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For centuries, no ship left port without enough bone-hard, twice-cooked ship's biscuit--the word biscuit comes from the Old French biscoit, meaning twice cooked---to last for months, or even years.

While sailors and other travelers chewed their way through unyielding biscuits, cooks of the ancient civilizations of the Middle East explored the culinary possibilities of sweetness and richness.

54) "After the Civil War, when the so-called 'traveling' market for biscuits and crackers began to decline, the industry adjusted itself to the new conditions by importing the machinery and methods for making English sweetened biscuits and yeast-raised crackers.

In addition, during the late 1890s the National Biscuit Company introduced wrapping and packaging machines for cracker products, which were quickly adopted by other industry members." --ibid (p.

In the United States the term "biscuit" was reassigned to denote a small, soft, quick-leavened bread product served piping hot. Even the characteristic of hardness implied in the name is lost in the sense A kind of small, baked cake, usually fermented, made of flour, milk, etc. Following the American Revolution, people from other parts of the country became familiar with the cookie when visiting New York City, the nation's first capitol, a factor that resulted in widespread use of the term." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F.

Smith editor [Oxford University Press: New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p.

67) ABOUT COMMERCIAL SUGAR WAFERS IN NORTH AMERICA First came UK imports: [1878] "Peek Frean & Co.

Unlike the demand for bread, there was little opportunity for cracker bakers to benefit form a home to factory movement.Sweet biscuits had previously been imported from England.When such sweets achieved a measure of popularity in this country, Belcher and Larrabee, cracker bakers in Albany, New York, imported machinery and methods for baking them shortly after the Civil War.But like the expanded demand for food in general, the boom for the cracker industry was made possible by increased incomes and the willingness of people to add new foods to their changing diets." ---Baking in America: Economic Development, William G.Panschar, Volume 1 [Northwestern University Press: Evanston IL] 1956 (p.

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