Yep, we are at the end of National Biscuit Month, observed during the month of September. How do you like your biscuits? Buttermilk, flaky, cheesy or sweet? How do you eat your biscuits? With butter, jam, molasses, sausage gravy or honey? The term biscuit refers to a variety of baked, commonly flour-based food products.
According to Wikipedia, here are some historical, demographic references to the term biscuit:
- The modern-day difference in the English language regarding the word “biscuit” is provided by British cookery writer Elizabeth David in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, in the chapter “Yeast Buns and Small Tea Cakes” and section “Soft Biscuits.”
- It is interesting that these soft biscuits (such as scones) are common to Scotland and Guernsey, and that the term biscuit as applied to a soft product was retained in these places, and in America, whereas in England it has completely died out.
- The Middle French word bescuit is derived from the Latin words bis (twice) and coquere, coctus (to cook, cooked), and, hence, means “twice-cooked”. This is because biscuits were originally cooked in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven. This term was then adapted into English in the 14th century during the Middle Ages, in the Middle English word bisquite, to represent a hard, twice-baked product.
- However, the Dutch language from around 1703 had adopted the word koekje (“little cake”) to have a similar meaning for a similar hard, baked product. The difference between the secondary Dutch word and that of Latin origin is that, whereas the koekje is a cake that rises during baking, the biscuit, which has no raising agent, in general does not (see gingerbread/ginger biscuit), except for the expansion of heated air during baking.
Biscuits are one of our southern staples for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It complements many food items such as fried chicken and sausage. Yet, biscuits can also be the foundation for some wonderful pastry creations, dumplings or appetizers. Just because our national celebration of biscuits ends in September, it is actually a kickoff to a season of delicious recipes that play a major role in comfort food for our souls. YUM!!!