Biscuit Varieties

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

biscuit varieties both home baked and factory made, are so numerous that no one has ever catalogued them all, worldwide. The entry for biscuit provides signposts to entries for many kinds. The present entry provides a further selection.

Abernethy biscuit, a plain, semi-sweet Scottish biscuit, sometimes flavoured with caraway seed. Named after Dr John Abernethy (1764–1831), a Scot who became chief surgeon to St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He used to take lunch at a baker’s shop, where he ate ordinary ‘captain’s biscuits’. After he suggested the addition of sugar and caraway, the baker gave the new biscuit his patron’s name; see Marian McNeill (1929).