Louisiana History
1650 - 1700
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A Sailor's Diet

Most of the food that sailors ate was salted or dried, because it could be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. Fresh foods were available only in port.

Below is a recipe for hardtack, a type of biscuit that traveled easily, because it did not spoil.

Try it - see how you like it!


Cooked on shore and loaded on board by the barrel, hardtack was the basic food of the sailor.

In a large bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats, 3 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda. In a separate container, mix 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup melted bacon drippings or shortening. Combine the two sets of ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of about a quarter inch. Cut out circles of dough with a large drinking glass dipped in flour and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 5 1/2 minutes at 450 degrees. The resulting hardtack should be dry and browned around the edges. Let the hardtack cool on a wire rack before serving with jam or jelly.

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