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.