Vasaloppet (Swedish for ‘The Vasa Race’) is an annual long-distance cross-country ski race held on the first Sunday of March. The 90 km (56 miles) course starts in the village of Sälen and ends in the town of Mora in northwestern Dalarna, Sweden. It is the oldest and longest cross-country ski race in the world, as well as the race with the highest number of skiers.
The race was inspired by a notable journey made by King Gustav Vasa when he fleeing from Christian II’s soldiers in 1520. The modern competition started in 1922 and it has been a part of the Worldrace events since 1978.
Jas Townsend who runs savouringthepast.net writes: This Ship’s Bisket is known by many names. Most of the time it was called just bisket, sometimes it was called hard bisket or brown bisket, sea bisket and ship’s bread. Now many today might want to call it hard tack, but hard tack is really a 19th century term that was popularized during the American civil war.
These 18th century biskets are not like today’s buttery flaky version that we serve along with sausage gravy for breakfast. These biskets were not made to be enjoyed; they were made out of necessity.
Ship’s captains faced a continual challenge of having enough food on board to feed a large crew for a long journey. Food spoilage was really his greatest concern. Fresh bread rapidly became moldy on long trips and stored flour would go rancid and bug ridden, so hard bisket was really born out of necessity.
It was a means of food preservation. If it was prepared and stored properly it would last for a year or more. In addition to preservation, the bisket form also helped in portability and in dividing the rations when it came time. Soldiers and sailors typically got one pound of bread a day and biskets were usually about four ounces so when it came time to distribute them, each sailor or soldier would get four biskets.
Biskets from London were considered to be the highest quality. They were the most resistant to mold and insects. They were really the standard by which all the other bisket maker’s aspired to, but not all biskets were the same quality.
Gingersnaps, also called ginger biscuits, are a type of cookie. The name comes from the fact these cookies traditionally are very crispy and make a snapping sound when eaten. Gingersnaps are a derivation of gingerbread and were invented hundreds of years ago. People in colonial times enjoyed these cookies, both in European countries and in America.
Ginger is derived from the ginger root and is native to parts of South Asia; historians believe it was first cultivated in India. Ginger was prized for its valuable effects on health and imported for its medicinal uses before it was utilized for cooking purposes. Ginger found its way to ancient Rome, then to Africa and the Caribbean. In medieval times, ginger was imported to Europe in preserved form to be used in baking treats such as cakes and cookies.
Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 4 pm and 6 pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy classes in England in the 1840s. Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes. It had become ubiquitous, even in the isolated village in the fictionalised memoir Lark Rise to Candleford, where a cottager lays out what she calls a “visitor’s tea” for their landlady: “the table was laid… there were the best tea things with a fat pink rose on the side of each cup; hearts of lettuce, thin bread and butter, and the crisp little cakes that had been baked in readiness that morning.”