The Columbus Myth

There’s another popular myth out there, about how biscotti first came to America: with Christopher Columbus. Technically that’s right, if again you define a biscotto not as a cookie, but as anything that’s been baked twice. For Columbus, like all seafarers at the time (and many since) fed his crew with the naval equivalent of hardtack: ship biscuits. As you’ll know if you read the Mexico Bob post on the subject, it’s pretty much the same stuff that soldiers ate on land, only it was eaten at sea. I know, you’re wondering: what’s hardtack called if it’s eaten in the air? The answer: pilot bread. Really? Yep. Hardtack was frequently added to air force ration kits, especially on planes that flew over remote areas, just in case they were forced down. I know what you’re thinking now: so then was there are special name for hardtack eaten in a submarine? Or a tank? Other than “nasty”, no, probably not.

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