Empire Biscuits

Illustration of an Empire Biscuit by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (www.owlingabout.co.uk).This weekend we went along to the British Pipe Band Championships. Pipe bands are mostly found in Scotland but there are lots in other places with celtic connections. A band consists of the pipers (on bagpipes) and then the drummers on several different sorts of drums, best of all being the big bass drum. I love seeing a pipe band in full swing, all decked out in their finery and playing a stirring tune. I have been known to well up at the sight. I have been royally teased for this as some people feel bagpipes should bring on tears for a different reason – heathens! There were 140 pipe bands there on saturday, amounting to over 4000 pipers and drummers! It was a super afternoon. Little Owl had a good old boogie to a couple of reels and, oblivious to it all, Finch slept through the whole trip.

Another peculiarly Scottish thing I have developed a mini obsession with is the Empire Biscuit. I hadn’t ever seen one of these before moving to Scotland and if you haven’t met one either I’ve drawn one for you here. An Empire Biscuit is two rounds of shortbread sandwiched together with jam, iced, and topped with a glace cherry or jelly sweet. They go beautifully with a cup of tea. I’ve tried to find out why they’re so particularly Scottish and haven’t been able to find out much. Apparently they were called German biscuits prior to World War 1 but the name was changed out of patriotic sentiment. Anyone with any information let me know and in the mean time do try one!

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