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Sailor Boy Pilot Crackers: More Are Sold And Eaten In Alaska Than Anywhere Else: Bearfoot Analysis

Hardtack Biscuits Were The Precursors Of Sailor Boy Pilot Crackers, Eaten By Thousands of Alaskans Every Day, Instead Of Bread

Some of the foods that were used a hundred years ago have an enduring appeal in faraway places, like Alaska. For many, the word "hardtack" means a tough, flat sea biscuit that was eaten on ships and in the army. Soldiers in the Civil War ate hardtack.

More Sailor Boy Crackers Are Sold In Alaska Than Anywhere Else.
Boxes of Sailor Boy Pilot Bread at Costco in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Hardtack still exists. During the 1950's and 1960's, when Americans were afraid of being attacked by Russia, large square metal boxes were filled with hardtack, and set aside as provisions. On Ebay, you can still find cans of hardtack -- guaranteed edible for "25 years."

In Alaska,  hardtack is considerably fresher than that. It's called Sailor Boy Pilot Bread ("the cracker that will not die") and it's beloved all over the state. Sold in bulk in places like Costco and Sam's Club, the big white and blue box is snapped up and taken home by people all over the Bush and on the more remote sections of the road system.

They say that 98% of all of Sailor Boy's big, round, hard crackers are sold in Alaska. People use them everywhere: On hunting trips, for peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwiches, with soups and moose stews. Unlike other crackers, Sailor Boy Pilot Crackers are far more durable and hearty. When you run out of "real" bread, it's emergency food. Sitting and waiting for you on a back shelf, or in a plastic baggie where you left it last fall, tucked in your hunting knapsack. 

And it tastes good, too.

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