The very first time I made Biscotti was before an annual vacation to Rocky Point, Mexico. The idea was to find a breakfast and snack food that tasted good, was convenient, and traveled well. After some creative adjustments to a very basic recipe, the Biscotti was a hit with everyone on vacation.
A couple of years later, I started sending Biscotti to a friend who was security contracting in Kosovo. He would tell me that as soon as the mail got there, everyone would ambush him looking for Biscotti. And it must have been pretty good because that security contractor is now my husband!
Years after (and a cute little curly, red-headed baby later), my kitchen became a Biscotti testing zone. I wanted to create Biscotti that wasn’t so much ‘typical’ as it was fresh and unique. I wanted to create Biscotti that was an anytime treat, not just one to pair with coffee.
And so, after settling on eight flavors I believe are creative and innovative that meet anyone’s taste for Biscotti, and can be enjoyed with a multitude of liquid accompaniments, Ginger Biscuits was born.
A Brief History of Biscotti
The word Biscotti comes from the Italian word Biscotto which means “cookie” or “biscuit”; more specifically, Biscotto refers to the process of baking – bis and cotto literally means ‘twice’ and ‘baked’. This methodof baking, although labor intensive, allows the biscuits to dry out properly and best soak up liquid you choose to enjoy with your biscuit.
Before the Italians however, Biscotti can be traced to Roman times; it was carried by the Roman legions to battle as a sustenance food, deemed the perfect food for travelers because it was dry and contained no fats and could therefore last for months. So how did Biscotti go from a bland convenience-food to what we now know as the modern Biscotti?
While the concept was born in Rome, Biscotti was re-invented during the Italian Renaissance. The Italians served this dry crunchy treat with sweet wine. They called it Cantucci, and it still goes by that name today (the term Biscotti in Italy is a general term used to describe any type of round, square or oblong crunchy cookie). But it was no longer a simple almond flavored food staple, as it had been in Rome, it became a culinary canvas; flavorings were added, along with chocolate bits, nuts and dried fruits.
Time passed and most European countries developed their own version of Cantucci, Biscotti, or Biscuits as it is known in England. In North America, we typically call it Biscotti, and like the Italians, we have taken this bland food (originally brought to us by Christopher Columbus because of it’s durability at sea) and turned it into a gourmet treat to be enjoyed at leisure with a cappuccino. The 90’s and the coffee-house craze made Biscotti wildly popular in the US. Flavors of all kinds emerged and it is now enjoyed with coffee, milk, tea, wine, hot chocolate, and even soup.
It is a treat limited only by the baker’s imagination. And I’m excited to share my imagination with you today.
The Ginger Biscuit logo was created by my very artistically talented daughter Miracle, who is in high school. She gave life to the words, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have her artwork as the face of my business.