A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1884
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 02 Nov 2016, 18:00

Half covered by entries in other threads,  there is  a bit more yet to offer on this topic, I think. Youngest generation call them cookies now and  the coffee bars sell only large fat dollopy ones. (The USA has much to be blamed for - and finding out how their rotten old election cookie crumbles in now on count down time.)

Biscuit dunking is still questioned in some places. When asked if I would dunk my biscuit at the Ritz I said I would not have bl****y  been served one there. (And yes, I would have if they did.) I think the good  ol' crisp biscuits are on the way out fewer of that selection are on offer but messed up stuff with chocolate are.  Let's hear it for digestives..... or are you now all Florantines and cookies?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 08:54

Priscilla wrote:
Half covered by entries in other threads...



Half-covered! Good grief - we've only mentioned custard creams and, briefly, the Huntley and Palmer factory (founded in 1822)! This topic could be huge and controversial, with people unwittingly revealing all sorts about themselves. I'm wary - the potential for snobbery, élitism and for savage vitriol when discussing biscuits is enormous. Even Morrison's have a "Better Biscuit" section.   Fighting  

Oscar Wilde once said that the English (bless them) apply their class system even to continents (he was referring to Upper and Lower Canada): biscuits, too, of course, can be U and non-U.

I would never offer a Jammy Dodger, a Pink Wafer or that utter abomination, a Lemon Puff, to a guest; and a Chocolate Bourbon, although sounding deceptively refined, has the same unfortunate lower middle-class connotations as "serviette". Anything that is vaguely French - and therefore "trying to be posh" -  is suspect in England. I think Hob Nobs are OK, but I'm not sure. Could be a bit of a biscuit faux pas. Oh and Wagon Wheels - do they still make them? You wouldn't offer the Queen a Wagon Wheel.

"Wafers", however, actually go back a long way and used to be very posh indeed: they were often served with hippocras (an expensive spiced wine) at significant events like weddings and christenings at the Tudor court. I bet MM has given us a Tudor recipe somewhere. Such "wafers", however, were not the lurid pink of the modern biscuit; they were delicate, almost white, and were usually rather beautifully embossed with coats-of-arms and such like. I suppose you could say they were like a mini-waffle - very difficult to get right, apparently.



PS Just found this:

http://www.lucyworsley.com/how-to-make-a-tudor-wafer/





I note from the above that Crawfords, like Huntley and Palmer, have been manufacturing biscuits since the early 1800s That really surprised me - I imagined the big biscuit companies would have been late Victorian affairs.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 08:58

On the dish-of-the-day thread Temp was asking about the history of custard creams.

Courtesy of Nice cup of tea and a sit down.com is this:

"We believe that the Custard Cream was probably more likely Huntley & Palmers (Reading) rather than Peek Frean (Bermondsey South London) as Peek Frean claim that their first cream sandwich biscuit was the Bourbon, which seems to date more recently than the Custard Cream. Another company who dates from the same period and with a long association with the Custard Cream is Crawfords, now part of United Biscuits. Its entirely possible that it was indeed Crawfords who produced the Custard Cream, they were based in Edinburgh but opened a new factory in Liverpool in 1897. This is about the time the Bourbon was introduced (1910) which indicates that the mechanisation required to produce a sandwich cream on an industrial scale was in existence."

"The baroque markings are in-fact Victorian fern fronds which were in vogue in the latter half of the 19th century. The Victorians were also very keen on puddings and the new eggless Birds Custard powder introduced in the mid 19th Century was being referenced in the Custard Cream."


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 08:59; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : crossed posts - will post anyway)
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 09:12

Thanks, MM.

What a wonderful site - I like their "Biscuit of the Week" section.

They do still make Wagon Wheels. I love this tin: I really want one (the tin, not a biscuit):


Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 09:18

Yes it looks a fun site ... I haven't explored it much yet but I did think of you and your gas boiler (how is that by the way?) when I read this email asking for biscuity advice:

"Tomorrow I have four gentlemen from the plumbing, heating and electrical professions arriving to replace my boiler, radiators and pipework. I already plan to leave out supplies of robustly flavoured teabags, coffee and white sugar but what is an appropriate biscuit to leave out for them? I do not wish to appear extravagant and therefore an easy touch, but I also do not want to appear cheap. Pink wafers, I'm sure we all agree, would be highly inappropriate but what would be the right thing? Your archives suggest the plain HobNob is a good choice for builders. Does this also apply to plumbing and heating engineers?

When they visited last week to assess the job, they sounded distinctly like Yorkshiremen which adds another angle to the question as I'm in London so I guess they're down here on contract or something."

.....
Oh dear, and how so very English: anxiety about committing a biscuity faux pas. Embarassed
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1884
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 09:26

Hobnobs are a parvenu pseudo country cooking breed of biscuit. The first line effort was Abbey Crisp or Crunch or something like that but with decline in church attendance  Abbey was reformed/converted: c.f. the rising popularity of cf Stinking Bishop cheese. Oats are in so in the biscuit rankings  acceptable.

I'd offer the Queen Ginger snaps but on second thoughts with Harry back in the lime light, perhaps not.

And Temps, in my half covered remarked, you forget shortbread, madam. Disliked by our resident  logician (?) (unsure how to define his role and not get slammed) shortbread has already made an entry or two. ferv might supply further detail as more of an insider, as it were.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 09:43

You, or was it Temp, might dismiss the chocolate bourbon, which was indeed named after the European Royal house, as "trying to be posh", but the biscuit's name is decidedly better than its original. When launched by Peak Frean in 1910 it was called the 'Creola', which sounds like a powdered cream-substitute - the sort of vile pre-sweetened concoction that used to come in paper sachets to accompany the cup of instant coffee that was all they served in 1970s hotels.

Hob Nobs are definitely johnny-come-latelys to the biscuit world - they were introduced by McVities only in 1985.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:00

Priscilla wrote:
 

Hobnobs are a parvenu pseudo country cooking breed of biscuit.


See - it's starting already. Hohnobs are most definitely not "parvenu" - they are a particular favourite of mine.


One of my friends recently enrolled on a course hoping to train as a counsellor. She was astounded when all the trainees were asked to choose a biscuit they would like to be ( Rolling Eyes ). I personally have never thought about being a biscuit but I was, I admit, quite intrigued. "What did you say you wanted to be?" I asked.
 She replied, "A Bath Oliver."

I think Priscilla would approve.  Smile

Bath Olivers, of course, are everso posh - er - well, I think they are. I wouldn't want to be one, though.

From Wiki:

The reference to Bath Oliver biscuits by Mary Norton in 'The Borrowers' 1952 evokes an Edwardian gentility: ..."and it would comfort him to see, each evening at dusk, Mrs. Driver appear at the head of the stairs and cross the passage carrying a tray for Aunt Sophy with Bath Oliver biscuits and the tall, cut-glass decanter of Fine Old Pale Madeira."

EDIT: Oh, MM's at it now. There is nothing wrong with Hob Nobs. You are all horrible snobs. (Is it Hob Nob or Hobnob or HobNob?) Anything that describes itself as "oaty and nobbly" is very English and quite acceptable. Lovely for dunking.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1884
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:08

Me? - I'd be A Carrs water biscuit. Crisp and not sweet, attracting unwarranted notions of superiority - looks better in navy blue wrapping; goes well with strong cheese.
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:12

I am much exercised by our Dear Leader's aversion to shortbread, there must be some deep, psychological story there. Was his childhood blighted by the enforced consumption of those nasty, brick hard, fingers made with unspecified 'shortenings' that come in the much derided tins with a an over colourised picture of Eilan Donan or a couthy cottage scene on the front?

Like most 'traditional' dishes there is much debate over the correct recipe, my great aunt favoured a proportion of rice flour in the mix, I prefer cornflour but recently I've gone all furrin and included a tablespoon of ground almonds as well which makes it something like an almond sable  biscuit. Lots of butter though, that's essential.

Then there's shape - round, fingers or petticoat tails. Here is some remarks regarding the origin of the latter description:

There are two theories regarding the name of these biscuits. It has been suggested that the name "petticoat tail" may be a corruption of the French petites gatelles ("little cakes").
However these traditional Scottish shortbread biscuits may in fact date back beyond the 12th century. The triangles fit together into a circle and echo the shape of the pieces of fabric used to make a full-gored petticoat during the reign of Elizabeth I. The theory here is that the name may have come from the word for the pattern which was 'tally', and so the biscuits became known as 'petticoat tallis'.


A question for our resident food historian: if biscuits are 'twice baked', why aren't they? Were they ever apart from those made by drying out bread? Biscotti are the only ones I can think of today that have two spells in the oven - apart from the occasions when I whip mine out too soon and they need to go back in for a bit longer.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:12

Bath Olivers have a very long pedigree. It is said that Dr. William Oliver (1695-1764) invented them as a type of digestive biscuit for patients taking Bath's restorative waters. He bequeathed the recipe to his coachman, a Mr. Atkins, together with a sack of flour and enough money to set him up as a baker. The recipe was been handed-down through successive owners of the biscuit business to James Fortt, whose family were making 80,000 a day at the peak of production in 1952.

I can even give you a recipe, from 'The Bread And Biscuit Baker's And Sugar-Boiler's Assistant',  by Robert Wells (1890):

78. - Bath Oliver Biscuits.
1 quart of milk, 1 lb. of butter, 2 ozs. of German yeast, 6 ½ lbs. of flour. Make the milk warm, add the sugar, yeast and a handful of flour to form a ferment, let it ferment for an hour and a half. Rub the butter into the remaining flour and make all into a nice smooth dough; let it stand about two hours, then roll it out thin; cut the biscuits out with a cutter about three inches in diameter, dock them well, place on clean tins sprinkled with water, wash over with milk when you have them all off, put them in a steam press or drawers for half an hour, and bake in a cool oven.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:15

The case of Jaffa Cakes. Chocolate covered cakes or chocolate covered biscuits?
wiki:
In the United Kingdom, value added tax is payable on chocolate-covered biscuits, but not on chocolate-covered cakes. McVities defended its classification of Jaffa Cakes as cakes at a VAT tribunal in 1991, against the ruling that Jaffa Cakes were biscuits due to their size and shape, and the fact that they were often eaten in place of biscuits. McVities insisted that the product was a cake, and allegedly produced a giant Jaffa Cake in court to illustrate its point. The product was assessed on the following criteria:
The product's name was regarded as a minor consideration.
The ingredients were regarded as similar to those of a cake, producing a thin cake-like batter rather than the thick dough of a biscuit.
The product's texture was regarded as being that of a sponge cake.
The product hardens when stale, in the manner of a cake.
A substantial part of the Jaffa Cake, in terms of bulk and texture, is sponge.
In size, the Jaffa Cake is more like a biscuit than a cake.
The product was generally displayed for sale alongside other biscuits, rather than with cakes.
The product is presented as a snack and eaten with the fingers, like a biscuit, rather than with a fork as a cake might be. The tribunal also considered that children would eat them in "a few mouthfuls", in the manner of a sweet.

The court found in favour of McVities and ruled that the product should be considered a cake, meaning that VAT is not paid on Jaffa Cakes in the United Kingdom.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:24

"That takes the biscuit" is a very odd expression - I bet it baffles furriners. I wonder what was the origin of this saying? Got to go out now, so haven't time to look it up.

I thought a Carr's Water Biscuit was very similar to a Bath Oliver? I like cheese on Hovis little square digestive biscuits - I always pick them out of the "Biscuits For Cheese" tins (such tins, I suspect, are naff too - gosh who would have though biscuits could be such a social minefield).
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 10:46

ferval wrote:
If biscuits are 'twice baked', why aren't they? Were they ever apart from those made by drying out bread? Biscotti are the only ones I can think of today that have two spells in the oven - apart from the occasions when I whip mine out too soon and they need to go back in for a bit longer.

The name biscuit, meaning twice cooked, comes about because biscuits were originally first baked in a hot oven and then dried out in a cool oven. Remember this is when ovens had to be fired using faggots of brushwood until the oven brickwork was at full temperature. Then the ashes were raked out and the interior quickly swabbed to try and clear the soot. Then the bread or biscuits etc put in using a baker's paddle, and finally the door closed and often actually sealed with pastry or clay. It then all cooked until the baker judged it done whereupon the seal was broken and everything taken out - hopefully correctly cooked as it wasn't a simple matter of just closing the door again, turning the knob up, and giving it another ten minutes. While bread was a universal staple, with everyone high and low consuming huge quantities every day, the business of baking it was nevertheless very laborious, hot, dirty, time-consuming and stressful. Hence the need to fully utilise an oven as the temperature fell, having first managed to get it to a high temperature.

So, having baked the bread and biscuits the oven was still hot (now at a medium heat) and could be used to bake other stuff like pies or tarts and to braise things in dishes. When these lower temperature/slower cooked dishes were done, the oven, now at low heat, could then be recharged with the already baked biscuits to fully dry them out (along with other stuff that needed very long low temperature drying, such as grain that had got wet or sliced fruit for winter storage). Biscuits were not originally delicate nibbly things to dunk in the morning cup of ale, but were a means of preserving ready-made food for voyages (and winter although for most people who lived and worked at home, corn was better kept as un-milled grain, to be ground to flour only as required).

The term bescuit or biscuite thus came to mean any hard-baked product. From the 14th century onwards, when sweetened or spiced dessert biscuits made with eggs and butter and usually just cooked in a single bake, started to become popular amongst those that could afford them, the same biscuite name was used. These were lighter, tastier biscuits but since they were not just made of flour and water (and the water driven off by the second long drying process) they would not keep for long. Nevertheless the biscuit name stuck (as did the "decorative" pin holes that you still see on digestives, bourbons, rich teas etc ... these were originally holes made with a skewer or fork to help the biscuits dry-out during the second bake, rather than being a fancy decoration).


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 13:43; edited 4 times in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 11:02

Hardtack or Ship's Biscuits;

Hardtack



Last edited by Triceratops on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 11:06; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 11:04

From the American Civil War:

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 11:13

In the Deep South of the US, a popular dish is Biscuits and Gravy. In this case, the Biscuits are more akin to Scones than hard biscuits;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5638
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 11:42

The Codex Theodosanius, late Roman empire, specified in law what every soldier should have by entitlement regarding his standard diet; "buccellatum ac panem, vinum quoque atque acetum, sed et laridum, carnem verbecinam". It's actually quite a protein-rich diet, what with all the bacon and mutton, not to mention the wine and the vinegar (which was also potable wine as they meant it, just crappy). However it's the "bucellatum" which probably predominated and therefore came first on the list, even ahead of bread. The stuff was so durable that it has survived volcanic eruption and two thousand years underground, emerging pretty much as it must also have appeared to unfortunate Roman soldiers, and their even more unfortunate teeth:



In Ireland we made our dash for freedom an opportunity to divest ourselves of all that snobby and inverted-snobby class rubbish the English seem obsessed with, so our home-originated biscuits post-independence reflect rather more modern aspirations which, if we go by those bikkies which became an absolute standard on Irish tea tables, would tend to suggest that having divested ourselves of our British identity we now desperately wanted to become South African or Japanese.





Such is the arrogance of British assumptions that I have even heard certain of its subjects (they are not citizens - as recent events have proved) of that septic isle claim the aforementioned confectioneries as their own. Colonialism indeed! We'll compromise on the fig rolls, though. In fact we'll even extradite and repatriate them if the Brits want.

However just to show there is no actual animosity between ourselves and our once respectable neighbours now in their ga-ga years going through a rather deranged hissy fit, spluttering wild and uncouth execrations to all and sundry - even their oldest mates, issuing threats of nose-cutting-off-face-spiting etc, and threatening to raise the wall between our gardens by several meters, I read only recently that the most popular biscuit of choice in the greener patch next door to them is still their very own McVities Chocolate Digestive.

Or at least the bikkie is still "their" very own - but only until such time as the SNP get their act together again.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 12:07

So it was probably the Irish love of Chocolate Digestives that was responsible for this bit of pollution ... when RV Riverdance ran aground at Blackpool spilling her cargo of thousands and thousands of packets of Chocolate Digestives along five miles of Lancashire coastline in January 2008.





And well done for finding that pic of buccellatum ... I was looking for something like that for the dish of the day for 3rd October 52 BC.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5638
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 12:28

Had it run aground a bit later in the voyage along some remote part of the Irish coast it would by now already have been made into the Hibernian version of "Whisky Galore!". (Produced by the Irish Film Board with assistance from the EU Cultural Fund - yah, sucks!)
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 13:53





Original Perkin Recipe 1889

From Mrs. Jennifer MacRae Howie: “My mother was a professional chef and kept her own book, so there I found a recipe [for Perkins] which is credited to her grandmother. My husband’s aunt was a domestic science teacher in Aberdeen and she … agreed that my great grandmother’s recipe is what we would know as a Perkin … GreatGrandMa Walker was from Motherwell“.

Grandma Walker’s Perkins

Recipe Ingredients: ½ lb plain flour; 4 oz butter; ½ lb oatmeal finely ground; 6 oz sugar; 2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; 1 tsp ground ginger; ½ tsp mixed spice; 6 tbsp golden syrup.

Recipe Method: Rub the fat into the flour until it as closely resembles breadcrumbs as you can manage. Add all the other ingredients and mix to a firm dough. (The syrup binds the mix and you may need to add more depending on atmospheric conditions). Grease a baking sheet and drop teaspoons full of the mix onto it. They will spread during cooking so leave room for this. Bake at 350F until brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before transferring to a cooling rack. Eat alone or spread with butter.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 14:59

nordmann wrote:

In Ireland we made our dash for freedom an opportunity to divest ourselves of all that snobby and inverted-snobby class rubbish the English seem obsessed with...

I bet you didn't.


"Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.”
(That Oscar Wilde again.)

For "Society" read the English upper class. Still true today, of course, whatever we may like to pretend about our egalitarian society.

We do know it's rubbish and laugh at ourselves - well, most of the time we do, when we are not worrying about it all, that is; and unfortunately we do worry, or at least the middle classes do. Worrying about it is a dead giveaway, of course. Really posh people never think about "class" - they don't have to. I might start a thread on Class and/or Snobs - I don't think we've ever had such a topic. Is it just British society that is class-ridden? Surely not -  you get all that French stuff about "the bourgeoisie". And then there are the intellectual snobs - surely the French intellectuals are guilty there? And they never laugh at themselves.

Sorry, wandered off biscuits - just talking to myself.


Last edited by Temperance on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 16:55; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 15:09

Yes, those are Scottish perkins, the kind I remember. It wasn't until I ventured south that I discovered the other kind of perkin, the sticky, spongy, gingerbread kind.

Other examples of the Scotland - England divide when it comes to naming food are turnips and crumpets and then there's the names of joints of meat although I think these are fading somewhat - I haven't seen a pope's eye steak or a gigot of lamb labelled as such for ages.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 16:37

ferval wrote:
Other examples of the Scotland - England divide [are] when it comes to naming food .....
 

 .... and in pronouncing it too:

I asked the maid in dulcet tone,
To fetch me a buttered scone.
But the silly girl has been and gone
And brought me a buttered scone.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 16:44

ferval wrote:




Yes, those are Scottish perkins, the kind I remember. It wasn't until I ventured south that I discovered the other kind of perkin, the sticky, spongy, gingerbread kind.


You mean parkin, not perkin.

A pair of perkins.

A piece of parkin.

Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 17:21

Perkin, parkin, it seems to be largely interchangeable. Not so with perky and parky though.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 17:49

ferval wrote:
Perkin, parkin, it seems to be largely interchangeable.  


But parkin isn't a biscuit - it's a cake!!!  You slice it! They are not "largely interchangeable".

Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 18:32

Parkin is indeed a cake.

But I bet you didn't know this, Temp - one of the earliest recorded usages of the word 'Parkin' as a cake was in the court case of Rex v Jagger at York Assizes of 1797 where a husband attempted to poison his wife with "a cake of parkin laced with arsenic". It's also known from Carr's (no relation to the biscuit makers) liguistic study; 'Dialect of Craven, in the West-Riding of the County of York', (1828), where it is described as; "Parkin, a cake made of treacle and oat meal, commonly called a treacle-parkin."
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:02

Wiki does not lie!  

Parkin or Perkin is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal and black treacle,[1] which originated in northern England.

and the biccies


In Scotland Perkins (also known as Parkins) are oat biscuits, with very close roots and ingredients to the ginger, treacle and oat cake of Northern England, and in particular Yorkshire.

I like both, whatever they are called and they're pronounced the same anyway.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:29

Wiki lies all the time!!

I cannot accept this nonsense, and I shall not be moved on this point. Parkin is parkin and a perkin is a perkin. They are quite different. I've never been offered a slice of perkin. The very suggestion is ridiculous.

Fighting

Thank you for your support, MM. And no, I did not know about parkin used as a murder weapon. What a novel idea.
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:44

So is that where Perkin Warbeck went wrong? Had he picked the right vowel, how different might history have been?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:48

And don't mention Simnel cake. I wonder if having a cake - or a biscuit - in one's name is a prerequisite to being a pretender to the English throne?

Did any of the Battenbergs try it on over here?


Last edited by Temperance on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:52; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:51

No lesser authority than Dorothy Wordsworth was also in the parkin-is-cake camp. In her diary for November 6, 1800,  she wrote: ‘I was baking bread, dinner, and parkin....’. Note she uses the generic singular.

Note also the date ... parkin is traditional for Guy Fawkes/All Saint's/Samhain night(s).

Oooo I feel a dish-of-the-day idea coming.

The "Notes and Queries" section of 'The Times' for 1857 has this, regarding parkin:

"A very old custom, coeval, apparently, with the annual bonfires and fireworks, prevails to this day in the West Riding of Yorkshire, of preparing against the anniversary of Gunpowder Plot, a kind of oatmeal gingerbread, if I may so call it, and religiously partaking of it on the “dreadful” day, and subsequently. The local name of the delicacy is Parkin, and it is usually seen in the form of massive loaves, substantial cakes, or bannocks."


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 20:07; edited 3 times in total
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 19:56

Yes, and if you offered the kids a biscuit instead of proper parkin on Saturday night, they'd be well annoyed.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 20:19

Temperance wrote:
I wonder if having a cake - or a biscuit - in one's name is a prerequisite to being a pretender to the English throne?

Perkin (Parkin) Warbeck, Lambert Simnel ... hmm and didn't McVities 'Royal Scot' biscuits originally have a picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, on the packet  ... or at least a Highlander in full tartan? Or am I imagining all that?

PS : Nearly right ... not McVities 'Royal Scot' biscuits, but shortbreads by Black's of Dunoon:

Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 20:30

Also:


Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 20:33

Not forgetting:



Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2545
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 20:37

I think you're imagining it or confusing it with a bottle of Glenfiddich


Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 21:00

I feel Leicester cathedral are missing a trick here ... no biscuits or shortbreads yet but there is a cheese:

Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 21:17

I've got to have some of that - can you get it by mail-order from the Cathedral shop?

Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2813
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 21:26

It's from these people:

Richard III cheese
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 5264
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 21:39

Thanks, MM. Didn't read your post properly - thought you said it was from the Cathedral shop! That's a proper posh website, isn't it - but very pricey. And eight quid for a bit of Wensleydale is a bit steep, even though the Richard III packaging is so amusing. I suppose for a Christmas present for a Richard devotee...
Back to top Go down
Vizzer
Censura
avatar

Posts : 806
Join date : 2012-05-12

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 22:25

Temperance wrote:
And don't mention Simnel cake. I wonder if having a cake - or a biscuit - in one's name is a prerequisite to being a pretender to the English throne?

Did any of the Battenbergs try it on over here?

Not the English throne - but certainly the British throne. And not just 'try it on' either. The mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, the grandmother of the Duke of Cornwall and the great-grandmother of the Duke of Cambridge was a Battenberg.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1884
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 03 Nov 2016, 23:21

Tudor biscuits, knots and jumblies were featured on Bake Off so are now probably common place in copy cat kitchens throughout the realm - and I expect there are Hanover squares too, or is this muddled thinking? I know Shrewsbury has its own biscuit because it was the first thing I cooked at school - and also why I  then took up art as my option. Lincoln biscuits - my favourite above all are no longer made. Doubtless other places have their own bikkies - well not Dagenham, perhaps.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 09:22

Oatcakes are perfect for cheese;



BPC is supposed to have provided the secret recipe for:

Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1884
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 09:46

Decanters are  possibly better than biscuit barrels as a focus. I never happened on one that kept biscuits fresh, nor indeed in which the biscuits fitted very well. The sort we chucked out now sell well as antiques; still a waste of shelf space remains my view.
Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2093
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Greece

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 09:59

nordmann wrote:








Ah one of my favourite from childhood, Iced Vovos! Eat the marshmallow and jam off and then chuck the rest of the biscuit away. Smile  They're Australian as far as I know.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 12:54

Priscilla wrote:
Decanters are  possibly better than biscuit barrels as a focus.

This is my favourite:

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2966
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 14:09

More biscuits with Royal connections:

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5638
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 14:54

Islanddawn wrote:
nordmann wrote:








Ah one of my favourite from childhood, Iced Vovos! Eat the marshmallow and jam off and then chuck the rest of the biscuit away. Smile  They're Australian as far as I know.

What you are admiring there is the humble Mikado, designed by James McCarthy, chief confectionery innovator of the then Jacob's Biscuit Company in Dublin in the early 1930s. Jimmy left behind a pretty impressive record of biscuit and bar designs, many still going strong and copied throughout the world.

Mind you, if the Australians appropriated it and flogged it as their very own Iced Vovos, they were simply emulating some other great confectionery thefts that mark the 20th century out as one of the vilest in the history of global confectionery conflict. The Norwegians have perfected the villainy to a fine art, even nicking the pack designs and fonts, and they're still at it.

A few examples.







Norwegians, as with your Ozzie Vovo, really believe all the above are local inventions.

Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net
 

Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: Customs, traditions, etiquette and ethics-