Eater’s Digest


A few months back, Darlene and I were in a Cost Plus wandering about the import cookies and chocolates, and a shiny blue cylinder caught my eye. “Digestives?” Well, the photo on the wrapper showed what looked like a wheat cookie with chocolate on top. So we bought some and tried them out. Yeah, they’re cookies. The label says there is some sodium bicarbonate in the “biscuit” (as the British calls ’em) that supposedly aids in digestion. Maybe the Brits need digestives to help relieve them of their bangers and mash, crumpets and scotch eggs?

Now, I had resigned myself to thinking the British had their “digestives” while we Americans had our “cookies.” But a few weeks back, Darlene and I were in a Nijiya wandering about the import cookies and chocolates, and a shiny brown box caught my eye. “Digestives.” Wha?!? The Japanese are in kahoots with the Brits? Is this a two-way street and will Britain start selling a version of Pocky next?

I decided a totally unscientific comparison HAD to be conducted.


Well, as you can see, the Brits have lumberjack-sized biscuits while the Japanese produce effeminate, dainty little biscuits. I did a comparison of the serving sizes and it takes more than two Bourbon ChocoDigestives (the brand name; no alcohol in the cookie) to equal the mass of a McVitie’s Digestive. The Japanese ones have less fat calories per serving and no saturated fat, though they have TONS more sodium. Factoring in the 2:1 ratio of Japanese to British biscuits, two boxes of Japanese digestives ($1.79 each) are still cheaper per ounce than the $3.99 McVitie’s.


And how do they taste? Well… like plain wheat cookies, baked, with one side covered in milk chocolate. They’re pretty similar; with eyes closed I couldn’t tell them apart. They’re hardy and taste much better than Fudge Stripes or any other American equivalent with cartoon elves in their logo.

And as far as the digestion is concerned, “sodium bicarbonate” is just a fancy synonym for baking soda, or NaHCO3. Beyond making dough rise, baking soda is also used to aid digestion and reduce flatulence. I’ve just inhaled the fifth package of these bad boys and I have to tell you: once morning comes, I’m hoping these “digestives” live up to their name. Otherwise, the next blog might be about Beano and chocolate laxatives.


9 thoughts on “Eater’s Digest

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  1. mmmm digestive biscuits! I never really used to eat them back in england, but I do like them a lot. I always assumed the 'digestive' referred to the fact they have fibre in them…I think they've stepped it up a notch and you can get caramel and chocolate on top. Be sure to look out for 'hob nobs' though, they are absolutely wonderful!

  2. LOL. Hello I just surfed my way here :)The French do a version of Pocky, but I think it only comes in chocolate. It's called Mikado!Have you had Hobnobs?

  3. Foreigners make cookies?!And call them BISCUITS?!!Only way to preserve the patriotism of your pooper is to treat these biscuits the only way biscuits should be treated:AS A KFC DOG TREAT!!Er, Sidedish! I meant side dish!

  4. Beano and Ex-Lax. Yummy combo! HA.My sis lives in London so i sort of knew about this odd name for a cookie (and you know the Brits call potato chips "crisps," right? i wonder if it's different/the same in Japan?). How interesting that two totally different countries/cultures have similar foods. Very cool finds, P and D. i'm a Fudge Stripes fan so i think i might have to give all of these a whirl.

  5. I absolutely LOVE these type of biscuits! πŸ˜€ They keep me filled up during my mugging sessions in school.Amelia

  6. jennywenny & mary πŸ˜‰ — I'll put Hob Nobs & Mikado on the Cost Plus shopping list, between "African tribal mask" and "Wicker loveseat."liz & kleoparta — thanks!justjenn — It tasted like two bits.harlotbug3 — I've eaten Liv-a Snaps before. No joke. They were kinda raunchy but better than Milk Bones. (I was 5)curiousfoodie — I had to look up "mugging" to see if it meant that you had one of these cookies in your mouth while you stole peoples' wallets.

  7. Digestive biscuits are popular in a lot of countries now. They are the traditional English tea dunking biscuit (the plain ones). Also used for the base of cheesecakes. They now have a variety of of coatings, milk chocolate, white chocolate and strawberries…Yes us Brits do call them biscuits and we call the chunkier American style ones cookies. Also Crisps are what you call chips and chips are what you call french fries!

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