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Sweet biscuits had previously been imported from England.
When such sweets achieved a measure of popularity in this country, Belcher and Larrabee, cracker bakers in Albany, New York, imported machinery and methods for baking them shortly after the Civil War.
The change in the demand for biscuit and cracker output was clearly a shift from staple to 'luxury' products.
Unlike the demand for bread, there was little opportunity for cracker bakers to benefit form a home to factory movement.
The 'arrowroots' are one of the oldest, and in these the business is enormous.
Savory crackers represent the practical and may well have been the first convenience foods: A flour paste, cooked once, then cooked again to dry it thoroughly, becomes a hard, portable victual with an extraordinarily long storage life--perfect for traveling....
As kitchen technology improved in the early 1900s, most notably in the ability to regulate oven temperature, America's repertoire of cookie recipes grew." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F.
Smith editor [Oxford University Press: New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. "Leavened crackers had been made as early as 1800, but not until compressed yeast became available about 1870 their production was not attempted on a large scale.
In the United States the term "biscuit" was reassigned to denote a small, soft, quick-leavened bread product served piping hot. Even the characteristic of hardness implied in the name is lost in the sense A kind of small, baked cake, usually fermented, made of flour, milk, etc. Following the American Revolution, people from other parts of the country became familiar with the cookie when visiting New York City, the nation's first capitol, a factor that resulted in widespread use of the term." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F.
Smith editor [Oxford University Press: New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p.
These cooks lightened and enriched the paste mixtures with eggs, butter and cream and sweetened them with fruit, honey and finally--when the food became widely available in the late Middle Ages--with sugar...