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7th Grade Social Studies

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Hardtack Song
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Click on melody to hear tune written in 1855

Hardtack

Thud, thud, was all you would hear on the Mayflower in the first journey to America. What was the banging you ask? It was the ships crew and passengers trying to break their hardtack! What is hardtack, why did they use hardtack, and why not...

Hardtack is a thick cracker that can be stored for long periods of time without going bad. Early sailors called it pilots bread or  sea biscuit. During he civil war it became known as hardtack, the name stuck and spread. It is made of flour, water, and salt.

Hardtack was the most suitable food for sailors, and anyone who needed to move fast and pack light. It is prepared cheaply and will last for a long time. It was eaten in many ways, it could be eaten by itself or crumbled into coffee. Hardtack was added to thicken soups. To create a dish called skillygalee or cush sailors added the hardtack to water then fried the crumbs in the juice or fat of meat. It was also eaten toasted with butter or sugar if it was available.

There were many complaints about hardtack, the staple of many peoples lives. Hardtack was nourishing but not very filling. People would complain that they could eat ten of them at a time and still be hungry. It was so hard that you needed to hit it with all your might just to break it. Try biting into it! Another problem was that if it was to moist or if it became moldy or wet it would be infested with small bugs called weevils.

Hardtack had its good points and bad points, Im just glad its not what I have to eat today!

Hardtack anyone?
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place your order here

Virtual Tour of Plimoth Plantation
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This is our version of hardtack
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I used to like them with peanut butter and jelly.

Corn Husk Doll
a.k.a 
Priscilla Mullins

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