tackbread Item in Vazdimet | World Anvil

tackbread

A hard, dehydrated bread with a long shelf life, tackbread has proven itself a staple in provisioning for large groups of mages over extended periods of time. The bread is typically bland, containing only the ingredients necessary to fulfill its nutritional and Imperium-replenishing responsibilities, although some have been known to add additional flavoring in situations where storage is less of a concern.  
They give it to you sealed up, so the bugs don't get in. But some of us like the extra protein. A little more flavor. A little less crunch.
— Sparnelli katanoj

History

Hardtack

Ancient militaries utilized dense bricks of baked flour to help feed the humans and dracoling of their armies. Known as hardtack, the bland and difficult to eat concoction was made by mixing flour with water and a hint of salt before baking. Most variants were then further dehydrated with Hydromancy to ensure maximum shelf life.   The resultant bread wafers were hard and nearly impossible to eat without additional preparation, either through soaking or crushing or grinding back into flour. Bland and unchewable, the rations served as a popular target of jokes among those forced to rely upon them, but they kept forever provided they remained untouched by water or contaminants.  

Alchemical Yeast

With the development of alchemical yeast, the quest for a reliable leavened hardtack recipe began. The potential to replenish a battle mage's Imperium reserves through augmentation of their standard diet proved too useful an advantage to ignore.   The resultant recipe added not only yeast but also honey as its sugary foodsource, resulting in a leavened yet still heavily dehydrated cracker. This new hardtack variant allowed mages to replenish their magic reserves faster in exchange for a lower shelf life. As an added bonus, they also provided some minor protections against scurvy due to the inclusion of honey.   Later variants also added fats and protein powders, further degrading the shelf life but adding nutritional value for canids and katanoji, and leading to the modern-day tackbread.  

Tackbread and Void Travel

Travel across the Void has done little to reduce the need for foods with longer shelf lives, although it has altered the expected storage conditions of those food items. The static environmental conditions maintained within spacecraft allow for easier storage, shifting to solutions emphasizing convenience.   Tackbread in the modern age is seen as an easily accessible option for on-the-go magic regeneration. Most militaries assign the calorie-dense food as a standard portion of most ground forces' dry rations, alongside dehydrated meats and the tasteless nutrition bricks commonly associated with vampires.   Many ship's kitchens also rely on recipes built around tackbread, from adding dipping sauces or other flavorings to dissolving in soups as a thickener, and even grinding them down for use as flour.

Significance

Tackbread's convenience has seen its popularity growing within civilian sectors despite its generally bland flavor and resistance to chewing.   Sparnelli citizenry, likely due to their mandatory conscription, have always viewed the crunchy bread as the most appetizing of storable rationing, with private recipes calling for the addition of dehydrated meats and fruits directly within the dough for shorter duration needs, to add flavor and nutrition.   The Mordena have taken this flavor experimentation many steps further, combining herbs and fresh fruit into a tastier, crumblier appetizer, with a much shorter shelf life.   Legionnaires, by comparison, most often treat their tackbread as a form of flour preservation, grinding them down for use in other, more leavened breads.  

Fae and Bread

Fae, of course, have proven an exception to the widespread use of tackbread, especially in its dryest form. The species' inability to digest most ingredients within the bread have instead required live cultures of alchemical yeast, most often mixed with nectar, watered honey, or fruit juice.
Item type
Consumable, Food / Drink
Related Technologies

Free Novella: No Way Home

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It was supposed to be a simple patrol.
The Sparnell Armed Forces were waiting.




 


Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

Comments

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Feb 4, 2024 17:14 by Barron

I bet this is Pavel's staple food


Feb 4, 2024 17:47 by Morgan Biscup

Certainly a larger part of it than he *should* be eating!

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Feb 5, 2024 19:51

In the American Civil War, soldiers would often dissolve their hardtack rations into their coffee. If you have access to hot water, it's more edible.

Feb 5, 2024 20:57 by Morgan Biscup

It also drowned the bugs that got into it, and let them float to the top so they could be scooped out.   The wild thing is that flour by itself is only good for about a year. Vacuum seal it with the right dessicant and you can stretch that to several.   But hardtack from the American Civil War is still edible. (Mind you, I'm sure it tastes even worse than it did then! But it's safe to eat! How wild is that?)

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Feb 6, 2024 15:04 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Fae: Ew, gross.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Feb 6, 2024 20:00 by Morgan Biscup

I mean, they can't really eat it. They have their own long shelf-life options.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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