilliantly together. Warning, once the packet is opened, it won’t take long until you to have devoured them all, leaving just a trail crumbs around you as evidence.

Read all about our October Box

Welcome to your October Biscuit Baron Box! This month we head to China, one of the most densely populated countries in the world and the home of tea, Tai Chi and Feng Shui. When you think of China, most people don’t automatically think of biscuits which is why we were so excited to sample some of the goodies popular in this country. We definitely recommend making yourself comfy and sitting down with a cup of Chinese tea for this box!

Fortune Cookies,

The origin of these instantly recognisable cookies is something that has been heavily debated throughout the years. Despite it being unlikely that they are a Chinese tradition (There is in fact no direct translation in the Chinese language), they have become an iconic desert in Chinese Restaurants across the world. Encased in each of these cookies is that small white piece of paper which has your ultimate destiny on it! It’s no surprise that ours informed us that we will be travelling and eating more biscuits.

Garden Wafers

The company who makes these delicious strawberry wafers was founded in 1926 by two cousins, Tse Fong Cheung and Wah O. Wong. As well as making biscuits they also specialise in bread which they supplied to the Chinese Army during World War 2. We have tried similar biscuits in the UK but love the distinct strawberry flavour that these wafers offer.

Hello Panda- Matcha Tea flavour

Although not produced in China these adorable biscuit characters are widely popular in the area. With the origin of all tea being from China, matcha tea flavoured ones seemed like a natural choice for our box and we couldn’t wait to try them! Matcha tea which translates as powdered green tea is believed to have been developed by Japanese Buddhists who brought the tea back from China and prepared it as part of their rituals. What we want to know is whether the health benefits of this tea still count if it is in biscuit form…

Egg Rolls

This sweet egg roll is nothing like what you would expect. Each roll of flaky goodness has a melt in your mouth crumbly texture. This biscuit can often be found being made along the road side in certain regions of China and is usually made with only 4 basic ingredients! We found that these were not great for dunking in tea so decided to dunk ours in melted chocolate instead which we thought was a match made in heaven.

Pejoy- Cheese Cake flavour

Light, Crispy and sweet, we just couldn’t put down these tube-shaped biscuits! The hint of cream cheese wrapped in a sweet shell is strong enough to really get a taste of cheese cake without overpowering it. At The Biscuit Baron we love to mix things up and paired these up with a big bowl of ice cream which instantly jazzed up our after dinner desert.

Want Want Rice Crackers

This month’s savoury option saw us choose a very unique flavoured rice cracker. We had tasted many others and found them to be rather bland but this cannot be said about these strong flavoured crackers. These light and airy snacks that hint at a taste of the orient, are both hot and spicy and have a slight BBQ note. We replaced our usual prawn crackers with these and found them to be a refreshing change which added a new depth to our Chinese takeaway.

Read all about our September Box!                            

[siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Media_Video”][/siteorigin_widget]

We wanted to start The Biscuit Barons journey somewhere familiar but somewhere that would also let you experience an unique flavour and taste a selection of delicious biscuits you may have never tried before! Italy being the home of good food and coffee, seemed like the natural choice!

When choosing our biscuits, we tried to select flavours which would transport your taste buds to Italy itself so we included Biscotto (The Italian word for biscuits) bursting with traditional almond, lemon and olive flavours. Flavours which we think are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of Italian coffee.

Here is the rundown of the exciting biscuits packed into our first box:

Tenerezze Limone Mulino Bianco 

When we picked these, we imagined ourselves sitting outside a little cafe in the Italian sun, sipping a cappuccino and delving into these delicate little lemon biscuits. These are probably our favourite in the box and if you haven’t quite got that image from looking at them, wait till you try them!

Biscottone Cantucini Cioccolat

Although the modern version of this biscuit is from Tuscany, these twice baked goods can be traced back to Ancient roman times where they were carried by travellers and soldiers alike for long journeys. We can sum them up in two words, delightfully moreish!

Amaretti Balocco

Amaretti have been around since the 17th Century and have been a classic Italian biscuit ever since. We love the way these bite size biscuits melt in the mouth and give a wonderful burst of almond flavour.

Sfoglie Olive Olivia & Marino 

We weren’t sure what to expect with these. We hoped that the olive flavour would be distinct and we were not disappointed! We loved snacking on these with some cream cheese and a sneaky glass of wine in the evening.

                   

Ringo Tubo Vaniglia 

Do you Ringo? We certainly do now! This is the catch phrase coined for these fun-filled sandwich biscuits created in 1967. We think these are great for sharing with all the family including those young at heart adults.

Meet our new Biscuit Taster!

As part of the launch of your new Biscuit subscription box, we wanted to mark the occasion with a once in a lifetime competition to become our official biscuit taster for an entire year. We had lots of entries from enthused biscuit lovers from all across the UK but alas we could only have one winner. We are now delighted to tell you that the jammy person who won this amazing prize was Claire from London.
Claire is originally from Glasgow but now lives in London with her husband and 3-year old daughter. She tells us that she enjoys days out learning about animals and exploring the local area. She is also learning to bake together with her family and they have just mastered chocolate chip cookies. Her favourite biscuit is a fig roll or a garibaldi!
Claire is going to be reviewing The Biscuit Baron Box for us every month so watch out for her posts and reviews!
Don’t worry though, you may not be our official biscuit taster but you can still get your hands on one of our delicious boxes. Just visit our home and you could be receiving amazing and unique biscuits in no time!

Copyright The Biscuit Baron