Dining

Don't Scoff at Biscoff

Why the airline cookies deserve all the love you have to give
Photo: Meghan Uno/Tasting Table
Biscoff Cookies

Airplane food. Am I right?

Yeah, I'm right. You're at your worst when traveling. You're also at your worst when you're hungry. Enter Biscoff, the weary traveler's cinnamon-spiced savior. I fly about once a month and almost exclusively Delta. It's not for the excellent service or the oddly hilarious new safety-precaution video. Or even to stare enviously at those surprisingly chic ascots. I do it for the Biscoff.

You know the ones. The refuge in a six-hour, leg-cramp-inducing flight, straight from the flight attendants' cart of goodies (how they don't eat them all during takeoff I'll never understand). While your seat neighbor goes to town on a plastic-wrapped wad of ambiguous sandwich, everything is oval cookies and European happiness to you. Everything else about an airplane tastes like stale air and minimal personal space, but with Biscoff, you're still in Belgium sipping a latte with speculoos in tow.

They taste vaguely like gingerbread cookies that you don't feel weird about eating when there's no snow on the ground. Or graham crackers without the graham flour (and come to think of it, they would make for pretty great s'mores). Or giant cinnamon Teddy Grahams, but instead of the shellacked belly button, they don a raised Lotus tattoo.

The first step in eating one is always to inhale the delightful cinnamony scent. Then break it into pieces—it extends the surface area—and let each piece slowly dissolve on your tongue. I'm not alone in this passion. We didn't have to source cookies for the above photo—a coworker eagerly brought some in from her Costco supply, a gift from her in-laws who know her all too well.

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The cookies were introduced to airplanes in 1985 as a result of a Lotus Foods-airline partnership, but they've been parading around Europe since 1932—in other words, they could be my grandma. You used to have to fly to enjoy them, and despite the success of demanding Americans getting these available in stores, the package does still read "the airline cookie."

These days, there's a Biscoff cookie butter, too (a phenomenon that has been taking the world by storm of late). If the taste is all you're going for, great. Lather it onto your toast; spoon it over your ice cream; do whatever. But don't expect me to join you—eating a Biscoff cookie is about more than just the flavor. Unless there's ice cream involved, I prefer to chew dessert, and cookies should never be spread with a knife. Besides, there are much better things to do with the cookies than blend them into oblivion with oil and sugar: Mix them with butter to make piecrust. Scoop ice cream between them and make ice cream sandwiches. Mush them into a bowl of milk and call it cereal.

As packaged cookies go, there's nothing weird in there. The ingredients are all easy to pronounce, and it doesn't take an hour to list them verbally. In fact, the only one you might not have on hand is soy flour. This hypothetically means you can make them at home—but don't. They're always good—and I stand by that—but they always taste best at 39,000 feet off the ground.

This isn't the greatest cookie in the world. This is just a tribute.

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