History of Hardtack
The name derives from the British sailor slang for food, "tack".
- cabin bread,
- pilot bread,
- sea biscuit,
- sea bread (as rations for sailors),
- ship's biscuit,
- dog biscuits,
- molar breakers,
- sheet iron,
- tooth dullers,
- worm castles.
- ANZAC wafers
(Australian and New Zealand Army Corp).
- reliable source of food.
- grinding seeds 6000 BC.
- Romans first to grind seeds on cone mills.
- Egyptian sailors - flat brittle millet bread - dhourra cake,
- Romans - bucellatum hardtack, mutton and vinegar for two days and then have a day of bread, wine and bacon
- 10th c England "biskit of muslin" mix barley, bean flour, rye.
Early physicians “a biscuit a day” for good health.
The bakers biscuits hard ensure durability.
1588, daily allowance Royal Navy shipmates
- one pound of biscuits
- one gallon of beer.
1667 Royal Navy hardtack machine stamped Queen E's mark.
- Biscuits important Navy sailor’s diet
- 1814 intro canned meat,
- 1847 preserved beef in tins introduced
Ship's biscuit, crumbled or pounded fine key ingredient in New England seafood chowders late 1700s.
In 1801, baking operation in Milton, Massachusetts, marketed "water crackers" biscuits of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages.
1849 Gold prospectors of California carried hardtack. Pilot bread stored in wagon train rations.
Water Crackers hardtack crackers were used by troops
- American Civil War (1861–65)
- Civil War re-enactors and others.
1898 Spanish–American War, some military hardtack stamped "Remember the Maine" an American naval ship sank Havana Harbor during Cuban revolt against Spain
Insect infestation common in improperly stored provisions, soldiers would break up the hardtack and drop it into their morning coffee. This would not only soften the hardtack but the insects, mostly weevil larvae, would float to the top, and the soldiers could skim off the insects and resume consumption.
Some men also turned hardtack into a mush by breaking it up with blows from their rifle butts, then adding water. If the men had a frying pan, they could cook the mush into a lumpy pancake; otherwise they dropped the mush directly on the coals of their campfire. They also mixed hardtack with brown sugar, hot water, and sometimes whiskey to create what they called a pudding, to serve as dessert.
These days other brands enjoy significant popularity among the civilian population as well, both among campers and the general populace.
Hardtack is still a staple in military rations worldwide and a popular snack in many countries.
- Russian military
- Papua New Guinea
- Japan and South Korea
- New England
- United States
- Alaskans (Iñupiaq: qaqqulaq, Central Alaskan Yup'ik: sugg'aliq, Tlingit g_aatl) are among the last hardtack significant part normal diet.
History of Dog's Bread
Dog's bread dates back to at least Roman times.
Bread made from bran, the hard outer layers of cereal grain. Bran was historically considered bad or filthy bread fit only for consumption by dogs, and prisoners and enemies alike.
Today humans are encouraged to eat bad bread (bran) because, turns out, it's healthier.
3 grams of fiber and up is the goal these days for a healthy constitution.
History of Dog Biscuits
Around 1850. According to lore, bright-nose enterpreneur James Spratt (a watcher) noticed dogs feasting on pieces of hard-tack "molar breakers" biscuits discarded by sailors on the piers.
Spratt Patented Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes and Spratt's Dog Biscuits were created.
In 1931, the National Biscuit Company, (aka) Nabisco bought the Milk-Bone market and dog fud would never again be the same.
Would I eat a dog biscuit? Yup.
Ironic while dogs everywhere are treated with yummy, deliciously flavored biscuit treats, soldiers and sailors continue to enjoy flavorless molarbreakers in various forms.