What's the most basic industrial cake/biscuit in your country/state?

Okay so I’m French and listening to Waypoint Radio and there are a lot of food references I don’t get.

I love junk food, sweets and cakes so I’m of course curious to what you guys have around your parts.

So I’d like to know, according to you, what are the most basic brands of industrial cakes, something that everyone knows and has eaten at least once because it’s such an institution and a part of everyone’s routine.

In France I think those would be BN : https://www.episaveurs.fr/sites/episaveurs/files/styles/push_product_and_recipe/public/2020-09/Produits/produits-bn-gout-chocolat-en-paquet-295-g-bn-0001130.jpg?itok=f4i4p47G

Or other brands of chocolate biscuits such as Prince (https://images.sweetauthoring.com/product/84313.jpg) or Pépito, which is a very cringy representation of Latinx people (https://www.monoprix.fr/assets/images/grocery/3072895/580x580.jpg?impolicy=High_Grocery)

Those would be the most basic stuff, nonwithstanding cheaper versions that some might buy to save money.
Is it the same kind of biscuits with a chocolate blanket or filling that are the most common types of grocery store cakes you could find in the U.S ?
Maybe it’s not the same thing according to the State you live in ?

Hope you can shed some light on this, we might start a comparative anthropological research on groceries while comparing experiences, and I think that’s as useless as it is awesome.

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Twinkies are probably the most popular snack cake I think in the US

For biscuits/cookies I think it has to be Oreos. There’s a lot of generic copies of Oreos out there now.

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Hmm. An interesting question. I think some of it will vary regionally, I can’t think of a ton of widely available generic sweets that would fit the box standard definition of “biscuit” (cookie to us) or cake especially.

If I had to pick one single cake type treat that more or less everyone in the states would instantly recognize by name and on sight, it would be a Twinkie.. This is weird though because while they’re available everywhere and more or less everyone has heard of one if not had one, I imagine if you pulled 100 random Americans and asked them to name a cake, very few of them would say Twinkie. I can’t explain why, but to me at least while part of my brain knows that a Twinkie is in fact a cake, I just don’t categorize it like that in my head. It just kind of falls into some general junk food category and stays separate from stuff like red velvet or angel food. Even if you asked someone to name cakes you can buy from the store I still don’t think Twinkies would come up all that often. The Hostess Cupcake is iconic and popular, and a bunch of different companies make Snow Balls. In fact you can find countless varieties of the same three ingredients; chocolate cake, icing, creme filling. Ho-hos, devil dogs, ding dongs, ring dings, Swiss rolls, Suzy-q’s, etc.

As for biscuits or cookies, again the most generic everyone knows what they are would probably be Oreo.. This doesn’t have the same mental black for me as I immediately think of an Oreo as a cookie. Outside of those I’d say the most common are probably going to be Chips Ahoy!, and Pepperidge Farm makes a whole bunch of varieties, but they’re mostly generic names. Nilla Wafers are also popular, but not as ubiquitous.

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In my region in Brazil we like Maria biscuits as it is commonly used to make other desserts, but Passatempo is probably the most well-known/popular brand of sandwich cookies.

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Personally I really like any snack by Piraquê, plus I just enjoy their packaging design.

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Edit to add one weird trivia I forgot to mention: there’s a honest-to-goodness dispute between folks from São Paulo and Rio over the “best” word for biscuits/cookies (bolacha vs. biscoito, in practical terms they mean the same nowadays). This is actually taken very seriously by some people since inventing pointless rivalries is a national pastime in my country apparently lol.

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Where I grew up in Canada, “cookie” usually meant one of these:

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or
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Industrial cake snacks weren’t really a thing. Thanks to American tv, we knew about twinkies, but they weren’t really available anywhere.

But if someone made a homemade tray bake, it would almost always be a Nanaimo bar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar

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Wait Canada grocery stores do not have a shelf that’s just over run with hostess cakes? That’s surprises me because the town’s in the UP I’ve visited the grocery stores/gas stations still have entire shelves dedicated to them. I just assumed by osmosis it would be the same further north.

Also personal favorite is probably Swiss Rolls frozen. If you freeze them they’re nice and firm so you can peel the very bad chocolate frosting off.

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I only knew about hostess cakes from comic books :sob:

I was in the north though, maybe the east coast is different? (Canada is big).

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One of the less beloved hostess cakes that just happens to be my favorite are chocolate zingers:

They’re like Twinkies, but chocolate flavored with some gritty, cloyingly sweet frosting on top. They’re objectively awful. I love them.

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In Southern Ontario hostess cakes (and off brand equivalents) are easy to find. They’re definitely around.

I do wonder who purchases them though. I often find that the fresh baked goods at my local grocery to be about the same price and taste a lot better.

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Working in a Canadian grocery store is often disappointing because we almost never get any of the truly cursed Oreo and Chip’s Ahoy variants. I saw one of these once:
Nabisco-Unveils-New-Chips-Ahoy-Sour-Patch-Kids-Limited-Edition-Cookies-678x381
They were a let down

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Baltimore staples are berger cookies and otterbeins


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Berger cookies are a cakier cookie covered in chocolate icing that are incredibly unhealthy and probably the best commercial cookie you’ll ever eat, hands down (as long as you like chocolate anyways). I usually only get boxes for special occasions though.

Otterbeins cover a lot of different types of cookies but they are all very thin, crisp cookies. My favorite is the plain sugar cookie, they come in fun shapes and are way too easy to eat.

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One that we have that I never saw in the states is Jos Louis (pronounced joe) Apart from that I can’t think of an exclusively Canadian snack cake/cookie

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may I present the crown jewel of canadian snack cookies, The President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie:

pros:
crunchy, but not in a gross way like chips ahoy
doesnt taste like preservatives
the chocolate chips are actually good and they sell them in bags to use in your own baking
perfect with milk, have a nice texture and dont fall apart
comes in a resealable bag thats kinda like a coffee bag with the two cool bendy cardboard latch things and not that weird sticky plastic

cons:
not enough in a bag
the “president” in question is the Loblaws guy who fixed national bread prices, im pretty sure

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For cookies I’ll go with ores. For cakes I’ll possibly be going slightly outside of the brief and go with the choco pie. image

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England’s single most iconic/best-selling biscuit is probably the Chocolate Digestive:

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People love to dunk them in tea. Personally I prefer the very-nearly-as-iconic Chocolate Hobnob:

(Same concept but with a softer, oat-based biscuit.)

As for cakes, there’s the Jaffa Cake, of course:

(There was a serious legal fight over whether these were in fact cakes or biscuits, owing to some tax law shenanigans. The courts ultimately decided that they were indeed cakes, legally speaking, which makes them sales tax exempt—for whatever reason, while chocolate covered biscuits are taxable in the UK, chocolate covered cakes are not.)

Alternatively, for a more traditional example of a cake, and a closer equivalent to, say, the Twinkie, there’s the (mini) Battenberg:

It’s basically a sponge cake with a layer of almond paste inside, coated in marzipan. You can get proper home-made versions too, generally in a larger size, but these little Mr Kipling ones are the standard.

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A similar thing happened with Pringles. Because other chip manufacturers felt that Pringles were not “real” potato chips because they’re made from a potato dough and not sliced potatoes they objected and demanded that they reclassify their product. Eventually in 1975 the FDA stepped in and said Pringles had to include “potato chips made from dried potatoes” if they wanted to use the word chip which Pringles rightfully thought was dumb and so changed to be called potato crisps.

Well flash forward to 2008 and Pringles argues to the London courts that in fact they shouldn’t even be classified as crisps because their product has only 42% potato the rest being mostly wheat starch and flour and further stated the shape of pringles are not found in nature. Why would they bad mouth their own product to a court? To avoid the 17.5% VAT. The court initially agreed saying they weren’t actually a crisp but a year later it was over turned.

Food laws are weird.

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Greetings from Australia

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Chuck in a tray of Arnott’s Family Assortment and you’ve got yourself an above-average accompaniment to a regional Australian social gathering.

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Haha yes! Arnotts Assorted Creams is the first thing that popped into my head reading this thread.

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This is awesome. So glad I started this thread. This is a great database of grocery store cookies/biscuits.
I can notice that Americans love filling, be it in cakes or biscuits. UK cakes are closer to the one we got in France, and even Brazilian PassaTempo could easily be found in another similar form here, but Twinkies ? Never. And Oreo are biscuits with filling in it. That’s crazy how much that seems to be important haha. That’s my main take-away, as well as some awesome food law-related trials ofc.

Also this Tim Tam photo reminded me that I ate some while in Australia, there were good !

Now I need to go a local grocery specialized in imported stuff and try all of these as soon as I get my paycheck.

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