That’s just the way the biscuit crumbles

Published 9:37 am Thursday, January 11, 2018

Around both the end and beginning of each new year, there are always tons of ranked lists coming out of the woodwork to sum up the past twelve months or look forward to the upcoming ones instead.

“Top 10 movies you should have watched this year!” one website proclaims.

“Top 5 fashion items you’ll need for the new year!” says another.

“Top 3 most easily broken New Year’s resolutions! (Number 2 will shock you!)”

I could continue on with more headlines I just made up, but you get the idea, right? We as a society love ranking stuff, no matter how mundane and arbitrary. The end of December and beginning of January just brings out this tendency even more than ever, though we do it all year long. Is this just for fun or is it some sort of innate need to bring a tiny sliver of order to our constantly chaotic lives? The jury is still out on that one. (I think it could be both.)

There’s one thing, however, guaranteed for all of these lists. Some people out there will inevitably complain about them. Check any comment section. There’s at least one guy who’s morally offended you didn’t include his obscure favorite thing in the list. And then there’s the girl who is appalled (APPALLED! she writes in all caps for emphasis) that you didn’t rank something higher than it should have been.

No one is ever going to be 100 percent satisfied. That’s one of life’s absolute truths.

An example: The Washington Post recently conducted a taste test to rank the best biscuits fast-food establishments have to offer. But they only looked at six different places: Bojangles, Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, and Popeyes. Not nearly a representative sample of all the biscuits fast food has to offer, right?

I mean, how do you just ignore Hardees?!

Anyway, the taste testers, who sampled biscuits from venues in the DC-metro area, picked McDonald’s as the best and Burger King as the worst. Bojangles came in second to last place, which is actually how I heard about this whole thing at all. The Charlotte Observer ran a short article about the results just to mention that Bojangles had been insulted. Bojangles, for the record, is headquartered in Charlotte.

“Very salty” and “tastes like baking soda” were some of the disappointing descriptions attributed to the Bojangles biscuits they ate.

I can tell you my first reaction to reading the biscuit rank results was a resounding “huh? really?” while scratching my head. Perhaps others reading might have agreed with how things turned out. And there were, of course, some people who wholeheartedly disagreed.

One of North Carolina’s senators, Thom Tillis, even tweeted “With all due respect to The Washington Post, their food tasters need to get their tastebuds checked out. Bojangles makes the best ‘fast food’ biscuits, period.”

Frankly, I think the results of this test are highly dependent on how skilled the particular cook in the kitchen is that day, and also just personal preference. Maybe some people like baking soda-flavored biscuits! I won’t fault them for their weird taste preferences.

All these end-of-year ranking lists are, essentially, just someone’s opinion. When it comes to organizing things, there’s no way to be completely objective, no matter how hard you try. Everybody likes different things, and that’s okay! There’s no need to get annoyed over a meaningless list which has no bearing on real life.

Even if that meaningless list excluded Hardees for some inexplicable reason (which probably somewhat skewed the results, right?)

These ranking lists aren’t going away anytime soon. As long as we have opinions, we’ll have someone trying to organize those opinions into a list designed to tell you which one is the best. Whenever I read one, I have to remind myself not to get so invested in the results.

Don’t be like me and write a whole snarky column on the topic. Just go eat your favorite biscuits and move on.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.