More on biscuits and cookies
At one point in a discussion of the different understanding of “biscuit” and “cookie” between Americans and other speakers of English an American asked me what I’d call an Oreo.
I’d never seen an Oreo, but vaguely recalled seeing a picture of one on a packet in a supermarket. We we decided to check, and bought a packet of Oreos (they are labelled cookies). And, for purposes of comparison, we bought a box of Bakers assorted biscuits. The Oreos cost R14.49 for 175g, and the Bakers biscuits cost R15.99 for 200g.
Among the biscuits in the assorted packet were chocolate creams.
Here they are together:
And to me, both of them are biscuits, not cookies.
We tried the taste test.
The taste was pretty much identical, though the texture was slightly different. The Oreo was a little harder and more brittle. Most members of the family prefered the Bakers chocolate cream, which is why we probably won’t buy Oreos in future.
Since both the examples so far have been of chocolate biscuits, here is a picture of some chocolate cookies.
Unlike “biscuit”, which is used in the sense just described in just about all English-speaking countries, “cookie” might be peculiarly South African, and it probably came into South African English from Afrikaans “koekie”, meaning “little cake”. And that in turn probably came from the Dutch “koekje”.
An American once told me that what we called “cookies” they would call “cupcakes”, but I wonder what they are called in other English-speaking countries.
There are many varieties of cookies and biscuits, not just chocolate ones, though some shops have taken to calling cookies “muffins”.
And yes, what Americans call biscuits we call scones, but I don’t have a picture of any right now.