Entertainment

Every office biscuit, definitively ranked

Posted by
Sam Diss
Published

You’re a nice guy who brings biscuits into the office only sporadically, but feels a warm glow of self-respect whenever you do. It’s a good guy thing to do.

At a new office, your first box is sycophancy but the rest is fair game, although this path is fraught with pitfalls. You can’t expect peers to simply like you by dint of the act alone. No, your choice speaks volumes about your efficacy as a colleague, your content as a man, and your quality as a human being who eats/enjoys sugary snacks in the late morning/late afternoon. If you can’t even be trusted to pick a decent packet of biscuits, how the hell are you going to get on in life?

Our writer deep in thought.

We set about finding the ultimate office biscuit. The test was unscientific but principled, imprecise perhaps but inarguable, and best – it’s final. I wore my most academic jumper, ate a packet, then wrote shit down with total faith in the article’s central tenet: what I say goes.

(One note before we begin: a few of you might go “UGHH BUT YOU DIDN’T BUY THE RIGHT *KIND* OF [PARTICULAR BISCUIT] SO YOUR OPINION IS DOGSHIT” to which I tell you: no, shut up, calm down. Chocolate variants of biscuits were largely omitted in favour of the most commonly purchased iteration of said biscuit, and also I just bought whatever was available to the shops five mins away from my office so chill. Okay, bye.)

18. HIGHLAND SHORTBREAD

If I wanted to eat a stick of butter, I’d fucking well do it at home, cheers.

Dunking rating: 0

Satisfaction rating: 0

(per biscuit) 104 cal, fat: 5.8g, saturates: 3.8g, sugars: 3.7g, salt: 0.13g

17. PENGUIN

I can’t believe I’m saying this but... Penguins are crap now. Now they’ve been redesigned and the taste “improved”, they are tiny and unwieldy, thinner than ever, with a new near-metallic tang to the chocolate, a kind of front-of-palate chemical fuckery edge, and they’re abysmal. They’re also pretty much the unhealthiest thing here: if you’re going to kill yourself with a snack, have some self-respect. Speaking of – you can’t even drink tea through one anymore because they are sofuckingsmall your nose ends up dunked in your brew.

Dunking rating: 2

Taste rating: -1

(per bar) 130 cal, fat: 6.8g, saturates: 3.8g, sugars: 10g, salt: 0.06g

16. JAMMIE DODGERS

Have these always tasted like this? They’re actually disgusting, like someone filled a miniature pie-crust with a melted fruit roll-up and carved a love-heart in the top. Terrible dunker, too. 

Dunking rating: 2

Taste rating: 2

(per biscuit) 77 cal, fat: 2.5g, saturates: 1.2g, sugars: 4.9g, salt: 0.1g

15. SAINSBURY’S BOURBON CREAMS

Have you ever put a big wash on and gone about your day, only to return and realise you didn’t put any fabric softener in? Now you’ve got jeans that stand on their own, an Oxford shirt that’s made out of paper, socks that are now somehow harder than your actual shoes. That’s what putting one of these tasteless rectangles into your mouth is like: I thought I was going to get a crunchy chocolate biscuit and some chocolate cream, and what I got was sixty-eight calories of disappointment. The only reason this is not bottom is because shortbread is the dirt-worst and I’m a sucker for biscuits with text indented into the surface. I’m an aesthete: sue me, prick.

Dunking rating: 4

Taste rating: 2

(per biscuit) 68 cal, fat: 3g, saturates: 1.8g, sugars: 4.2g, salt: 0.04g

14. RICH TEA

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right – the people who bring these in don’t like fizzy water because “it’s spicy” – but they’re not as bad as you remember. In tea they’re awful, falling away in short order, flopping to the floor of your mug like a dizzy dame in a black-and-white movie, but on their own they are… fine. Not actively good, like pretty much anything else is still better than it, but it’s not actively bad either: there’s a pleasant nothingness to it that’s kinda homely and begs to be dipped into a flatmate’s secret stash of Nutella. Still, there is the fact that it is impossible to buy a packet that’s not totally smashed. My packet was brand new, carried to the office like a beloved newborn, and it still fell apart like someone had booted it through the window.

Dunking rating: 2

Taste rating: 5

(per biscuit) 38 cal, fat: 1.3g, saturates: 0.1g, sugars: 1.7g, salt: 0.1g

Shortlist

news straight to your inbox

subscribe to our newsletter
Read our privacy policy

13. PLAIN DIGESTIVES

These are just slightly thicker Rich Tea biscuits. A shoo-in for people who read articles about Dr. Who and write “Nice article but it’s actually ‘Doctor Who’ – get it right. Regards, Daniel” in the comments.  

Dunking rating: 2

Taste rating: 5

(per biscuit) 71 cal, fat: 3.1g, saturates: 1.5g, sugars: 2.4g, salt: 0.2g

12. SAINSBURY’S CUSTARD CREAMS

“It’s me! Your elderly CEO! I just wanted to stop by and say what a good job you’ve been doing. I’ve asked them to set me up something called an ‘e-mail address’ so I can keep in touch with you more easily, but in the mean time here’s a packet of Custard Creams and a pound-coin sellotaped to a birthday card. Don’t go spending it all on humbugs and peanut brittle!”

They are very good in tea but the aftertaste is so cloyingly sweet that it actually hurts your mouth.

Dunking rating: 6

Taste rating: 1

(per biscuit) 62 cal, fat: 2.6g, saturates: 1.4g, sugars: 3.6g, salt: 0.06g

11. PARTY RINGS

We went to two different Sainsbury’s, a Sainsbury’s Local, a Tesco Express, and three corner shops and couldn’t find them so I was ready to rank them in good faith: I have fond memories of my friend Stephen’s birthday party in Year Four and how he had so many Party Rings that, after the inevitable sugar crash, attendees nearly slipped into a synchronised coma, like a diabetic Heaven’s Gate soundtracked by “Wild Wild West” by Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee. It was ace.

But when we finally found a packet… Yeah, wow. Awful. Not good at all. Pretty good for dunking as it’s essentially just a solid piece of sugar, but that taste? No. I was incredibly disappointed and someone in work remarked that I looked like I was about to be sick. Never meet your heroes. 

Dunking rating: 7

Taste rating: 1

(per biscuit) 29 cal, fat: 0.7, saturates: 0.3g, sugars: 2.9g, salt: 0.03g

10. HOBNOBS

Hobnobs are actually bad. Contrary to Peter Kay’s legendary bit, in tea they fall apart, leaving you with a muesli-like silt at the bottom. I wish they’d absorb the bev like tales of old but nah. And when you bite into them they immediately taste stale, even when fresh from the packet (the Best Before date is set some seven months from the point of writing, which means it should not taste like polystyrene). So, I’m sorry Mark from Pembridge and Amy from Beckton but, while I appreciate your angrily worded tweets and ad hominem attacks, Hobnobs are bad and you are wrong.

Dunking rating: 4

Taste rating: 5

(per biscuit) 71 cal, fat: 3.1g, saturates: 1.3g, sugars: 3.9g, salt: 0.13g

9. RANDOM BISCUITS FROM SOMEONE’S HOLIDAY THAT THEY PICKED UP IN THE SUPERMERCADO LITERALLY RIGHT BEFORE GETTING IN THE TAXI TO THE AIRPORT TO COME HOME

What I like about these is that they taste kinda cheap and nasty with an almost medicinal quality to the biscuit itself that is cleaved in two by the palate-cleansing sweetness of the chocolate inside. It’s got no bollocks when it comes to dunking, but the low calorie count and the fun shape multiplied by the decent chocolate cream that puts Bourbons to shame means it gets a respectable score.

Dunking rating: 4

Taste rating: 6

(per biscuit) 62.7 cal, fat: 3.1g, saturates: 2.1g, sugars: 3.7g, salt: 0.06g

8. OREOS

I feel like Oreos are not very conducive with tea, and go way better with a coffee. In tea, the taste – pseudo-chocolate powder, presumably the bare minimum to pass regulations set by trading standards, pressed into the shape of an old-timey manhole cover – feels too conspicuous. In coffee, for some reason – possibly because coffee – like Oreos, maybe – doesn’t actually taste that nice and we’ve just become conditioned to it – they’re great. But anyway, the Dunking Rating is just for tea, so, tough shit. Good taste out of the mug, though. Nice crunch, nice crappy foam-cream taste to the filling, the ridges on the cookie give good mouthfeel (a word which, ironically, has awful mouthfeel) and that stamped in OREO branding in the middle? Yes. Into it.

Dunking rating: 3

Taste rating: 7

(per biscuit) 53 cal, fat: 2.2g, saturates: 1.1g, sugars: 4.1g, salt: 0.1g

7. MILK CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVES

Better than regular Digestives, obviously, but less good than Dark Chocolate Digestives (which I could not find in the shop, for some reason), the milk chocolate on this is pretty good, light and tastes a bit like actual chocolate, and elevates the taste of the biscuit itself bigly. Why anyone on earth would plump for the non-chocolate variety is beyond me. In dunk tests they are great, sweetening your tea just like a good biscuit should; just enough for the taste to stick, not so much than you end up shaking.

Dunking rating: 7

Taste rating: 5

(per biscuit) 83 cal, fat: 3.9g, saturates: 2.1g, sugars: 4.9g, salt: 0.2g

6. MARYLAND COOKIES

Oh boy, Maryland Cookies are a classic for one reason: they are good. They are biscuits you always find in the cupboard on a hangover, the packet that’d always find its way into a classroom on the last day of term, the cookie you were allowed in your primary school lunchbox for some reason, and actually taste quite nice when stale. Good dunking too; a real stayer. Respect.

Dunking rating: 8

Taste rating: 7

(per biscuit) 107 cal, fat: 4.9g, saturates: 2.6g, sugars: 8.1g, salt: 0.1g

5. JAFFA CAKES

Ugh, shut up. We know it’s actually a cake but it’s a biscuit because we’ve said it’s a biscuit. It’s in the biscuit aisle. The kinda cunt who moans about Jaffa Cakes being cakes and not biscuits is the kinda cunt who corrects the grammar of people writing Facebook statuses announcing that their beloved uncle just passed away. Anyway, Jaffa Cakes taste great and they’re surprisingly dece in tea, like a lovely little citrus sponge, so who cares if they’re mostly high glucose-fructose syrup and gelling agents, and that “natural orange flavouring” is second from last in the ingredients list?

Dunking rating: 7

Taste rating:

(per cake) 46 cal, fat: 1g, saturates: 0.5g, sugars: 6.4g, salt: 0.03g

4. GINGER NUTS

These are the only biscuits that somehow get even more delicious as they go stale when they start to call to mind those boss Jamaican ginger cakes you can buy for a quid from the corner shop. A no-frill biscuit with no artificial flavors or colours, it’s just crunch and heat, lemon and ginger, molasses and a side of disodium diphosphate. If you can’t wait for it to go stale, just whack it in your tea and you’re good to go (plus it tricks your brain into thinking you’re drinking one of those crap lemon-and-ginger tea-bag drinks you promised yourself you’d start drinking instead of coffee). 

Dunking rating: 9

Taste rating: 7

(per biscuit) 47 cal, fat: 1.7g, saturates: 0.8g, sugars: 3.1g, salt: 0.1g

3. CADBURY’S CHOCOLATE FINGERS

There’s something kinda creepy about dipping a chocolate finger into a hot tea. It’s too overtly sexual; begging for raciness, like a Carry On film. But undoubtedly, the Chocolate Finger is an absolute masterful piece of design work: easy to steal, easy to dip (and they’re delicious when you do, too, the chocolate coating sliding off the finger like a silk slip – so yeah, creepy) and they’re like, fuck-all calories. For an every day biscuit, these are unbeatable, but they lack the requisite amount of earned-respect to make it into the Championship positions. If you bring a box of Fingers into the office you’re saying “I know you like these and I’ve not really thought about it”. It’s like bringing Heineken to a party: everyone’s glad that you brought half-decent beers, but nobody is going to remember you for it.

Dunking rating: 10

Satisfaction rating: 7

(per biscuit) 27 cal, fat: 1.36g, saturates: 0.7g, sugars: 2.1g, salt: 0.025g

2. FOX'S VIENNESE

Better in the fridge: there, I said it. But like my dad says, you’ve got two chances of these lasting very long in the office: Bob Hope and no hope. At ten biscuits, there’s not a whole lot of them, but you will fly right through them until their intense butteriness starts to make you feel a bit like throwing up once you hit your seventh finger. I estimate you’ll smash your first five in about twelve minutes, the final two in a further ten, which leaves you with a quick decision to make: who gets your final three? You can’t offer your boss one or you’ll be shunned for being a kiss-ass noob fish dickhead suck-up with no arsehole, so I reckon you should hand the last of them to the receptionist – you know, for “safe keeping” – and then message three of your most favoured colleagues to tell them you’ve “left a box of Fox’s Viennese biscuits at the front-desk”. They’ll all be like “ooooooooh shit fuck dude thanks x!” and by the time they all get up and get over there they’ll realise that there’s actually only two left, presume that everyone else has already torn into them like jackals and that you notified them out of moral obligation to ensure they don’t go without, and one person will be left out and will feel oddly obliged to go and buy some more. And then you’ll be faux-sated, smug, but actually sick to the back teeth of these delicious fucking buttery biscuits, and will let the rest of the office enjoy the biscuits without you. You will be lauded for your selflessness. Fuck, man. It’s beautiful. You need to see it.

Anyway, they’re good for dunking, too. Holds together real well.

Dunking rating: 8

Taste rating: 9

(per biscuit) 64 cal, fat: 3.4g, saturates: 1.8g, sugars: 4.2g, salt: 0.07g

1. CHOCO LEIBNIZ

Boom. Yeah. Choco. Fucking. Leibniz. Man.

Fuck. Me. Up. You. Beautiful. Chocolate. Biscuit. 

This is what a biscuit should be like: a thick layer of milk chocolate – real, actual chocolate – and the biscuit – almost cracker-y with a wicked snap – which turns out is… A FUCKING RICH TEA BISCUIT. This blew my mind, man. And then there’s the particular thrill of nibbling around the edges, biting off the overhanging lips of choc like a happy rodent. I don’t know why this simple act is so great but it definitely is, almost equal to the taste is the visceral rush of the ritual. PLUS they’re not even that expensive really and pretty much every corner shop has them, and yet they still feel fancy. It’s just got everything you want from a biscuit.

And it’s a rectangle! The tastiest shape of all.

Dunking rating: 9

Taste rating: 10

(per biscuit) 70.5 cal, fat: 3.5g, saturates: 2.25g, sugars: 5.5g, salt: 0.09g

Topics

Share this article

Author

Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

Related Posts