Let’s get one thing straight. Brits LOVE biscuits. Like, we love them. Friends coming over? Whip out the biscuits. Rubbish day? Have a biscuit. Treating yourself? Biscuit. Treating someone else? Box of biscuits. So, I mean Brits are pretty much experts.
However, if you live in American and hear “biscuits and gravy”, you’ll probably picture this:
Light, flaky savoury bakes smothered in creamy gravy. HOWEVER.
Those in Britain will picture a whole different scene, something like this:
Sweet, crispy pieces, sometimes with a creamy filling, often with chocolate or vanilla flavour, and definitely never to be paired with savoury, salty brown British gravy.
So what is this madness? Why are the words so similar, yet
so different across the pond???
In fact, the actual translation of biscuit means “twice cooked”
– official fancy translation: the Middle French word bescuit is derived from
the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere, coctus (to cook, cooked) – “twice-cooked”.
So… technically Brits version of a biscuit is closer to the real deal! More like a “cookie” as Americans known them, although Brits almost ALWAYS need a cup of tea with a biscuit. ☕
The American “biscuit” is actually similar in texture to a British scone, although (yet another difference) scones are more commonly sweet and served with jam/jelly and/or cream!
If you want to know more about the British biscuits we know and love so much (“cookies”), look no further than the below classics. From custard creams, chocolate sandwich biscuits, buttery shortbread, orange jelly sponge to jammy shortcake – there are a huge variety of different flavours and styles! ???
AND if you love seeing how other countries do their biscuits/cookies, why not take a look at one of our biscuit boxes? Sending an exciting selection of biscuits from a different country each and every month, the perfect treat, gift, or workplace pick-me-up! ???
October’s box sees us travel to Portugal, well-known for its port, football and Pastéis de Nata (egg custard tarts!). With a wealth of history and culture, what you may not know much about are Portugal’s biscuits! Read below to see what we selected to go into our Portugal box.
Nacional Max Strawberry Wafers
These wafers were a surprising texture! The wafer texture differed slightly from biscuits we’re used to here in the UK. Mixed with the creamy straw berry filling, we think the flavouring is reminiscent of a straw berry ice cream cone. The brand Nacional is extremely popular in Portugal, priding itself on Portuguese ingredients as per their slogan “O que e Nacional e bom” – what is national is good!
Diatosta Whole Wheat Toast
These twice baked rusk-like toasts are another item that would have been popular amongst sailors and travellers due to their ability to remain unspoilt for long periods of time. These toasts go extremely well with the topping of your choice – sweet or savoury. We tried these with the options of jam and cream cheese and both made for a delicious snack. Keep an eye out for our blog on recommended toppings!
Cuetara Ricanela Biscuits
These extremely moreish biscuits are light and, crispy with a cinnamon flavour throughout. With a sprinkling of sugar on top they are a delicious sweet treat. A firm favourite at The Biscuit Baron HQ! Slightly reminiscent of Christmas thanks to the spice used, cinnamon is actually a very popular flavouring in Portugal – and is actually used often in savoury dishes such as stews.
Bolacha Belga tipo Caseiro
Belga translates into English as Belgian and these crisp biscuit takes its inspiration from just there. Featuring the waffling texture most accustomed to Belgium and Holland although normally softer these crisp biscuits go well with any hot drink of choice. Not too sweet they make a great option if you fancy a light tea accompaniment but nothing too sickly.
Bolacha de Água e Sal
Translating as Water and Salt these water biscuits have a long history mostly favoured with sailors due to their ability to travel long distances without spoiling. These are popular in Portugal today and is perhaps an added homage to Portugal’s successful maritime history with the added sea salt ingredient.
What did you think of Portugal’s biscuit selection? Let us know – share your score card on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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