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Biscuit dunking isn't a science - it's an art


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Last Wednesday, the Daily Mail released an article exposing which classic biscuit was the most suitable for dunking in a cup of tea. 

The experiment tried 12 different types of biscuit, and researchers held each one half way into the cup, timing how long it could hold on, before disintegrating into the tea. 

This experiment would finally answer all our British biscuit prayers and reveal which biscuit would be least likely to complete a Titanic-like devastation during our tea break. 

The researchers, who were working on behalf of Wren Kitchens (a kitchen retail specialist - not quite the experts I had hoped for), revealed that the chocolate bourbon was "officially the hardiest biscuit and is therefore best for dunking", as it doubled its competitors time by lasting two minutes and 39 seconds. 

However, I would argue that just because a biscuit can be dunked for longer, doesn't necessarily qualify it as a better dunking biscuit. 

To get to the root of the issue, I have to ask a philosophical question: why do we dunk biscuits in our tea?

While I'm sure we each have a personal and moving story in response to this, my answer is simple: I like the texture of a soft, soggy biscuit. 

As a result of this, I have experienced a lot of disappointment when dunking a bourbon biscuit, as it is often not soft enough for my liking, no matter how long I dunk it for. Us millennials are an impatient generation; we are not willing to wait around for two minutes just so that our biscuit is soggy enough to satisfy our cravings. 

Although the researchers did acknowledge this by producing a table at the bottom of the article with the "recommended dunking times", it does not change the fact that the recommended seven seconds for bourbons is still a long time for a dunk, and considering the biscuit can last nearly three minutes, is seven seconds really going to be long enough to soften it?

This raises yet more issues about the experiment - researchers should be comparing the biscuit's dunking time to the average time people dunk biscuits for; this would provide more accurate results. 

But patience is variable; it not only changes from person-to-person, but also from day-to-day, and this could effect the results significantly. 

I suppose biscuit dunking was a more personal experience than we first thought.

For me, the best biscuit to dunk is the classic plain digestive. It ranked six out of the 12 biscuits in the Daily Mail experiment, lasting 48 seconds, which is more than enough time for a dunk. It soaks up the tea relatively fast, so that if you're dunking on the go, or in a rush, then a simple in-and-out dunk is all that is required. 

Also the threat of the biscuit breaking is all part of the thrill of dunking anyway, and, as with any skill, you improve with practice. If you find your biscuits are breaking no matter which variety you try - stick to one type and get dunking, you'll find that sweet spot soon enough. 

Going forward, it's important to remember that biscuit dunking isn't a science - it's an art. 

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