There are certain things you know you're going to miss when you move to a new city.
Friends and family are a given. Favourite bars and restaurants also come to mind. Perhaps even seeing your favourite sports team.
But do you know what you don't expect to miss? Your favourite biscuit, made by a large Australian company that you presume is stocked in every supermarket in the country.
And by all accounts, it is stocked in every supermarket in the country. It's just not the same recipe used to make the biscuits sold in every supermarket in the country.
I love a ginger nut biscuit. But more specifically I love the Arnott's ginger nut biscuit that is stocked in South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territory. (Information that when I moved to Canberra five years ago, I was not aware of).
Much to my surprise, the first time I went to bite into (what I thought was) a sweet ginger-tasting biscuit in Canberra, I found a much harder, more spiced biscuit instead.
It turns out that in the 1960s there were various biscuit companies across the country, all making ginger nut biscuits that their consumers loved.
The issue came, however, when all of these companies amalgamated under one Arnott's banner.
"While at the time, Arnott's tried to consolidate the different ginger nut recipes into one ... it was evident that each state was very passionate about the delicious ginger nut recipe they had grown up with and loved," an Arnott's spokesperson says.
"To this date, there remain four different varieties across the country - NSW/ACT, Victoria/Tasmania, South Australia/Western Australia/Northern Territory, and Queensland.
"For those towns on the border, such as Albury-Wodonga or Tweed Heads, there is the occasional crossover of biscuits; we've even heard of some consumers taking their own state's version when travelling interstate to ensure they get their hometown favourite."
I can confirm that last part - every time I travel back to Western Australia, or someone visits me here, I stock up on the west coast ginger nuts. (I'm sorry, Canberra, It's just not the same).
But no matter where you buy them, every biscuit starts in the same place. All four ginger nut recipes and corresponding biscuits are made in the Arnott's factory in Virginia, Queensland.
So what are the differences?
Ths is thickest and hardest of the ginger nuts, so prepare your teeth for this one - or at least get a cuppa on hand for some dunking assistance. It's also the lightest in colour and sits somewhere in between the sweetest and spiciest ginger nut biscuits - but still pretty subtle in flavour.
For me, there has always been a clear distinction between gingerbread and ginger nuts. But that's probably because I've never had the Queensland option until now. Darker in colour than the rest of the ginger nuts on offer, it's sweet but still has a sharpness to the spice flavour. The biggest difference is the texture. It's the softest of all the biscuits, which is great for your teeth, but not so great for dunking in a cuppa - they're likely to fall apart.
These are the closest to the traditional ginger nuts you find in Europe. Softer than its NSW/ACT counterpart, but harder than those found in Queensland, it's the Goldilocks in terms of texture. Flavour-wise though, this is definitely on the sweeter side, with a subtle ginger taste and almost no tingling from the spice.
There are very slim differences taste-wise to the Victoria and Tassie counterparts - at a pinch, it's slightly sweeter. But! There is no denying this is a different biscuit. Looks-wise it's like looking at a very dry desert floor. And I wouldn't say it's a dry biscuit but there is a crispness to this variant compared to the others.
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