Gender roles played a big part in the evolution of culinary skills with Civil War soldiers. The Sanitary was responsible for supplying a reliable food source and rations for the soldiers. A member of The Sanitary worked to provide the soldiers with a better food supply and ways to better prepare the food. They taught a soldier for every 100 men the basics of cooking. As the soldier was responsible for the cooking of the food, they would also rotate another soldier as their assistant to learn. I found it most fascinating that the soldiers had to find ways to preserve their food over a long course of time because the war lasted longer than expected and weather conditions and the season effected the availability for certain foods, fruits, and vegetables. The most interesting of the foods that the soldiers ate was the hardtack. The hardtack was a cracker whose shelf life is infinite if stored properly. It was used to hold soldiers over in between meals or when their next food ration was delivered. The hardtack was also a tough cracker. Soldiers had to find ways to soften up the hardtack in order to make it easier to eat.
The food that I cannot live without is cheese. Whether it is the beloved cheesecake, Polly-O’s string cheese, or just cubed/sliced cheese, I love cheese in all of its forms.