Written on: 05/06/2006 by raehippychick (28 reviews written)
Tasty, comforting and moreish
Calorific, messy and moreish
Is there anything more comforting than a McVities chocolate digestive? Now that the stunning summer is over (ahem!) and the days are drawing in, the nights get colder and darker, and I find myself craving comfort food. I love the food of my childhood; warm, cheap and cheerful with the occasional treat. I remember that our bedtimes were very comforting; a bath, a bowl of cereal and then a mug of warm milk with two biscuits while mum read us a story. This ritual was always made extra special if we got chocolate biscuits instead of plain ones
Now I am allegedly grown up, I don't have the warm milk anymore, but I still adore chocolate biscuits. After many years of testing and being a skinflint and buying all the supermarket own brands I can safely say that for your run of the mill day to day biccie, McVitie's are quite definitely the best. Fox's do a nice line in fancy tins and boxes, and there are numerous handmade delicacies around, but good old McV come up trumps every time on the ordinary dunk-them-in-your-coffee packets of biscuits.
Last night when I woke up just before midnight with a bad case of leg cramp and the munchies. After a good search through the kitchen cupboards, I remembered the ubiquitous biscuit tin. What chance was there of it having anything remotely edible in it when the house has been full of teenagers for the past few days? Come to that, where was the stupid tin? After a moment or two of cursing all teenagers, the penny dropped. Yes, I was the last person to have it and it was tucked away inside my bedside cabinet. Oh dear. In that case the chance of anything nice being left in it was even slimmer.
But for once fortune favoured me. That and the fact that I hadn't been the pig I usually am, for there, nestling inside, was a satisfyingly large pile of McVitie's plain chocolate digestives. After a few weeks in the tin they looked a little untidy with their shiny chocolate tops scattered and smudged with biscuit crumbs, but they still look very enticing and smell delicious. I love the combination of aromas from chocolate digestives. The first to hit my nose on prising off the lid is naturally chocolate. Because these are plain the scent is quite rich and dark, and it reminds me of velvet and wine and dark dramatic colours. The underlying smell is of freshly baked warm biscuits, which is a real smell of infancy for me, as my mother used to bake a lot when we were small.
It's no good; it is the middle of the night and I have the munchies. There will be no formality or seduction here; I just want to cram these lovely circles into my mouth as fast as I can. I take a big bite of the biscuit. I always eat mine chocolate side up, but I have a friend who has to eat hers chocolate side down. Is that normal? My top teeth meet the chocolate layer, which gives gently under pressure before revealing the gentle roughness of the biscuit base, which crumbles satisfyingly in my mouth.
The chocolate melts and melds with the biscuit to create a layered flavoured mouthful of pleasure in my mouth. The uppermost flavour is of dark chocolate. Not a fine, expensive chocolate, but a homely familiar one. The oaty taste of the biscuit layer begins to come through, just confirming the flavour of the chocolate; this is definitely a comfort treat. Everything about these biscuits seems designed to bring a feeling of old fashioned comfort and security. They don't surprise with wild and wacky flavours, they stay the same ordinary chocolate and oat flavour. After eating one, the main feeling in my mouth is of oats with a small hint of chocolate flavour still lingering, and my bed is covered in crumbs and smudges; it really does seem impossible to eat these tidily!
Other than for comfort food when I really ought to be asleep, I really enjoy these biscuits straight from the fridge washed down with chilled Perrier; possibly a strange combination, but on a hot summer day it is surprisingly refreshing and makes me feel quite posh for some odd reason! Of course they are wonderful for dunking once you have the knack - the slightly melted chocolate slips down a treat, and the biscuit softens and soaks up the warm liquid without losing the pleasant oat texture, unless you leave it in too long and it disintegrates of course!
A quick tip here; never, ever store your biscuits in a plastic box. After a few days they will taste of plastic, which is utterly disgusting! Buy a nice tin. If not a pretty one, then just treat yourself to a tin of Fox's or similar, eat all the contents and then voila - one official biscuit tin that needs to be filled up with McVitie's choccie biccies! Do mind how you mix your flavours - ginger nuts tend to overpower all the other flavours and malted milk if left in too long, and can make the rest taste slightly stale. This is a good excuse to go out and buy another tin of posh biscuits so that you can keep all your new biscuits unadulterated by each other!
I have checked the United Biscuits website (parent company of McVitie's) and both milk and plain chocolate digestives are listed in their nut free range. Each little biccie has around 85 calories, and also 4 grams of fat, so they aren't particularly good for dieting. To be honest, the fact that they have a nice oaty flavour always make them feel quite healthy to me, especially for snacking on at odd times!
Just remember if you eat something and nobody sees you eat it, it has no calories - so get midnight snacking!