|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Created by||John Abernethy|
|Main ingredients||Hardtack, sugar, caraway seeds|
Abernethy believed that most diseases were due to disorders in digestion. The Abernethy biscuit is a type of digestive biscuit, a baked good originally designed to be eaten as a support to proper digestion. In creating his biscuit, Abernethy was following a trend of other medical practitioners like English William Oliver of Bath, Somerset (invented the Bath Oliver) and the American preacher Sylvester Graham who was a nutrition expert (the Graham cracker).
The Abernethy biscuit is an adaptation of the plain captain's biscuit or hardtack, with the added ingredients of sugar (for energy), and caraway seeds because of their reputation for having a carminative (prevents flatulence) effect making them beneficial in digestive disorders. The biscuit is a mix between an all butter biscuit and a shortcake, raising through use of ammonium bicarbonate. According to The Oxford Companion to Food, a baker at a shop where Abernethy regularly had lunch created the new biscuit when Abernethy suggested it, naming it after him.
Abernethy biscuits are still popular in Scotland. They are manufactured commercially by Simmers (Edinburgh), Browns Bakery (Orkney Islands), Walls Bakeries (Shetland Islands), and by Stag Bakeries (Isle of Lewis).
Sample ingredient list
The following are ingredients:
- Plain flour
- Caster sugar (granulated sugar can also be used)
- Baking powder
- Caraway seeds
The biscuit in history
- Laura Halpin Rinsky; Glenn Rinsky (2009). The Pastry Chef's Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. p. 1. ISBN 0-470-00955-1. OCLC 173182689.
- "Abernethy Biscuits". The Foods of England. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Abernethy biscuit". theoldfoodie.com. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- Prosper Montagné (1961). Larousse Gastronomique: The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine & Cookery. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. pp. 209–210.
- "Abernethy biscuit". nicecupofteaandasitdown.com. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- Alan Davidson (2006). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-19-280681-5.
- "Abernethy biscuit". bakersandlarners.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
- "Traditional Scottish Recipes - Abernethy Biscuits". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- George William Erskine Russell. Seeing and Hearing. Project Gutenberg. p. 169. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- W. S. Gilbert. "Princess Toto – An entirely new and original English Comic Opera in Three Acts" (PDF). The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive. p. 57. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club", (1836) p. 774, Charles Dickens