In Japan, biscuits and cookies are almost the same, and there is no clear distinction between them. According to the Japan Biscuit Association, a cookie is a baked product the sum of the sugar content and the fat content of which is 40% or greater, but this definition does not always apply.
March 18, 2011
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In the US, when we talk about biscuits, is things like Buttermilk Biscuits and drop biscuits that come to mind.
There's something that looks like a biscuit on the KFC Japan website, except for the hole in the top. My meager ability to translate from katakana makes it sound like a biscuit too.
Other than the cookies available in the average American supermarket and bakery, I grew up eating Tohato Harvest Biscuits, Bisco, and cookies from the Bourbon gift sets that Grandma would get from friends. I still buy Bisco for my little kids when I'm at the local Japanese market. Most of the Japanese biscuits and cookies I've had are less sweet than American ones.
Cheryl: Thanks for the links and a detailed description.
I talked about the difference between biscuts and cookies in Japan with my wife, and she immediately told me about the biscuit of KFC. That is probably one of the very few exceptions that are called "biscuits" in Japan.
Growing up eating Tohato Harvest, Bisco, and Bourbon?? Wow!
My mother's family is Japanese. My grandmother is from Nagaokakyo (I think I spelled that right) in Kyoto Prefecture. She came to the US in 1952. Her sisters and their families still live in the Kansai region. My grandfather's parents emigrated from Hiroshima and Kagoshima back in the early 1900's.
Grandma often receives the Bourbon biscuit gift sets as omiyage, and one of Grandpa's family members always sent us packages of the Tohato Harvest as gifts (I like the sesame ones). Grandma doesn't like sweets much, so she always gives them to Mom.
Cheryl: Thank you for a detailed description of your family background!
No wonder you grew up eating Japanese biscuits and cookies!
I'm a fan of most Bourbon products, such as Alfort, Branchure(sp?), Gateaux Raisin (sp?), and Truffe, just to name a few.
As for the links you provided..., I've never had buttermilk before. It's impossible to get it in Japan!
You can make a substitute for buttermilk using milk and either vinegar or lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to slightly less than 1 cup of milk.
Or you can substitute an equal amount of plain yogurt.
I usually use the milk + vinegar substitution, because I can never manage to use a whole container of buttermilk before it goes bad.
Cheryl: Thanks for useful information. Hmm... I'm tempted to use the milk and vinegar combination, like you do.
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