Thursday, 10 August 2017

Three Minute Thursday #5 - This One Really Takes The Biscuit

McVities Digestives are 125 years old this year, and probably Britain's favourite biscuits. They are currently made at their factory in Harlesden, North London, which opened in 1902 - although Robert McVitie first began selling biscuit sin Scotland in 1830.

They're called "Digestive" because they were originally marketed as a health food which aided digestion.
I am particularly fond of those which have dark chocolate on one side 
- I used to say 'on the top' till Gregs Wallace's recent programme about the factory explained that the chocolate is actually put on the bottom.
But here I am on holiday and my Sainsbury's Grocery order arrived yesterday - and included a pack of these [I'm being thrifty here]
There is an awful lot you can do with a simple digestive in three minutes...

  1. You can boil a kettle to make a cuppa, and sit down with your drink and biscuit to read a blog post.
  2. If you need to make a cheesecake, melt some butter in a pan, whizz up a handful of bix* in the processor, and then combine to make the cheesecake base.
  3. If you want almost instant individual puds, pop a biscuit in the bottom of a large ramekin or small pudding bowl, and then add fruit [sliced, canned, or jam] finally top with something gooey [yogurt, Angel Delight, whipped cream] 
  4. If savoury nibbles are called for, then cut out some cheese shapes and make easy canapes 
  5. Put a biscuit or two in the middle of the chopping board, and crush gently by rolling over with a rolling pin [jam jar, wine bottle - whatever is to hand] Thsi will give lovely golden crumbs to sprinkle onto of ice cream or trifle etc
  6. Do the American Girl Guide thing, as enjoyed by Snoopy etc, and make 'smores to eat at your summer barbecue [that is, assuming the rain holds off for long enough to light the thing!]
One important thing to mention - in the USA, they call these Graham Crackers, named for Sylvester Graham, the 19th Century Preacher and advocate of the Temperance Movement [no relation to Billy G. the Evangelist] and also marketed as 'health' food. When first married [before internet search engines] I was given a recipe from a Christian group in the States- which had a 'conversion' glossary, explaining a stick of butter was 4oz, and that Graham crackers were cream crackers. The resulting cheesecake was utterly gross!!
Here's an ad from years ago, when McV's were suggesting alternative ways of serving their bix.
My Mum, a usually stickler for spelling always wrote bix on her shopping list as a shorthand for biscuits.

You can do a lot of useful things with a digestive biscuit in 3 minutes, whether or not you dunk it in your drink first. 
Has anybody else got recipes which use this delicious and versatile snack?


  1. I'm giggling over the cream cracker cheesecake!! Ha ha! Sounds like the time my Mum thought she was putting thickening granules into beef gravy and it turned out to be Drinking chocolate! I do like Digestives! They are nice and simple!

  2. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one who has cooking disasters!

  3. As a Canadian .. I discovered Digestives while in India .. love them .. bought them by weight at the local shop .. excellent with chai. I can now buy them in the local supermarket in Canada. Also love graham wafers .. use them for my Mom's Sinbad Squares (so called because one is prone to gluttony when they are close to hand). I have substituted digestives in recipes when graham wafers weren't available while living in Pakistan but the end product is definitely sweeter.

  4. Well you've made me hungry! Fun our different our biscuits in the U.S are so different from your biscuits. We'd call yours a hard cookie? Thanks for stopping by my blog and telling me about your "Coat of Many Colors." Wish you had a picture?

    1. Sadly I never took a picture of my coat, and now I wish I had a reminder of it...

  5. I was so surprised to see the biscuits are coated on the bottom. It was a bit disappointing, as I was waiting to see the chocolate pouring on the biscuits in a lush way. Well, at least I learned how biscuits are made. That show, Inside the Factory, is very interesting, isn't it? :)

    1. It IS a fascinating programme, I am always impressed by the machinery, and the diligent workers who spot the defective products


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