Civil War snack: Brave man dines on US military rations from 1863 (VIDEO)
Draped in a sleeveless American flag with the head of Phil Collins watching to inspire the incredibly brave (or stupid) rations enthusiast, the man identified as Steve1989 chows down on a piece of military cracker, aptly named hardtack.
He describes the hardened food that hurts to eat as tasting like “old mothballs and library books” but said that despite its age it still held the remnants of “bread flake cracker” flavor.
It’s not just age that made the hardtack difficult to eat, civil war soldiers often had to use the butt of their rifle to smash up the hard as nails food.
A recurring problem for soldiers of the time was that the hardtack would frequently become infested with maggots, but with no other source of food for many soldiers in 1863, they would often sink it in their coffee so the maggots would crawl out of it and float to the top. Yum.
Made out of flour, water and, if you’re lucky, a pinch of salt, hardtack was designed to last, not to savor.
Unsurprisingly, when Steve1989 attempted to soften the tack by soaking it in water, he says it didn’t improve the flavor.
Cementing his position as king-hipster, he even enjoyed 30-year-old coffee with the hardtack, which he ate with some very old cutlery.
We reached out to Steve to learn more about his passion for dining on military rations but have yet to receive a response, possibly because of an upset stomach.
The rest of the uneaten ration will be donated to the Ration Museum in Bozeman by Steve, who has a number of videos on his channel documenting old military rations from the US and elsewhere, including a tin of spaghetti from the Vietnam War.
Be careful if he invites you over for dinner, ladies.