Taste Test of Actual Civil War Hardtack Baked in 1863 for the War

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Rudyard

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'Liverpool pan tiles' beats starving, interesting angle on hard tack real ' living history' research . Rudyard
 

rdlowe

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This guy, eh?! It’s strangely satisfying watching him eat decades old food.
 

OLUT

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Unique video, but destroying a civil war rarity is a real shame. At least he saved half of it and the wrapper for the museum. Back in 1984, when Vince Nolt sold off his fabulous "Eagle Museum" collection, he auctioned off two unwrapped original Hard Tack biscuits for $120 with 10% buyers premium and 6% Pa sales tax. Quite an expensive collectable even back then!
 

TNGhost

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Unique video, but destroying a civil war rarity is a real shame. At least he saved half of it and the wrapper for the museum. Back in 1984, when Vince Nolt sold off his fabulous "Eagle Museum" collection, he auctioned off two unwrapped original Hard Tack biscuits for $120 with 10% buyers premium and 6% Pa sales tax. Quite an expensive collectable even back then!
The guy regularly donates stuff to museums from the rations he tests, collects and videos. The making of the video itself is a form of preservation, as many of these rations are just going to disintegrate after an amount of time anyway, and to have video evidence of how they tasted, were supposed to be prepared, how they lasted and what they looked like is as important as saving the artifacts themselves.

He talks about that process in numerous of his other videos. Unfortunately the only one that I have found so far that goes back to muzzleloading days is this one. The next oldest one is of a British ration from the Boer War, and yes, he did eat it,
 

toot

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for some strange you cannot pull away from watching him eat that old kitchen tile! he has got FORTITUDE!!
 

cvco

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I agree with TNG very much. Though eating seems criminal, the video will outlast the food and is a valuable record of what these things were and especially what they tasted like. Posterity will forgive the sin.
 

Grumpa

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During the Spanish American War, troops were issued hardtack that had been stored in warehouses since the Civil War.
I was given 2 freshly made hardtack biscuits (thicker than the video) a few years ago. I ate one, over a few days, nibbling bits off it (risking teeth!), and mixed it with coffee, Had to soak over an hour, as I recall, to be manageable. I still have the other one, saving it for a trek,( or just a cold winter's day when I've nothing else to do, I'll cook it with a chuck stew in the crockpot. Might actually be tasty that way? The Wife says "No!" Probably be a "trek".)

Richard/Grumpa
 

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During the Spanish American War, troops were issued hardtack that had been stored in warehouses since the Civil War.
I was given 2 freshly made hardtack biscuits (thicker than the video) a few years ago. I ate one, over a few days, nibbling bits off it (risking teeth!), and mixed it with coffee, Had to soak over an hour, as I recall, to be manageable. I still have the other one, saving it for a trek,( or just a cold winter's day when I've nothing else to do, I'll cook it with a chuck stew in the crockpot. Might actually be tasty that way? The Wife says "No!" Probably be a "trek".)

Richard/Grumpa
Hi Richard,

We baked some "period correct" hardtack years ago and took it to eat at reenactments.

We found the best way to eat it was fried in either Fat Back or Bacon Grease, both of which were period correct when troops had either. If one wanted to eat it for desert, then add molasses or brown sugar to taste.

Gus
 

nhmoose

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Bet they tasted like my wife's biscuits. For 49 years she has proven she cannot cook too well. Her dad was the cook in her family not her mom.
 
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I made some once. It came out thicker than the one in the video. I could not bite off a bit as the video guy did. Thinner is probably better. Mine really were like floor tiles. I drpped one to see if it would break. It was like dropping a rock on the hardwood floor. I could never soak them enough to be chewable. Made right hardtack would probably make a good thickener for stew. I'm glad to see the video. It will be more informative over the long haul than seeing an original piece in some glass museum case.
 

forty_caliber

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News story just in.....crazy YouTube guy eats century old food and dies of century old disease.

Sorry but this is just too disgusting for mere words. >/wretch</

This Romper-room drop out probably eats Tide-pods too. If it tastes like mothballs and old library books...probably shouldn't be eating it in the first place.

.40
 
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Hawken

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HardTack is pretty easy to make, the genuine stuff was little more than flour and salt. I like the Sailor Boy brand pilot bread, but the cost is pretty silly for what they are, and what they are is large round saltines, basically. I tried a DIY recipe for those, and they turned out real well for just a quick and dirty let's see how they turn out. Easey peasey and they taste pretty good, like a really bad scratch buttermilk bisquit. That was my first thought - "Need some sausage gravy on these."
 

Whitworth

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HardTack is pretty easy to make, the genuine stuff was little more than flour and salt. I like the Sailor Boy brand pilot bread, but the cost is pretty silly for what they are, and what they are is large round saltines, basically. I tried a DIY recipe for those, and they turned out real well for just a quick and dirty let's see how they turn out. Easey peasey and they taste pretty good, like a really bad scratch buttermilk bisquit. That was my first thought - "Need some sausage gravy on these."
You could put sausage gravy on cardboard and it would be fit for a King.
 

sussexmuzllodr

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News story just in.....crazy YouTube guy eats century old food and dies of century old disease.

Sorry but this is just too disgusting for mere words. >/wretch</

This Romper-room drop out probably eats Tide-pods too. If it tastes like mothballs and old library books...probably shouldn't be eating it in the first place.

.40
An internal biscuit maggot infection....
 

Artificer

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Hope this guy doesn't find the Federal Army's "desecrated" (desiccated) vegetables but maybe their period Sutler's instant coffee might possibly be safe to drink. It was sold in small bricks and already had cream and sugar in it. Federal Soldiers just broke off chunks and added them to hot water in their cups.

Gus
 

TNGhost

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Hope this guy doesn't find the Federal Army's "desecrated" (desiccated) vegetables but maybe their period Sutler's instant coffee might possibly be safe to drink. It was sold in small bricks and already had cream and sugar in it. Federal Soldiers just broke off chunks and added them to hot water in their cups.

Gus
I read about those in "A Taste For War" by William Davis, interesting concept and I guess high technology for the time.

The guy with the hardtack has a lot of videos about eating military rations, as I said above this is the only one from strictly the muzzleloading era. He does have a whole series on WW2, Korean and Vietnam era C Rations where he eats some that..., well, to me, I'd rather go with the 250 year old Civil War Hardtack. :D
 
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