Biscuit Dunking: The British Tradition That Deserves A Place In The States

The one thing that the British might be most famous for is tea. The beverage is an essential part of daily life in Britain, with 100 million cups enjoyed every day. This statistic has grown since the 1600s, when tea was popularized by royals and became a common drink among wealthier people in Britain. With time, it made its way through all walks of life and is now enjoyed by practically everyone there. Right alongside this important part of British culture is the biscuit dunking tradition. Biscuits, which are more or less what we call cookies in the U.S., make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea with a splash of milk in it. Just don't dunk it for so long that it collapses inside the tea!

The biscuit dunking tradition is also enjoyed by a judge of "The Great British Bake Off," Paul Hollywood. In a chat with Milk Street Radio, he reveals he loves dunking ginger biscuits into his hot cup of tea. Having tea with biscuits seems like such a calming part of daily life, but it's not nearly as much of a thing in the U.S., let alone an enshrined custom.

The U.S. loves its coffee and cookies

It would be splendid if dunking biscuits in tea gained widespread popularity in the States. Yet, the U.S. is a coffee-drinking country at heart. According to Drive Research, around 75% of Americans drink coffee daily.

However, whether it's coffee or tea, it's not for a lack of cookies that the U.S. doesn't partake in biscuit dunking. One survey by The Mirror showed that the four most popular biscuits in Britain are chocolate digestives, shortbread, chocolate fingers, and Jaffa Cakes. Notably, besides the more generic shortbread, these biscuits are all versions of cookies with a layer or coating of chocolate — Brits must like the effect of slightly melted chocolate after dunking biscuits into hot tea. Nevertheless, it's easy to take inspiration from these British biscuits and come up with American counterparts.

A great place to start for biscuit dunking is Oreos. They made it to 16th place in the British survey, proving American cookies can work, too. Other options include Pepperidge Farm's Chessman and Milano cookies, which stay on the shortbread and chocolate themes. Additionally, vanilla wafers or Biscoff could be a tasty pairing with tea. However, it's hard to say if the U.S. is ready to welcome tea as wholeheartedly as the U.K. has. So, to slowly ease into the biscuit dunking tradition, black coffee might be a good place to start.