The exchange caught me by surprise. And no, not because I didn't know what they were talking about. That isn't unusual. But in this context? Cookies? The best cookies? And I hadn't even heard of them!?
See, I really have only two interests: food and exercise. Because I'm wildly over-educated, I can speak on other topics, like the major obstacles to the successful completion of the Doha trade round. But at a conservative estimate, I spend upwards of 75% of my free time thinking about food and exercise. And yet here I was, caught out entirely over these allegedly great cookies. My ignorance could not be allowed to continue.*
And so a research project was born. Biscoff: What is it, Why does Delta serve it, Where can I get some, and How does it taste in ice cream?
What is it?
Biscoff rose to fame as a cookie. A speculoos cookie, to be specific. Speculoos are, according to Wikipedia, a kind of shortcrust biscuit, and ... well, if you care that much, go read the Wiki entry.
But more recently**, Biscoff has been available as a spread. A cookiespread. (Let's all just pause for a moment, to recognize how great that idea is... ready? Okay- let's keep going). Flavor-wise, biscoff is to cookies, what nutella is to chocolate and hazelnut. When I tried it for the first time, it was as if someone had taken a box of the fancy Pepperidge Farms cookies I only got at my grandmother's house, ground them up, and made a spreadable paste out of them. All of which is to say.. it's pretty awesome.
It’s a texture, a mouthfeel thing. They are crisp to the bite, but then they just crumble into tender sand as you chew. Remarkable, really. I have only one source for them: a store near my beach house. So when I go to close the house at the end of the summer, I stock up on enough Biscoff to last me through until April! But they never do last because, well, that’s the nature of addiction, right?
I dunno. Not even Wikipedia had a good answer for this one. In fact, Wiki doesn't even have an entry on Biscoff the cookie. I had to make do with this entry from WikiKitchen, Wikipedia's red-headed step-child. But Delta and Biscoff clearly enjoy a pretty deep partnership. You can even earn Delta Sky Miles by shopping at biscoff.com. Seriously.
Where can I get some?
For years, the easiest way to get biscoff cookies was to fly Delta. I'm told that on many/most/all(?) of their flights, they offer Biscoff cookies as a snack. (The second easiest was to order them from Amazon). But no longer- now, you can find Biscoff both as a spread and as a cookie at your friendly neighborhood grocery store.*** Which leads us to the research question most dear to my heart...
How does it taste in ice cream?
Great question- glad you asked. Kirby was kind enough to bring over a jar, with the suggestion that I make it into ice cream.
* In my defense, I've never been a big store-bought dessert guy. For this, I blame my mom, who is a great baker. Her desserts have spoiled me for anything I can get at most bakeries.
** My friend Brad tells me that Biscoff, the spread, has been available in Europe for some time.
*** I haven't been able to verify the cookies. The Giant (a grocery store chain) by my apartment recently began stocking biscoff spread, next to the Nutella, but I've yet to see the cookies in the store. My friend Kirby is the only one who has spotted the cookie in the wild, but for all I know, he was in the depths of a sugar binge at the time.