I am not what could be described as ‘sporty’. Football provides no interest, save for my curiosity of how players manage to amass more income per week than I ever pulled down in a year. The very mention of cricket and I slip into a light coma, and short of its opening ceremony, the hubris surrounding the Olympic games leaves me ever more detached. As for golf, I’ve always gone along with the description of it “being a good walk spoilt”.

Whether or not it was due to the staff press-gang at school insisting that for three wintry periods every week we were to reduce clothing by two thirds, run around on an ice-cold pitch with a surface consistency of concrete, shred every part of our exposed skin that wasn’t already bruised, all so that we may be inducted into the character building game of rugby I’m not altogether sure – but I eventually came to love the game. I can now watch it for hours from our well-upholstered sofa.

And just as football fans revere their stadium pies, American baseball fans consume over 20 million hot dogs in a season and tennis enthusiasts work their way through a strawberry mountain every Wimbledon fortnight, I set about making my own totemic snacks for televised games of the Six Nations rugby season. Any sports fan will tell you, an audience member requires sustenance for the huge investment of emotion that is likely to be required.

At least that’s how these little gems first arrived in our household.

More often than not they now serve to welcome some of our visiting children fresh in from the rigours of buffet car omission provided by Anglia Railways.

Parmesan Biscuits from The Vegetarian Option (2009) Simon Hopkinson

Makes about 25-30

100g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

100g plain flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

½ tsp mustard powder

50g mature Cheddar, finely grated

50g Parmesan, finely grated plus a little extra to finish

1 large egg beaten

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

Put the butter and flour into a food processor, together with the salt, cayenne, mustard powder and cheeses

Briefly process all together to begin with, then, finally pulse the mixture in short spurts as you notice the mixture coming together – as pastry if you like

Once the texture is clearly ‘clumpy’, tip it all out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it together until well blended and smooth

Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

Gently roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 2mm thickness

Using a 3-5cm pastry cutter, cut out biscuits the size you wish for

Lay them on a greased baking tray about 2 cm apart, it may be necessary to bake them in 2 batches

Carefully brush the surface if each biscuit with beaten egg and sprinkle over a little finely grated Parmesan

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until a gorgeous pale golden colour is achieved

Serve while just warm if possible

Wine thoughts

One notable pairing I tried, with these perfectly delightful biscuits, was a delicious Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge. Vaucluse is a small region in the southern Rhône valley, predominantly using the playfully refreshing red Grenache grape with a little spice and heft from the local Syrah. This ripe-fruited wine leaps out of the glass with a vivid bouquet of red and black fruits, and provides a taste of warming violets on the palate. I find the Vaucluse region remains a source of excellent value red and white wines for everyday domestic quaffing, especially whilst the biscuits are gilding.