A snack was rolled up in our Sunday paper -- a new product called Breakfast Biscuits, from Nature Valley. It was a small pouch of four, so the biscuits could not have been the ones I was used to -- warm and fluffy, made from flour, butter, baking powder and buttermilk.
No, these Breakfast Biscuits looked like cookies, and I recalled that in England, certain cookies are referred to as biscuits. But I don't speak British. I speak American, and when I read a British food blog, I'm lucky to understand 80 percent of the language. In American lingo, a small crisp biscuit is something you toss to a cute puppy and say "Good boy!"
I'd enjoyed an American breakfast biscuit just the week before, when my brother visited Houston on business from Denmark. Though he lives an ocean away, he'd managed to independently discover my favorite café--Blacksmith--and I was more than happy to meet him midmorning for coffee.
He was intrigued by the Scratch Biscuit with sausage, cheese, and egg. I ordered the one with marmalade and crème fraîche. They were all that Kaitlin Steinberg said they were, or simply "all that". As we enjoyed them in the crowded café, my brother posed a European-based question.
"Why is this place so packed at 10:30 in the morning? Don't these people have jobs?" he wondered.
"Uhh, we're here, aren't we?" I said.
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"Good point," he conceded, then changed his mind completely when he overheard two casually-dressed men at the next table, closing what my brother recognized to be a hefty natural gas deal.
Breakfast Biscuits In A Rush
With the Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits, I was pondering the flip side of my brother's observation. If I complained, I'd be told that these biscuits are "part of a well-balanced breakfast". But I know the temptation. Instead of getting up early, preparing breakfast for the kid and getting him to school in a rush, it would be far easier to toss him some breakfast cookies and say, "Good boy!" as we get out the door in a more leisurely manner. Not gonna happen.
In the end, though, the free sample worked. I bought a box, for the simple reason that Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits are delicious. They're made with whole-grain oats and barley and natural flavors, and there are no scientific-sounding preservatives in them. The biscuits pair well with coffee, and are like miniature crisp American-style scones. I say American-style, because British scones look and taste like Blacksmith's biscuits. For added confusion, some Brits pronounce scone to rhyme with "gone", rather than "bone", reminding me once again that I don't speak English.