The pleasures of dunking

Hi Everyone, I am a dunker. Yep! I like to dip my bread, biscuits, cookies, and cake into a hot or cold beverage of choice, then, heavy with sweet liquid and softened, I devour it.

I know, all the non-dunking-loving people just made a face of disgust and probably said eeewwwww. But you, my fellow dunkers have broad pleasurable smiles on your faces. You know what I’m talking about.

Dunking is one of those things that you either like doing or don’t. It’s like one of those food related things whereby you either like okra or you don’t. You either like the cream-skin at the top of the milk once boiled or you don’t. I love it all. For us dunkers, there are many pleasures to be derived from dunking. You get a feeling of joy, there is comfort in every bite and long after you’re done eating and drinking, there is contentment. A certain kind of happiness lingers.

While to the uninitiated dunking may seem like child’s play, it is and it isn’t. You see there is an art to dunking. Each dunker knows, they have their own individual set of rules that’s their art. They know which beverages – hot or cold – goes with which solid. They know the temperature best suited for dunking various treats. They know which biscuits, cookies and types of cakes are best suited for dunking in cold beverages. They know not to plunge the entire cookie, biscuit or slice of bread into the beverage but rather half or partial so that the remainder is intact as you transport it to your mouth. They know how long to immerse the item just so that it is softened and not melted off. They know that the cup or glass should be close to the chest so that the trip to the mouth of the dunked item is a short one, avoiding the pitfall of having it dropped unceremoniously and being seriously disappointed.

Dunked – biscotti in tea (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

My hot beverages of choice for dunking include tea, coffee, cocoa, hot chocolate, Milo, Ovaltine and milk. There are only three options for me when it comes to cold-dunking beverages: Red Ju-C, Icee Red or Icee Cream Soda with Carnation Milk. I have tested my cold-dunking methods with other sodas but no other flavours the way these do. Sweet biscuits and pound cake when dunked in one of these cold beverages takes you to a happy place.

When it comes to the solids, my personal preferences are sweet or salt biscuits, sweet (coconut) bread, and regular bread. I am not a cookie lover, the closest I get to a cookie is biscotti (Italian twice-baked biscuits). Biscotti, because they are very dry, beg to be dunked so that they can drink in the sweet liquid, swell and bloom.

Ready to dunk – biscotti and tea (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

There are two types of dunking. Who knew eh? There is the partial dunking, which is the more popular of the two and then there is the full-on dunking. With partial dunking, you dunk, piece by piece until you’ve eaten the entire thing. For example, you dunk the biscuit, eat, dunk the other piece and finish eating the biscuit. Full-on dunking, the bread is torn into bite-size pieces, the biscuits are added whole, broken if large and are added to the liquid to be completely submerged. When this kind of dunking is done, the food is eaten with a spoon. Bread and sweetened hot milk make a great combination as does salt biscuits and tea or sweet biscuits and coffee. Ginger snap cookies and tea are particularly exceptional.

My mom is a dunker too. She likes a thick-cut end of freshly made homemade bread, buttered, for her to dunk into hot Milo.

What’s your art to dunking? And which combo is your favourite?



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