Hard Tack Tasting



Students will make descriptive comparisons between fresh bread and hard tack.


Where does food come from? What is the difference between fresh foods and preserved foods in terms of cooking/processing, taste, and seasonal eating?


paper towels, hot cups, electric tea kettle, chamomile tea, (if necessary: gluten free crackers, gluten free bread (corn bread))



Introduction: Today is the day! How long has it been since we made hard tack? Why does hard tack preserve so well?
• Totally dehydrated! No space for moisture. Poked holes caused steam to escape!
• Other words for hard tack: dog biscuits, tooth dullers, sheet iron, worm castles
• The Minnesota Historical Society has a piece of hardtack in its collection. It’s
over 150 years old, and still edible.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGudU3VK9OA

• Consider this: You are member of the crew on a whaling ship. You’ve been on
the ship for 3 months since you left your home on Martha’s Vineyard, and you haven’t seen land since. What’s for breakfast today? Hard Tack and Tea. What does the hard tack look like? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? How does it make you feel?
• Consider this: You have been on a whaling ship for three years and it’s finally time to sail home to Martha’s Vineyard. You leave the ship and walk home to your house. Your home is warm and smells like fresh bread. Your family greets you and offers you fresh bread and tea. What does it look like? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? How does it make you feel?
• Compare/contrast: Use the Venn diagram to show similarities and differences between the describing words you used for the hard tack and the fresh bread.

Wrap up:
• How long do you think the fresh bread will last before going bad? We know
how to make hard tack. How do you make fresh bread? What are the ingredients? How is the goal a cook has for fresh bread different than the goal a cook has for hard tack?