Showing posts with label Josiah Bent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josiah Bent. Show all posts

Apr 27, 2012

Seven Interesting Cracker Facts

The first cracker was made in 1792 by John Pearson. He was looking to make a type of biscuit that would last longer than traditional sailor’s biscuits without spoiling. He eventually mixed just flour and water, baked it, and called his invention 'Pearson’s Pilot Bread'. This later became known as hardtack or sea biscuit and was popular among sailors due to its long shelf life without spoiling.

The name cracker came to be when Josiah Bent accidentally burned a batch of what we now call crackers.  As they burned, they made a crackling noise, which inspired the name.  He invented soda crackers, which were precursors to saltine crackers we enjoy. Some folks still call saltines soda crackers. In 1810 Bent’s cracker business was acquired by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco).

Crackers have holes for a reason, because the holes allow steam to escape during cooking. This keeps the crackers flat and the holes also help crisp the crackers. If the holes are too close together, the cracker will become extra dry and hard, due to too much steam escaping. If the holes are too far apart, parts of the cracker will rise a bit forming little bubbles on the surface of the cracker, which is undesirable in most types of crackers, except Cheez Its. There are hundreds of varieties of crackers now and sales are over $10 Billion a year.