‘Ship’s Fare’ Category

Bisket International

October 10th, 2013 by KM Wall

I’ve been spending Saturdays on Mayflower II, so I’ve been spending time talking about – and thinking about – sea biscuit….

Seabiscuit winning at Santa Anita, 1940

Seabiscuit winning at Santa Anita, 1940

No, no THAT Seabiscuit, but the hard-tacky biscuit also known as ship’s biscuit (although not to our 1620-ish selves)

Oldest ship biscuit in Kronborg museum

Oldest ship biscuit in  a Kronborg museum

What’s interesting about biscuit…..well, there’s more then ONE thing interesting about the topic of BISCUIT - is that the one that is eaten at sea is generally called only Bisket, with no qualifiers, in the early modern period, which is a huge difference from later, while every other sort of biscuit has a descriptor, even if it’s not very descriptive.

John Murrell, for instance, has recipes for

English Bisket

French Biskets

To make Italian Bisket

To make Naples Bisket

A short time out, for even Wikipedia feels a need to describe the difference between American biscuit and English biscuits.

Biscuits - American V. British

Biscuits – American V. British

 

In case you missed the distinction….

American Biscuit

American Biscuit

Garibaldi biscuit, which is a British biscuit, despite it's Italian sounding name

Garibaldi biscuit, which is a British biscuit, despite it’s Italian sounding name

and then there’s

Biscotti, or modern day Italian biscuits

Biscotti, or modern day Italian biscuits

American Beaten biscuits

American Beaten biscuits, which are rather like….

Hardtack.

Hardtack. Not to be confused with….

 

Dog biscuits.In France, Charles Estienne wrote in 1598: "Take no notice of bran bread,... it is better to leave it for the hunting, or shepherd, or watch dogs."

Dog biscuits. In France, Charles Estienne wrote in 1598: “Take no notice of bran bread,… it is better to leave it for the hunting, or shepherd, or watch dogs.”

 

Confused yet?

But Wait! There’s More!

I really wish I had a set of  amazing Ginsu knives as a bonus for every reader……you’ve earned them!

Tomorrow – recipes and comparisons. Only the early modern bisket (which spellchecker keeps wanting to correct as ‘brisket’ . Or ‘basket’. Like they’re interchangeable. The same spellchecker  that keeps letting me write English as Englsih …..)

Biscuit rose de Reims...how much like French bisket are these???

Biscuit rose de Reims…how much like French bisket are these???

 

 

Biscuits and gravy - the modern (and American) version of sops.....

Biscuits and gravy – the modern (and American) version of sops…..

© 2003-2011 Plimoth Plantation. All rights reserved.

Plimoth Plantation is a not-for-profit 501 (c)3 organization, supported by admissions, grants, members, volunteers, and generous contributors.