Rusk

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Rusk
Succariebrod-tarningar (cropped).jpg
Rusk squares made of rye sourdough bread

A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread. It is sometimes used as a baby teething food. In the United Kingdom, the name also refers to a wheat-based food additive.

International variations[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Tvebak is a Danish type of rusk.

France[edit]

Biscottes are a French type of rusk. They are sold pre-packaged in supermarkets.

Germany[edit]

German Zwieback

Zwieback (baked twice) is a form of rusk eaten in Germany. Like the Danish and French words, the name refers to being baked or cooked twice.

Greece[edit]

The term paximadi (Greek: παξιμάδι) covers various forms of Greek rusk, made commonly from barley or chickpea flour, and softened with wine, water or oil before eating. Paximadi form the basis of the Cretan snack dakos (Greek: ντάκος).

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh[edit]

In India and Pakistan, rusk (or toast biscuit) is a traditional dried bread (also khasta in Hindi,papay in Urdu, katti toos in Bengali) that is eaten after having been dipped in coffee or tea.

Italy[edit]

In Italy, this form is called fette biscottate (twice-baked sliced bread); it should not be confused with biscotti.

Japan[edit]

In Japan, rusk is often a delicacy made from baguette, cake or even croissant. It is often sweet.

Croissant rusk covered with chocolate and nuts, Japan

The Levant[edit]

In the Levant this form is called Boksum. It is made from flour, eggs, oil or butter, sugar, yeast or baking powder, and sometimes a small amount of cardamon. It is topped with roasted sesame seeds, black caraway seeds, or anise, and eaten as a dunking biscuit, especially with herbal tea.

Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)[edit]

Beschuit

Beschuit, also known as Dutch crispbakes, are light, round, rather crumbly, rusks as eaten in the Netherlands and Belgium. Particularly in the Netherlands it is customary to serve beschuit met muisjes (sprinkled with "little mice" which are anise seeds covered in white, pink or blue sugar) at the birth of a baby. Beschuiten are also eaten as a breakfast food with a variety of toppings, most commonly butter and sprinkles in flavours such as chocolate (chocoladehagel) or fruit (vruchtenhagel), or cheese. A longtime Dutch tradition is to serve strawberries on beschuit usually topped with some sugar or whipped cream.

Beschuit is almost always sold in rolls; a roll typically has 13 rusks (a baker's dozen). They are made by first baking a flat round bread (beschuitbol), slicing it, and then baking each half again, possibly at a lower heat, in the oven after the main baking is over. Etymologically, biscotto (16th-century Italian), biscuit (19th century, from 16th-century bisket) and beschuit come from Latin (panis) bis+coctus, (bread, twice cooked).

Norway[edit]

In Norway, rusk is referred to as kavring, and is similar to the Swedish skorpor. Crushed kavring, called strøkavring, is used, amongst other things, for making kjøttkaker and in the traditional dessert tilslørte bondepiker.

Philippines[edit]

The Philippine version of rusk is called biskotso. Cake rusks are called mamon tostado.

South Africa[edit]

Rusks is the anglicized term for (Afrikaans: beskuit) and is a traditional Afrikaner breakfast meal or snack. They have been dried in South Africa since the late 1690s as way of preserving bread, especially when travelling long distances without refrigeration. Their use continued through the Great Trek and the Boer Wars[1] through to the modern day. Rusks are typically dunked in coffee or tea before being eaten.[2]

South African rusks

Rusks are essentially double-baked bread dough. Round balls of dough are closely packed in pans and baked like bread, after which long chunks are cut or broken off and slowly rebaked to a dry consistency. Several modern-day mass-produced versions are available, the most famous brand being Ouma Rusks. Many bakeries, delis and home industries also sell commercial rusks, sometimes made from non-traditional ingredients, such as baking powder rather than sourdough. In addition to plain and buttermilk flavours, aniseed, wholewheat, condensed milk, muesli, and lemon poppyseed variations are also available.

Sweden[edit]

Skorpor are a Swedish form of rusk. They can be flavoured with herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or spices such as anise or cardamom. Swedish bakery company Pågen makes the world's most-sold rusk brand, Krisprolls.

United Kingdom[edit]

Butcher's rusk[edit]

To the British, butcher rusk is a dry biscuit broken into particles, sorted by particle size and sold to butchers and others for use as a food additive in sausage manufacture.[3][4] Though originally made from stale bread, now called "bread-rusk", a yeast-free variety called simply "rusk" is now more commonly used.

Various rusk particle sizes are used in the food industry, where uses include:[5][6]

  • A carrier for flavours, colours and seasonings
  • A binding agent in hamburgers, sausages, stuffings, pies, and other compound meat products
  • As an ingredient for dried stuffing mixes

Farley's Rusks[edit]

In the United Kingdom, Farley's Rusks are a dry biscuit dating from the 1880s, but manufactured by Heinz since 1994. They are usually given to infants, either soaked in milk and mashed up, or in their original hard form as a teething aid. They have a cult following among university students.[7]

In 2006, a short-lived scare was caused when some Farley's Rusks were found to contain traces of the weedkiller chlorpropham. The affected products were recalled and the contamination was traced to a batch of flour used during the manufacturing process. The level of contamination was not high enough to be considered a health risk.[8]

Cake rusk[edit]

In the United Kingdom, a sweet quick bread marketed as 'cake rusk' is sold in many foreign supermarkets and bakeries by the likes of Kashmir Crown Bakeries, Regal Bakery and more recently by imported brands such as Crispy (TWI Foods); it is typically made from wheat flour, hydrogenated vegetable oil and/or margarine, sugar, baking powder or other raising agent, and flavouring, often in that order. It is sliced into bar-like strips and packaged in large plastic boxes.

United States[edit]

In the U.S., commonly available types of rusk include melba toast, which is sold in pre-packaged slices at grocery stores, biscotti, which are found both at grocery stores and at coffee shops or cafes, and Trenary toast, which is sold in pre-packaged slices at grocery stores.

See also[edit]

  • Milk toast, some modern store-bought forms of which strongly resemble rusks with slight flavouring and sweeteners.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hales, A. G. "Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899–1900)". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  2. ^ "What is Beskuit (Rusks)?". Rainbow Cooking. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  3. ^ "What's in the great British banger?". BBC News. 27 September 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Labelling and Composition of Meat Products" (PDF). Food Standards Agency. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Rusk". Ripon Select Foods Limited. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  6. ^ "Cereal Binders and Stuffings". Lucas Products. 4 February 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  7. ^ "Farley's Rusks live on, says Heinz". BBC News. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  8. ^ "Farley's rusks withdrawn". Food Standards Agency. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-09.