The definitive ranking of every Arnott’s Assorted biscuit from worst to very best

Arnott's Assorted biscuits are put to the taste test.
Arnott's Assorted biscuits are put to the taste test. Photo: Supplied

A friend of a friend refers to Arnott's Family Assorted Biscuits as "prison bikkies" because the correctional centre always has a fresh supply when she visits her boyfriend in the clink. True story.

It's unlikely Arnott's will ever use the slammer angle to market its much-loved Family biscuit buffet, also found in nursing homes, Driver Reviver pit stops, office tearooms, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (probably) and Australian pantries from Bulahdelah to Broome. Assorted Creams and Classic Assorted packs fill Tupperware in every state, too, with a small degree of biscuit crossover between selections.

All three Assorted line-ups have changed over the years, with Melting Moments, Malt'O'Milk, Swiss Creams and Cherry Ripes (not to be confused with the Cherry Crown or chocolate bar) either discontinued or relegated to the reserve bench. Granitas were mercifully stretchered off the field some time ago.

Iced VoVo is the greatest of all Arnott's biscuits, I think we can agree on that, closely followed by the Venetian and Honey Jumble. But, what about within the Assorted range? What biscuit is top dog? Here, published for the first time, is the definitive ranking, by me, after a day spent taste-testing every Arnott's Assorted biscuit from worst to the very best.

So-called fan-favourite the Orange Slice.

So-called fan favourite the Orange Slice. Photo: Callan Boys

13. Orange Slice

Assorted Creams

Orange and cream (or milk solids in this case) is an offensive combination and these so-called "fan favourites" need firing into the sun. Anyone who reaches for the Orange Slice first more than likely visits Red Rooster for breakfast and thinks filming Cats for the screen is "a good idea".

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Jelly bean canvas par excellence.

Jelly bean canvas par excellence. Photo: Callan Boys

12. Milk Arrowroot

Family Assorted

Far be it from me to throw shade on the Arrowroot's excellence as a jelly bean canvas, or its ability to be slathered in enough butter to make a Pink Ladies Auxiliary blush. However, they're too bone-dry and tasteless to enjoy unadulterated and why the Family pack is loaded with a dozen of these is beyond me.

Lacking the buttery thump of a Scotch Finger.

Lacking the buttery thump of a Scotch Finger. Photo: Callan Boys

11. Shortbread Cream

Classic Assorted and Assorted Creams

Ladies and gentleman, it's the wet handshake of biscuits! The beige chino of cookies! The Brian McFadden of baked goods! It's the Shortbread Cream! These guys lack the buttery thump of a Scotch Finger or Arno Shortbread, and I'm damn sure they were a lot bigger 20 years ago.

A sweeter copy of the Oreo.

A sweeter copy of the Oreo. Photo: Callan Boys

10. Delta Cream

Assorted Creams

A sweeter facsimile of America's Oreo, but with a bitter note to the cocoa that's in no way pleasant. Only delicious when crumbled through vanilla ice-cream for a poor man's McFlurry.

Farmbake Choc Chip: no one's favourite.

The Farmbake Choc Chip is no one's favourite. Photo: Callan Boys

9. Farmbake Choc Chip

Classic Assorted

Fact: No one in the known universe has ever named Arnott's Farmbake Choc Chip as their favourite biscuit. Not one single person. Ever. I bet you forgot these even existed until two seconds ago.

Cuter than the head of Grimace.

Cuter than the head of Grimace. Photo: Callan Boys

8. Teddy Bear

Family Assorted

The taste difference between a Teddy Bear and McDonald's cookie is negligible. At least a bear is cuter than the decapitated head of Grimace. Did you know that in McDonaldland lore, Grimace has a half-brother named King Gonga who rules over all Grimaces, including Great-grandma Grimace, also known as "Winky" Grimace? Nope? Well, now you do.

Barely holds its own in hot coffee.

Barely holds its own in hot coffee. Photo: Callan Boys

7. Monte Carlo

Classic Assorted and Assorted Creams

Steady with the pitchforks, I have something to say: the Monte Carlo isn't very good. The biscuit is too crumbly – gritty, almost. The cream filling tastes like sponge cake on the turn and the Monte can barely hold its own in hot coffee. Remove the nostalgia goggles and consider these points. You know in your heart they are true.

Perfectly fine.

Perfectly fine. Photo: Callan Boys

6. Chocolate Ripple

Family Assorted

Look, it's fine. The cocoa flavour is fine. The snappish texture is fine. It's fine. This is a fine biscuit.

The Milk Coffee: an acceptable offering.

The Milk Coffee: an acceptable offering. Photo: Callan Boys

5. Milk Coffee

Family Assorted

There's a pleasant golden syrup flavour humming through these soldiers that makes the Milk Coffee an acceptable offering for visitors you like a little bit, but not that much – similar to how I feel about pretzels and Jackson Browne.

Not too heavy, not too light.

Not too heavy, not too light. Photo: Callan Boys

4. Nice

Family Assorted

Although Arnott's often lays claim to the name, variations of the sugar-dusted Nice are common around the globe. (In the Netherlands they call it a "Nizza".) I dig the not-too-heavy, not-too-light texture of the Nice, Australia's number one complimentary hotel snack for guests who slept through breakfast.

The one break that's ready in a shake.

The one break that's ready in a shake. Photo: Callan Boys

3. Scotch Finger

Classic Assorted and Family Assorted

"It's the one break that's ready in a shake, break a finger!" What a weird 1988 commercial that was. Especially when the buttery shortbread snaps in half either by its own accord or at the hands of a tubby poltergeist. I guess we'll never know. Sure, there are fancier biscuits, but the Scotch Finger is a terrific time, and heaven with Highland whisky and a three-hour To the Manor Born marathon.

Arnott's Kingston

The Kingston - what more do you want in a biscuit? Photo: Callan Boys

2. Kingston

Classic Assorted and Assorted Creams

Desiccated coconut, golden syrup, oats and a "smooth choc-cream filling". Honestly, what more do you want in a biscuit? My New York-born flatmate has zero nostalgic bias towards Arnott's, but does have a habit of raiding my biscuit tin and the Kingstons are always the first to go. (Milk Arrowroot, for what it's worth, is last.) Sarah, if you're reading this, I know what you get up to when I'm not home. Stop mining my Cadbury Roses for all the nougat ones, too.

Anzac biscuit in disguise.

Anzac in disguise. Photo: Callan Boys

1. Butternut Snap

Classic Assorted and Family Assorted

Desiccated coconut, golden syrup, oats and hang on a minute… is the Butternut Snap just a Kingston without the cream? More or less, yes. This Anzac biscuit in disguise is tougher on the teeth than its Army Corps counterpart but every bit as brilliant. A high degree of butter density means the biscuit can handle a lengthy dunk and peer-reviewed studies show cheesecake with a Butternut base is the most delicious thing atomic matter is capable of forming. Certainly worth putting the kettle on for.