Column

What the British call ‘biscuit’ is no biscuit, y’all

This column on biscuits vs. biscuits originated on It’s a Southern Thing, one of the companies I write for. I post a portion of the column here and then give a link at the end to the full original column, or you can go straight to the full column now by clicking here now. There’s lots of other stuff to see on It’s a Southern Thing, too.

Y’all know the British are really careless with words, right? They claim to speak the “original” English, yet they keep losing “the,” as in “Take him to hospital.” (Don’t worry, we Americans pick them up and find useful places for them, such as “Let’s go to the Walmarts,” or “Grandma’s down with the bursitis again.” Waste not, want not, Mama always said.)

But one of the word curiosities of our brethren across the pond really jars my preserves: Why do they insist on calling cookies “biscuits” when everyone with a lick of sense knows biscuits are soft, fluffy pillows of warmth and yumminess served with gravy?

Biscuits deserve a place of highest honor among delicious Southern things – right above Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and just below Channing Tatum. Biscuits are the world’s most talented food. Truly, there is nothing biscuits can’t do. They can be eaten plain. They can be topped with chocolate or filled with sausage. They can have blueberries baked into them or spooned on top of them. They can be used as crust or as filler. They can be eaten as an appetizer, a snack, a side dish, a meal or a dessert.

They are even essential to clever turns of Southern phrase. You would never say, “Well, butter my butt and call me a Fig Newton,” or “Butter my butt and call me a Wheat Thin.” No. Only “biscuit” will do.

There is no one in America who doesn’t love biscuits and I can prove it: Raise your hand if you don’t love biscuits. See? No one. Click here to see the full column.

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Kelly Kazek

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