Biscuits of Yesteryears Vs Biscuits of Today
What is teatime without the munching sound of crunchy biscuits? If sweets and cakes are special-occasion delicacies, bakery products such as coconut biscuits and chocolate biscuits make everyday special. From maintaining digestive balance of gastritis patients to saving people from a sudden snack-attack, biscuits are indispensible and irreplaceable. However, the biscuits of yesteryears were very much different from the multi-flavoured ones available in the modern market.
Originally a French recipe, biscuits were nothing but over-baked cakes. In French, ‘biscuit’ refers to something that has been cooked twice. These super-hard products were then mainly meant for travellers and soldiers. Also known as ‘stone breads’, biscuits became extremely popular during the time of King Louis XIV. Initially the only purpose of biscuits was to provide nutrition. With time, softer versions were introduced for regular snacking. In some parts of the world, biscuits were eaten during meals and not snacked on. Beaten biscuits, a variety introduced later, became popular as it was easier and tastier to consume. Hard biscuits were literally beaten to make them softer, accounting for the name. Made of cereals and flour, the old-age biscuits were excellent for health. 7th century saw the introduction of the first batch of tasty biscuits. Ingredients such as butter, honey, and cream were added to flour for extra taste and softness.
Most modern-day biscuits are results of extensive experiments, complicated recipes, and a long list of ingredients. Thanks to our technological progress, this popular teatime snack now comes in numerous flavours, sizes, colours, and tastes. From cream cracker to rusk, from oatcake to cream biscuit, from sandwich biscuit to choco-chip bites, you can literally get any flavour you imagine. The days of quitting biscuits because of diabetes are gone, thanks to the sugar-free versions. Modern science has even been able to share this mouth-watering treat with man’s best friend in the form of dog biscuits.
As the largest food industry in India, biscuit business has a whopping turnover of Rs 3000 crores. What previously was considered as a sick-man’s food is now a must-have in all Indian households, making India the second largest manufacturer of biscuits in terms of volume and range only after United States of America. If market analysts are correct, the biscuit industry will continue its growth exponentially.
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