Biscuit maker explains why bourbon biscuits have holes in them

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  • Ever wondered why bourbon biscuits have holes in them? Well, it’s your lucky day, because the mystery has finally been solved…

    They’re one of the nation’s favourite biscuits, but have you ever sat in your kitchen, about to dunk a delicious bourbon biscuit in your cup of tea, and wondered why they’ve got holes in them?

    Thanks to the Channel 4 TV show Food Unwrapped, biscuits lovers everywhere can now finally rest their minds and put the query that has been haunting bourbon fans all this time to bed.

    The reason was revealed by Mark Greenwell, a man who arguably has one of the best jobs in the world being a team manager at a biscuit factory in Carlisle, where McVitie’s biscuits are made.

    Speaking on Food Unwrapped, Mark revealed the holes are there to maintain the biscuits’ texture.

    The tiny holes in the soft biscuits allow steam to escape, which prevents the treats from snapping.

    Custard creams do not have holes in them, unlike bourbons

    ‘If the holes weren’t there, steam would build up inside the biscuits. The biscuit would collapse back down and you wouldn’t have a controllable product,’ Mark told the show’s host, Kate Quilton.

    ‘You’re trying to get steam out of the biscuits to have an even texture.’

    Kate then explained the reason further: ‘Because the steam stays inside the biscuits, the trapped heat caramelises the sugar.

    ‘The sugar becomes a glass like structure, like you find in a boiled sweet, and that’s what gives a ginger nut its characteristic snap.’

    Other biscuits like digestives and rich tea biscuits also have holes in them for the same reason, unlike others like ginger nuts, which are meant to snap and crunch.

    Fans of biscuits reacted to the news saying they had wondered about the holes before: ‘Always wanted to know this!’, said one, while another posted: ‘Now I know why the holes are there I can sleep at night but it makes sense.’

    Are you happy the bourbon biscuit mystery is finally solved? Let us know in the comments!

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