Product Type: McVitie's Chocolate
Newest Review: ... go. McVities also sells chocolate covered versions of these digestives (the Dark Chocolate covered ones are my favourite) which can be a n... more
Yummy for your tummy!
McVities Digestives (no chocolate)
Member Name: Jojoborne
McVities Digestives (no chocolate)
Advantages: Great traditional UK treasure.
Disadvantages: None for me.
I must admit to having a soft spot for McVities as you can always rely on them for top quality products. The digestive is the quintessential biscuit for dunking in tea and is a national treasure in the United Kingdom.
I have many memories of McVities Digestives, including visits to my Grandparent's house and nibbling on them when I had been ill with a cold.
A Little Bit of History
Digestives are a sweet meal biscuit and sometimes go by that name and were originally known as 'Wheaten' biscuits due to the ingredients. The reason they are known as digestives alludes to the fact that I was given them to nibble on as a child when ill and not able to keep much food down. They were originally believed to contain antacid properties due to the sodium bicarbonate that was used in the making process.
They have always been known as a healthy biscuit as a lot of bakers at McVities and other makers of digestives would remove starch from the flour before it was mixed with other ingredients.
A look back in history will tell you that digestives have been around for quite some time with adverts still on record or existing from 'Huntley & Palmers back in the eighteen fifties. They were known as 'brown meal digestive biscuits' or 'brown sweet meal biscuits'. This was because after a culling process where the thicker more lumpy bran was removed, the less coarse bran that remained was the brown meal. It was this brown meal bran that contained the slight sweetness that we still associate with digestives today.
In 1890 after numerous tries, a Scottish man by the name of John Montgomerie was granted a patent for the manufacture of digestive biscuits and the fact that they had digestive properties was used in his advertising campaign.
McVities are owned by 'United Biscuits. The name is taken from the original sellers of the biscuit, 'McVitie & Price Ltd', who were established in nineteen thirty in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The original factory in Scotland was burned to the ground in a fire but rebuilt and operated until nineteen ten, when it moved to Harlsden in England. Another factory was built in nineteen seventeen in Manchester. The company still had strong Scottish links with Edinburgh bakery giants Simon Henderson and sons working with them from the nineteen twenties. In nineteen forty-eight they joined forces with MacFarlane Lang and Company, once again keeping their Scottish roots, and became known as the United Biscuits Group.
The digestive was the first biscuit produced by McVities and the first ever digestive to go full scale on the market. It was actually created by a relative nobody in terms of the trade and the company; a young lad, just finished his apprenticeship in eighteen ninety-two, who was named Alexander Grant. It became famous because of the rumour of its healing properties against indigestion.
The chocolate digestive would be dreamed up much later in nineteen twenty-five.
In two thousand and two, McVities would be rebranded as 'McV' but this was frowned upon by some of the bigwigs and although it lasted three years it was changed back to McVities. The famous logo would be restyled in two thousand and seven.
The brand is sold all over the world and last year it made the bold leap of selling in Japan to further heighten its already wealthy profits.
Prince William and Kate Middleton requested that McVities make their wedding came from McVities Rich Tea biscuits for their wedding reception. McVities agreed and made the cake from one thousand, seven hundred biscuits and seventeen kilos of chocolate.
Digestives are made up of coarse brown wheat flour, sugar, malt extract, wholemeal, raising agents (Tartaric acid, Malic acid and Sodium Bicarbonate), salt, vegetable oil, skimmed milk, dried whey, oatmeal and Datem, which is an emulsifier. In the UK we add glucose or corn syrup to sweeten the biscuit a little more; in the United States they are more prone to using normal sugar to sweeten the biscuit. One single digestive biscuit holds around seventy calories but the US versions are likely to be higher. This is also true of the biscuits which are made en masse or of a lesser quality than McVitie.
Who and When
Digestives are well known as a compliment to a cup of tea or coffee. They are a tick biscuit, which makes them good for dunking as they do not break as easily as some of the thinner biscuits on the market.
You can also use a digestive as a cracker. They are great with cheese or jam or any number of spreads such as Philadelphia cheese. I am a big fan of peanut butter on digestives. They are also a very popular choice for making cheese cakes and are crumbled up to make the base.
A friend once told me that they like to eat them with a glass of orange juice. It may sound strange but I tried it and it is actually quite nice.
Digestives also come in a variation of milk and dark chocolate with the underside of the biscuit liberally coated. In the last few years white chocolate has been added to the range. I have yet to try these but would love to. There are also some more diverse ranges that include chocolate chip, mint and orange flavoured chocolate.
We like our digestives in the UK and the milk chocolate version sells thirty five million pounds worth every year. That is seventy one million people buying McVitie or a digestive equivalent every year. Statistics show that this means a digestive is being consumed every at the rate of fifty-two every second.
I must admit that I do have a soft spot for McVities as they do make a quality biscuit. Digestives are probably frowned upon as boring these days but they are still one of the best biscuits to dunk into your cup of tea if you are that way inclined and unlike many other biscuits are not filled with too many e-numbers and boat loads of sugar. The fact that you can use them as a sweet cracker and spread stuff on them is also very appealing and puts them head and shoulders above most biscuits or at least biscuits in the plain variety.
Overall they are a definite winner for me.
© Lee Billingham
Summary: A good old dunking biscuit with healthy ingredients.