Snack Mix

A bakery with food both fresh and famous

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here’s only one place around here to get authentic wafers from a recipe that dates back to the Civil War. G.H. Bent Company (founded: 1801), where the cracker was invented, still makes the long-lasting biscuits known as hardtack eaten (and largely disdained) by soldiers on campaigns and sailors on long sea voyages. But don’t worry if that doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. Bent also offers a far more palatable menu of enormous sandwiches served up in the building where it’s operated since 1891, including the South Shore, with chicken, sweet roasted peppers, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing on homemade cornmeal and molasses bread, plus great cookies, brownies, and cake. So bite into a pice of history if you’d like, but don’t miss the secret-recipe Congo bars. Jacobson

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Hardtack is made from flour and water and could last so long that some of the batches served to Civil War soldiers dated from the Mexican-American War 20 years before. They would dip it in their coffee to soften it and kill the insects that infested it. Bent’s still sells hardtack to Civil War reenactors.

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