Crumbs! A history of biscuits in 15 fantastic facts – from flatulence cure to phenomenal fuel


Britons love biscuits. But how much do you really know about them? Here’s how they have been used for booze, breath fresheners and much more besides

No other country buys and eats more biscuits than Britain. In the last month of the national lockdown, shoppers spent an extra £19m on biscuits. There is a biscuit for every occasion: rusks for teething babies, party rings for birthdays, custard creams to dunk in tea, Penguins and Tunnock’s wafers for lunchboxes, water biscuits to eat with cheese. We even assign character traits to different varieties and use them to reveal our personalities. Politicians interviewed on Mumsnet are routinely asked to choose their favourite.

Britain’s favourite snack began life in the ancient world when slices of bread were dried to store them. The Romans called these rusks panis bicoctus (bread twice-baked), and so the original method for making biscuits is embedded in their name. Here are some more fantastic facts about biscuits …

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