“ Brand: Mc Vitie's / Type: Biscuits „
At first, I was expecting this McVities biscuit to be absolutely impeccably fabulous, seen as it displays the biscuit so provocatively on the cover of the wrapper. When a biscuit looks sexy on the wrapper, you know that it's going to be good.
The History of the Digestive
We may as well start with where the tasty treat found its roots. Digestive biscuits; known also as sweetmeal biscuits were first created in 1876 (or at least, that's the first time that it has been noted down that they were created).
They were created and were popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Greece as well as several other Commonwealth countries. These biscuits where also praised back then for their digestive properties (hence the name); it received the name because of their anti-acidic properties, which helps the digestive system
Digestives started in Britain (and then other Commonwealth countries) and it is generally regarded as one of the best British masterpiece foods (alongside our more well-known fish and chips).
Taste, texture and luxury
Taking a bite of this chocolaty treat and you'll never once more be the same. At least, that was how I pictured it; my own experiences with this biscuit were not quite as luxurious as I had hoped.
The taste of this biscuit is rich; the dark chocolate, however, is not particularly lingering on the taste buds. It just doesn't carry much of the flavour that you'd expect to find in milk chocolate. Of course, for some, this isn't a problem, but I like my biscuits especially chocolaty. The biscuit-y base below the chocolate is better, and it helps make the biscuit excellent for your tea-based dunking habits but altogether, for eating on its own, it just feels a tiny bit plain. Maybe a result of my fussiness of the chocolate variety, but the taste is nothing that you won't find in the substantially cheaper 'Co-Op Value Pack'.
The texture however, was better than the 'Co-Op Value Pack' by a long way. It even surpassed the 'Sainsbury's - Taste the Difference' pack. The texture was crumbly, and yet somehow it melts in your mouth. The chocolate gave it a smoother texture, whereas the biscuit base gave it a fabulously rough feel. One of the finer biscuit textures; it can dunk into your tea and still retain that tasty, crunchy texture, hampered only by a slight, luxury softening.
Luxury Level: The luxuriousness of this product is not to be doubted. It's really one of the better biscuits. Very few digestive-based biscuits can retain the texture this well, especially when dunked into the richest of teas. The taste may not be anything special, but the texture makes it alone one of the most luxurious tasty biscuits for anything short of your life savings (unless, of course, you know otherwise. It's personal preference)
Chocolate doesn't really smell of that much, nor does biscuit. Therefore, smell is hard to contemplate. However, you will find that there is going to be no smell left behind by this magnificent pack of biscuits. These biscuits can go anywhere, and still be discreet, instead of letting off a strong, chocolate-based odour that will have your friends rummaging through your back-pack with hopes of finding the chocolate that you are sneakily stashing away from them for a tasty, mid-shift break.
The packaging of this biscuit, as I have said previously, depicts the dark chocolate digestive as provocative and lucrative. It's the type of wrapper that will have your mouth watering before you even take the wrapper off. It's not an extremely inventive wrapper, but it's designed to coerce you into buying into its demands. The wrapping, on the plus side, is also recyclable in most places, so by buying McVities biscuits, you are, in some way, saving the planet.
A brief look at the packaging will also inform you of all the nutritional value that the biscuit holds for your future; that's where the biscuit has its biggest downfall.
It contains 505 calories, 6.8 grams of protein, 65.8 grams of carbohydrates and a staggering 23.9 grams of fat. Where you honestly expecting yourself to be allowed this luxury without having to go to the gym for several hours to keep yourself thin. In the end, however, it's all worth it. This is one of the better, most fantastically tasty biscuits to fall upon the British market, and you will pay for it both in slightly larger sums of money than other biscuits, and, more importantly, calories.
The quality of a biscuit is hard to judge, but it seems that McVities have gotten it just right, as far as a biscuit can go. It survives the dunk test, becoming moist but not falling into pieces in the process, it tastes great, but it doesn't overwhelm with chocolaty essence (as much as I'd want it to) and the texture of the biscuit is fantastic (it stays in one piece in your hand, and crumbles with satisfaction in your mouth).
This is one of the premium biscuits that you can buy; you get what you wanted from the biscuit, and it beats the 'Biscuit-Based-Opposition'TM in most every way. This is the best quality you can get from a product as good of a value for money as this.
Value for Money
Which brings me onto my next point - McVities biscuits are considerably more expensive than the generic 'Tesco Value' biscuits that you can buy on the high-street. That's not to say that it's not worth it if you have a considerable money buffer for your biscuit allowance. These biscuits are some of the best that you can buy, and they aren't ludicrously expensive. These biscuits have the best taste to price ratio that I have recently seen, and it's definitely one of the best Britain has to offer. Buy them!
Don't worry about your figure when eating these, don't even worry about your wallet. It may harm both of those things to buy these biscuits regularly, but the texture and taste are just good enough to make you forget about these factors and truly enjoy yourself and your biscuits. They're not always a viable option, and sometimes you might opt to get the cheaper, supermarket value biscuits, but once in a while: you should treat yourself to a luxury, treat yourself to a McVities biscuit.
I rate the McVities biscuit four of a possible five stars.
The credit crunch may well be affecting the way in which we shop but there are some compromises that are not worth making. McVitie's chocolate digestive biscuits have a taste and texture like no other digestive biscuit on the supermarket shelf. McVitie's milk chocolate digestive biscuits are desirable but the plain chocolate variety are the Aston Martin of the biscuit aisle. McVitie's may have to charge a penny or two extra for their scrumptious biscuits but it is a price that many are prepared to pay.
The McVitie's packaging is unique. The minute you see that deep brown wrapper with the red and blue flash you know that you are staring the McVities plain chocolate digestives in the face. Look at the price tag and you may well be surprised because Sainsburys have them on offer this week , a 400g packet for £1.
McVitie's have a way with biscuits. The company have managed to produce a plain chocolate biscuit that contains no artificial colours or flavourings and no hydrogenated vegetable oils that still tastes perfect. Vegetarians can enjoy these and for information only each biscuit contains 84 calories. Three allergy warnings to heed and they include wheat, gluten and soy beans.
Even as I sit here writing I can smell those delicious McVitie's chocolate biscuits. Sometimes the top few biscuits in the packet have had a few crumbs knocked off the sides but that only makes the rugged treats appear even more attractive. The golden wheatmeal biscuits looks as though they have been sunning themselves in the Costa Del Sol and the aroma that rises from the newly opened packet has more appeal than Chanel No 5.
I am not a selfish person but for one moment I long to hide the packet from prying eyes. Biscuit number one finds its way out of the wrapper and I show my admiration and appreciation by snaffling half of it in one fell swoop. The crumbly sweetmeal falls apart and even the plain chocolate coating cannot save the biscuit from being devoured in seconds. The plain chocolate that McVitie's have chosen to half coat the biscuits with is sweet, smooth and utterly addictive.
To dunk or not to dunk, that is the question. Dunking a superior plain chocolate coated biscuit seems wrong but when dunked they are delightful! The plain chocolate melts in the hot tea, the sweetmeal biscuit softens resulting in an amazing experience that is best tried when alone. Catching the warm wet biscuit is a work of art, catching it without dropping it down your sweater is more luck than judgement.
Will I buy McVities plain chocolate digestives again? Yes!
I would say eating biscuits is about my biggest vice. I probably eat around 10 a day at the moment (I've cut back a lot). It's just impossible for me to enjoy a cup of tea unless I've dunked two or three biscuits in it first. As I get bored quickly though I'm always trying new ones and getting fixated on a particular brand for a few weeks. At the moment, the biscuit of choice is McVities plain chocolate digestives. Although I always used to have them on occasion as a child, for example if round a friend's house, I've never liked them quite enough to actually buy a packet for myself. Recently however I did just that, during a spur of the moment impulse buy. I was pleased to find the taste brought back fond memories from childhood. I was a little dubious at first though - there are usually packets of the milk chocolate variety in our cupboards and I'm thoroughly sick of them, so thought this might influence my appreciation of the latest purchase. Happily, they taste is different enough that I could enjoy them without too many sickly reminders. It's strange, because generally I will always pick milk chocolate over dark chocolate, even on other types of biscuits. However for some reason, digestives just seem to work so much better with plain chocolate, and it acts as a perfect compliment for the biscuit.
The biscuits have a really pleasing texture, with just the right amount of crunch, and there is neither too much chocolate nor too much biscuit. I find they're equally nice dry or dunked in tea. As long as you don't hold them in for more than a second or so they don't go mushy, just warm and slightly melty. Other digestive brands I've tried, such as Asda varieties, never seem to get the composition right - they'll be too thick, or just too dry and 'biscuity'. Or else the chocolate will have a cheap taste.
These snacks are probably healthier than they used to be, containing '45% wheat and wholemeal goodness', which is a good source of fibre, no artificial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated vegetable oil. Also it's generally accepted that plain chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate. But don't kid yourself - there's 4.7g of sugar and 4.2g of fat per biscuit. If you only have one a day then it's no great shakes, but if like me you're a biscuit addict then you'll be taking in quite a lot of extra badness. These levels seem to generally be higher than in many other types of biscuit.
There are full ingredients and nutritional tables shown on the back of the packet, and the 'suitable for vegetarians sign'. The chunky 400g size costs around £1.30, but there are frequently offers on which makes it a bit more cost effective.
While these biscuits are flavour of the moment for me, I do think there are much nicer ones around, for example the prohibitively expensive Leibniz brand. The digestives are nice tasting with a very pleasing texture, but I think possibly something in the McVities taste sometimes puts me off. For now though, I'll gobble as many as I can.
I am a big biscuit fan - there are a lot of sweet treats I can take or leave but biscuits are a store cupboard essential for me. I know it is not very healthy but I have been known to eat a few biscuits for breakfast at times, though I am now trying to be healthier.
One of my favourite biscuits is McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives. These are also available in plain and milk chocolate flavour. I have probably tried the two other flavours when I was much younger but the only ones I will buy and eat now is the dark chocolate flavour.
The packaging is distinctive - a shiny dark brown colour with a red and blue swirl and Digestives written across this. The packaging also advises there is '45% wheat and wholemeal goodness, No artificial flavours or colours, no hydrogenated vegetable oil' and a 'good source of fibre'. The full ingredients and nutritional information is also printed on the pack. The pack also advises that these biscuits are suitable for vegetarians.
It is the texture and taste of these biscuits which make them so delicious and more-ish for me. The biscuits are circular with a firm digestive base and a thin layer of chocolate evenly spread across the top which has a sort of square pattern on. I eat these biscuits with the chocolate face up so I bite through the cool chocolate layer into the firm biscuit base. The amount of chocolate is just right and coupled with the wheaty biscuit base is delicious. I especially enjoy eating these whilst enjoying a hot cuppa, but keep them dry - dunking is basically sacrilege as you should not drown the lord of all snacks. For me these are the ultimate chocolate biscuit and cannot be improved upon.
The only downside for me is the price. These are approximately £1.30 a pack so I only buy these when they are on offer. I do think they are worth the money but as I am on a budget I save purchasing these for a treat when they are on offer
I never normally buy biscuits because of watching the weight etc etc but Darling Son was home for a few days last week on route from Gibraltar to Swansea and was feeling peckish so treated himself to not one but two packets of Plain chocolate Digestive Biscuits. Only one pack got eaten and the other pack got left here, so I just had to open them to have one of these very morish biscuits with my cup of hot water with a slice of lemon !!!
These are the best biscuits to have with a hot drink, they are perfect for dipping in the mug, so that the chocolate is slighty runny and unless you leave it in the liquid for a long time they don;t tend to crumble or go so soggy that the biscuit ends up as a mush at the bottom of the cup.
These usually are sold as 400g packs but you can usually find somewhere that is selling them with 25% extra. I have no idea how much these particular packs where, but I believe it was in the region of £1.30 a pack, so they aren;t the cheapest on the market.
The packaging is relatively easy to undo - a little flap that says tear here should make it easy to get the thing undone! If not, resort to a sharp knife inserted between two biscuits and cut it ! The packet itself is dark brown with the nutrional information printed on in blue and but its very small and very difficult to read. But each biscuit is only 84 calories, so I reckon 1 is ok a day !
Other nuritional information per biscuit is as follows;
of which sugars 4.7g
of which saturates 2.3g
Wheat Flour (39%)
Plain chocolate (29%)
Natural Vanilla Flavouring
Wholemeal ( doesn't say what !!) (9%)
So quite a long list which looks quite yucky and you wonder really how the biscuits can taste so nice !
ANyhow back to the actual biscuit. There is something satisying about taking the biscuit and snapping it in two before eating it. It doesn't disintegrate on snapping, a few crumbs fly off maybe but that is all. its quite a firm biscuit that sort of melts in the mouth a bit but without being fluffy !(hope you know what I mean).
I've tried other brands of Plain Chocolate Digestives but no-one of them really have the same appeal as McVities. Also - they have to be plain chocolate not milk !
I'd recommend these biscuits if you are feeling flush and want a treat with your cuppa.
This is my biscuit of choice, whether it's with my customary cup of very sweet and strong Kenco Colombian Coffee (my favourite) or a cup of old rosy lea. (Tea)
Whenever my wife and I visit the supermarket the shelves containing the McVities Plain Chocolate Digestive are invariably one of the first places I head for.
A night in front of the old goggle box watching a DVD, movie or footy match simply wouldn't be the same without a packet or two of these tasty wee beauties strategically placed close to hand on the coffee table.
As with McVities Jaffa Cakes (another of my favourite biscuits) I have been known to get through a couple of packets of these at a single sitting. Perhaps that's why my weight has ballooned from about 11 stone to about 13 and a half stone in the past year. (That and giving up the fags back in March!) But it worries me not!
I have always been fond of wheatmeal biscuits since I was a little nipper, and now that you can get them coated in my favourite plain chocolate flavour they are an absolute must buy.
I've tried other cheaper brands of plain chocolate digestive, but in all honesty none of the others comes close, although I have been known to scoff the Lidl brand from time to time. (They're cheaper and *NEARLY* as tasty)
You'll be able to get McVities Plain Chocolate Digestives in practically any shop or supermarket, but shop around for the best price.
Often they run a offer where you get an extra 33% biscuits for the same price, so keep your eyes open for this.
© KenJ December 2007
~~ Personal Testimony ~~
In my life so far I've eaten at least hundreds of thousands of McVities plain chocolate biscuits - enough packets stacked end to end to reach the moon and back. In Britain, the digestive biscuit has long had a strong cultural identity as the traditional accompaniment to a cup of tea and is frequently eaten as such - a tradition that I uphold. It's possible to live for a week on tea, milk and McVities Chocolate biscuits, although this is not recommended as it might lead to blockages of the waste disposal system. A dose of one packet per person per week should be enough to compliment most diets although cultural influences and stressfull living will lead some to ignore this recommendation. The manufacturers do kindly assure us though, that Mcvities plain chocolate biscuits can be eaten as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
~~ History ~~
Chocolate McVities are ancient biscuits. They have always been around since before I can remember. I've heard rumours that the company began producing them for the first time in 1925; the same year that Huddersfield Town won the league and one year after my literary hero Franz Kafka was laid to rest. These are nothing more than coincidences of course.
~~ Presentation ~~
A 2007 packet contains 24 individual disks snugly enclosed within a seductively dark and not too tacky wrapping. Such cylindrical packages you will find stuffed onto supermarket shelves in triangular piles. The presence of McVities in my kitchen cupboard always evokes a tide of emotional nostalgic warmth. This feeling usually evaporates however, when I try to open a packet. This is an often cumbersome task that usually requires a pair of scissors at hand. Tucked inside you will find the design of each biscuit consists of a circular base of wheaty digestive topped with a modest rippled chocolate coating.
~~ Taste and Texture ~~
As a product of late post modernism I would still describe them as possessing an authentic taste despite some mysterious and rather disturbing alterations to the recipe sometime earlier this century. This I believe is responsible for a slightly duller flavour of the biscuit base. This however, was never enough to annihilate the McVities plain chocolate digestive experience. The flavour is a not too sweet and not too bitter plain chocolate taste mixed with dusty sunburnt wheat. The texture is a husky slightly sticky crumble that lacks grit. I usually eat three per session or two during diet regimes or maybe one... don't be ridiculous. They're undoubtedly better when munched with slurps of tea rather than coffee. Full ingredients are conveniently located on the side of the packet and I am aware that these biscuits are suitable for both vegetarians and omnivores.
~~ The Superior Alternative ~~
Only plain chocolate will do mind. There is a milk chocolate variety of equal dimensions that is far too sweet. Biscuit connoisseurs should avoid them at all costs. You can easily spot them because they come in poo coloured packets. The biscuit mass of these inferior relatives forms a sickly goo of spittle in the gob upon mastication. They might be fine for inmates but not for your average raconteur. I know some poor unfortunate souls who have wasted years of their wretched lives consuming these inferior McVities offerings without ever realising the superior plain chocolate alternative.
~~ Price and Outlets ~~
Due to some bizarre economic law their price has been fixed for some time now at the £1.09 mark although the contemporary marketing device that encourages consumers to "buy 2 and get 1 free" is often an option at the major outlets - all to do with economies of scale so they say. Such outlets include Tescos, Asda, Morrisons and the Corner Shop. I have never found a packet of plain chocolate in the local dystopian nightmare that is Kwik Save.