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US vs. UK: Bacon biscuits or sweet scones?

We’re co-blogging this week, showcasing a bit of friendly rivalry between the US and Britain, and the perspectives of a dashing Brit, Tom, and one lovable American, Martinique.

In this first edition, we bring to you: American biscuits vs. British scones.

M: Let’s first start off by defining what an American biscuit is. It’s a small bread with a firm crust and soft interior. Biscuits, along with cornbread and soda bread, are known as “quick bread,” because you use baking soda instead of yeast to make them. Biscuits in the UK are what we Americans call cookies. Confused yet? I am…

T: The Queen likes her sweet scones just as much as your regular Brit, and probably eats them together with lashings of clotted cream, marmalade or jam, just like the rest of us. You make scones by rubbing sugar, butter and flour together into a breadcrumb-y state, then binding it all together with some milk.

M: Biscuits are usually found in the south of USA. For breakfast, you add honey, jam or molasses (anything sweet really). Or, you can enjoy them with sausages. For lunch or dinner, they’re a side dish that you usually eat with butter or gravy. Or, enjoy an amazing dish known as “Grits & Biscuits.” Nothing says “yum” like cooked pork sausage, white flour, milk and bits of sausage, bacon, or ground beef.

T: Our “High Tea” tradition always calls for a scone or two (or three). Yanks can keep their sugary brunch and processed meat nonsense: you won’t find any maple syrup with bacon on a British dining table before noon. Ours is a sophisticated affair, where the squish of the cream is complemented by the clink of fine china and the gentle bubbling of a steaming pot of tea. Fun fact: the order in which you put the jam and cream onto your halved scone depends on which region of the UK you hail from.

M: Biscuits are such a staple in America that you now find them in many fast food chains as well. Although plenty of chicken joints like Popeyes and Chicken Express serve biscuits these days, my all-time favorite place for a fast food biscuit is Kentucky Fried Chicken aka KFC. McDonald’s hopped on the biscuit band-wagon by bringing us the English McMuffin, a delicious breakfast snack that is actually made with a biscuit and not a muffin. Anyway, it’s amazing (and much more satisfying than the sophistication of British “High Tea”)!

T: We Brits refuse to buckle to the pressure of making every good thing a fast food served at places like KFC. You can, of course, buy a multipack of mass-produced scones in a supermarket – but the best ones come chunky and slightly lop-sided, twice the size of a store-bought scone and a million times as delicious.

We have British High Tea with scones on the one side, and America’s fast food version on the other. Which one tickles your fancy?

Enjoy this post? Check out a previous edition of our US vs. UK series.

Photos by Michelle Tribe and Yasuhiro Chatani / Flickr, Creative Commons.

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