Thursday, March 8, 2012

Biscuit Basics

Before I came to PNG, my knowledge of cracker-type foods was limited to cheese platters, nursery snacks, and nauseous stomachs. However, the twice-daily tea time of Papua New Guinea has been expanding my horizons. There is a world of biscuits that you’ve never encountered!

Some of the biscuits we eat daily (alas, the Cream Crackers are missing from the photo)
Beef Biscuits—With enough salt and spice to make you think you’re eating the Dead Sea, beef biscuits are the staple of PNG tea time! As you can imagine, when beef biscuits are advertised by a smiling bull crossed with the Incredible-Hulk, you know they definitely got kick! They also have some intense packaging that helps you burn calories before you eat…

Due to those astronomical salt levels, I can only eat these in small quantities—but all that sodium does make them rather effective in helping increase salt levels of dehydration victims on hikes.

Beef biscuits also have a lesser-known cousin—the chicken biscuit. What do they taste like? Have you ever eaten a chicken bouillon cube spread on a cracker? That's how.

Australian Bush Biscuits—These are as close to plain graham crackers  as you will get in PNG, but with a thicker, firmer crunch, almost like those animal crackers you could buy in their circus boxes. Spread with peanut butter, they can make a tasty breakfast or a delicious base for your graham cracker cheesecake or pineapple crisp. Personally, I find them especially delectable dipped into a cup of hot milo (malted hot chocolate)

Cream Crackers—Smaller than the others, cream crackers have a hint more of butter flavor which almost satisfy your Ritz cracker cravings. In the village, I used these as dessert!

Wopa Crackers—Plain and dry, think of wopa crackers as Saltines…without the salt. Spread with peanut butter and jelly or tuna salad, they can be a filling meal. Their packaging suggests they’ll make you super strong (PNG version of Popeye’s Spinach), but I think it has to do more with the quality of teeth required to break the cracker into chewable pieces…

Cuptea Crackers—Sort of like Bush biscuits, these are thinner and smaller, with their main claim to fame being their shape--these crackers are round. It doesn't take much to amuse us.