uestion of Cindy, Maude and Chip (04.07.2016)
: What is a Sea biscuit or Hardtack?A:
A sea biscuit, more commonly known as hardtack, was once the staple food of any sailor.
Sea voyages were long and food preservation posed serious problems. Even salted meat ended up rotting! The only remaining option was the hardtack, extremely hard and could sometimes be kept for several years. The sailors ate preferably in the dark so as not to see the mould and insects crawling over the food!
The sea biscuit was composed of an unleavened bread wheat flour compound having vitamin B and about 10% protein. It was very dense, baked, and annealed several times until humidity had become completely absent.
Hence the origin of the word biscuit from the old days of the sailors in the Middle Ages, called "bis-cuit" cooked twice.
© Photos from Vancouver Maritime Museum