Pilot bread is found in every corner of Alaska. From the big city of Anchorage to the smallest village, chances are likely there is a box of these in the pantry, or under the bunk in just about every household in Alaska.
To describe Pilot Bread is easy. It could be said it is likened to a "salt-less" Saltine cracker or a flat dry biscut. It is hard, crunchy and bland, but at the same time, is nowhere near tasteless.
(above:Pilot Bread and smoked salmon strips)
Some claim the shelf life of these wonderful hardtack is infinite. The Mormons suggest rotating the supply in your survival stash every 20 years!!! One old timer says that if you pack them into a #10 can with o2 absorbers, or vacuum pack them, they will "outlive you" ! And I have no reason to doubt it. Of course, there would be none wiser than an old bearded, grizzled old timer who has been here what seems like, as long as the mountains themselves.
Each cracker contains 100 calories thereby adding to its title of the "ultimate survival ration". In Alaska, all aircraft, (and there are lots of aircraft here), are required to carry survival gear, including food. I woulndn't be to far off or exagerating in saying that damn near everyone of them has these Sailor Boy Pilot Bread crackers stashed somewhere in the back.
WikiPedia, the well known online encyclopedia has an interesting entry regarding the history, etc. of hardtack. If you are interested, and unless you are one of us Alaskans, I don't know why you would, check out there description by clicking here.
The uses for these crackers are as endless as your imagination. Many a person has sat next to the oil lamp in there little cabin deep in the woods and thought of countless ways to use these round delights. Unfortunately, unless you visit our Great State, you will probably never be able to say you have ever tried one. As a matter of fact, I don't know anyone here who has never heard of these, and far fewer who have never tried them.
But, just in case you never have a chance to grace us with your presence, you only have one option for getting some for yourself. The baker does not sell them direct, but only distributes them through SpanAlaska, a Washington state based food distributor. You can visit their website by clicking here.
You may have to wait for a reply. They may be busy loading the next shipping container with thousands of boxes of Sailor Boy Pilot Bread destined for the far reaches of what we refer to as "The Last Frontier".