|A couple of weeks back the Wife came home from a short trip to Egypt. She was of course on a mission to bring back some proper Egyptian biscuits. Now there are those who believe that the Egyptians invented biscuits thousands of years ago, and the Wife said they found some in a tomb or something which is good. Always nice to have some biscuits with you when going on a long journey, even if it is in your ceremonial solar barge when you're out for an after-life trip with the sun god Ra.
Well it would be hard to think of anything more iconic of Egypt than the great pyramids at Giza. So its terrifically exciting that this weeks biscuits of the week come from just round the corner made by Biscato at Hawamidia, Giza. It turns out according to the Wife's investigations that the Egyptians love cake and biscuits, as well as a cuppa. Well they did pretty much invent the whole civilisation thing we take so much for granted for the last 5,000 years. So its not surprising they took up with tea and sitdowns. Apparently sugar crusted doughnuts are a good way to start your day, breakfast wise when in Cairo. There are shops selling sweet heavy sticky gooey cakes all over, in-fact there was one in the reception of a of the hotel she visited.
As wonders of the world go the pyramids are right up there, perhaps because its a wonder how they were built, and they are also the only surviving wonder of the ancient world. Kufu's Great Pyramid at Giza was the tallest man made structure on earth until the Eiffel tower was built. It consists of some 2,500,000 blocks of limestone each weighing about 2.5 tons, and took 25,000 workers some 16 years to build. Well given that it has taken the best part of three months for the builders to finish off biscuit enthusiast Mandy's conservatory floor, we can only marvel at those figures.
I'm going to wildly postulate that there is some sort of cultural memory that goes back through the Egyptian people to the time of the Pharoahs that gives them their penchant for cakes and biscuits, and that its related to the construction of these ancient monuments. We all know that modern day builders can achieve little without regular tea breaks and a biscuit or seven, and these guys are working with modern tools and a transit van. For the builders of the pyramids there weren't any variable torque hammer drills or those embarrassing soppy mini diggers things that they use to make little trenches. No, the ancients had some copper chisels, rope and some big sticks with which to quarry out blocks of stone weighing as much as a couple of transit vans, then drag them to the top of the tallest thing humans would build for the next 4,500 years. Personally I would be after some very serious tea and sit downs, if that was my career. I re-pointed a small amount of brick work last weekend and it took two pots of tea and a packet of Australian jam rings to get it under control.
Anyhow, what were the biscuits like? Well they both came wrapped in cellophane with the Spicy ones having clear bits where you could see the biscuits inside. Both types according to the ingredients had 100% natural butter, which was wonderful and odd. I'm going to keep a look out for un-natural butter now. The Spicy ones as you can see had a lovely swirl on them, and five holes, and were crisp and cinnamon flavoured. In fact the cinnamon must be from bark rather than stem, and was quite roughly ground and little bits of it could be nibbled from the biscuit. All in all a very nice little biscuit.
The Plain Digesta, wasn't anything like a digestive, in fact it wasn't really like anything that I could easily mention, but it was also quite familiar. Again the use of butter in the recipe gave a very pleasant taste and the biscuits were crisp and baked to a golden colour with a paler colour inside. Quite thin, and no bigger than say a ginger nut they were quite petite. I really liked these and found no difficultly in dispatching half a dozen before I had half emptied my mug.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of these biscuits and there are certainly a some nations nearer to home that would go up in my estimation if they had stuff like this on their supermarket shelves.
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