BISCUITS or Crackers: are made nowadays in great variety and, in the majority of cases, of uniform excellence of flavor and ingredients. The result of the improvement in the domestic product during the last few years has been a noteworthy increase in consumption. The American appetite for biscuits is, however, still a long way behind that of some other countries—our annual per capita expenditure is only forty cents for biscuits of all kinds as against nearly three dollars in Canada and a full four dol lars in England.
The title "biscuit" is a combination of two French words which mean "twice cooked." In their original manufacture, "biscuits" underwent two separate bakings, the second to evaporate the moisture held over from the first.
Enormous quantities of honey are used in the baking of the modern Sweet Biscuit as it helps to keep the product fresher and softer than when sugar is employed.
The retailer is advised to buy in small lots so as to be sure that his stock is always fresh, and to lay in only those varieties for which there is a reasonably steady demand in his particular neighborhood.
Hard, sweet biscuits are the best keepers.
Excessive paleness is generally considered a defect as it is usually attributable to age or poor baking.
Both retailer and consumer should see that crackers are kept in a warm, dry place —dampness will quickly spoil them. If moisture has deprived them of crispness, they can often be improved by putting in a hot oven for a few minutes.
Bulk crackers should always be kept in boxes as nearly air-tight as possible— those with glass fronts or tops combining display and a fair measure of protection.
"Package" crackers are always preferable to the bulk kind, for the latter can scarcely fail to suffer to some extent from exposure to atmospheric changes and to dust, flies and other nuisances.