Whether they are cookies or biscuits to you (we’ll stick to biscuits here), these little baked treats inspire real passion and deep national pride. From the US staple Oreo to the UK’s beloved Hobnob, this list is a world series in the literal (non-American) sense, in that it actually spans the world. Which one takes the biscuit for you?
The daddy. The boss. The unstoppable biscuit (Americans read: cookie) that has been bringing taste buds joy for over 100 years now as Oreo had its official centenary on March 6 2012.
Almost 500 billion Oreo cookies have been sold worldwide during those 100 years of operation. Just biting through that dark biscuit exterior and into the fluffy vanilla centre should tell you everything you need to know about why it has been so successful.
UK: Chocolate Digestive
There’s always that little bit of debate with it comes to digestives. Some prefer dark chocolate, others milk chocolate, whereas some stick to the simple plain digestive for their biscuit needs!
However, when it comes to cold, hard fact, the sales figures speak for themselves. McVities chocolate digestives are the best selling biscuit in the UK. American travel writer Bill Bryson even went so far as to say that the chocolate digestive was “a British masterpiece”.
Aus & NZ: TimTam
The endless biscuit debate rages to this day between the UK and Australia whether the Antipodean Tim Tam or the McVities Penguin is the superior biscuit. If you’ve ever tried a Tim Tam, you’ll know that they have a far weightier, more chocolatey taste.
… Whether that makes them a better biscuit or not is still a question for the ages.
France: Galettes Bretonnes
France’s top contender is thrown into the ring. Year in, year out, these bad boys fill the baskets of British shoppers making that last stop at the Hypermarche before heading home. Light, sweet and almost endless moreish, Galettes Bretonnes may be the finest in French biscuitry!
South Africa: Bakers Romany Creams
A perfect blend of rich chocolate biscuit with a coconut-chocolate filling, these little beauties are the toast of South Africa! Their small size means that you can quite easily polish off 2 or 3 and not feel too guilty.
Germany: Choco Leibniz
Strong and simple, the flavour of Hanover-based Choco Leibniz top biscuit is unmistakable. With the thick layer of rich dark chocolate, there’s nothing delicate about one of these, but for a no-nonsense biscuit, they’re hard to beat.
Scotland: Walkers Shortbread Finger
Such is the appeal of the pure buttery shortbread biscuit taste pioneered by the Walker family that their company has become Scotland’s biggest food exporter. The rush from that first bite of sugary crunchy goodness has secured Walkers shortbread an everlasting place in the hearts (and stomachs) of biscuit fans worldwide!
Japan: Japanese Digestives
Who’d have thunk it? Digestive biscuits going down a storm in Japan? The land of Rising Sun has taken a shine to the classic chocolate digestive in recent years.
They’ve also added their own line of quirky alternatives inspired by the original. If you go to Japan then don’t be surprised to see digestives that are pink, orange and even have certain types of fruit filling!
The biscuit immortalised by comedian Peter Kay who praised their absorbent qualities, making them ideal for dunking into tea. Hobnobs are just behind digestives in the nation’s affections as they are what my grandma would call “a proper biscuit”. No messing about, no frills, have solid oat-based tastiness.
Republic of Ireland: Coconut Creams
If you like you biscuits on the softer side, then the coconut cream is for you. The fluffy marshmallow and coconut combo perfectly accompanies the buttery biscuit base.
Sweden, Portugal, Mexico, India, Spain, South Africa, Costa Rica: Marie
Very similar to the UK’s much-loved Rich Tea biscuits, the Marie requires an honourable mention as a staple biscuit in so many countries. The recipe (and name) originated from London bakery Peek Freans in 1974, when the company invented the biscuit as a tribute to the then-Duke of Edinburgh’s new wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. We can only speculate over whether her Royal Highness was a dunker or a cruncher, but dunking is nigh-on essential with these no-nonsense cookies.
Info source and global biscuit treasure-trove: