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This Britain

Minor British Institutions: Biscuit dunking


Dunking biscuits is one of the chief pleasures many Britons afford themselves, which tells you much about the country. Even so, the practice is disapproved of by other Britons, mostly members of the middle classes who follow what they believe, usually erroneously, to be the views of the upper classes.

But dunking is more: the distinction between Dunker and Dryist is as crucial as that between Roundhead and Cavalier, Stoic and Epicurean, Sucker and Chewer: on the one side, frisky free-spirited sensualists; on the other, costive types as dry as their digestives.

Dunkers, though, do have their standards: they eschew anything but tea, and believe only a round biscuit allows the gracefully delayed scoop which best releases what scientists calculate to be up to 10 times more flavour than from a dry biscuit. But they still display a liking for risk and adventure: in a survey of preferred dunkees, the always tricky chocolate digestive took the biscuit.