Hudson Bay Bread - The Rest of the Story...No Text

by Sandy Bridges

The "Hudson Bay Bread" article was great. I don't know if I have ever told you this story or not. It is what I will call the "rest of the story". Hudson Bay bread did come to us via Floyd Lindval (sp?) of the old Barbara Ann Bakery in Ely. Floyd told me that Outward Bound had gotten the recipe from their headquarters in Europe. This was about 1967 or 68, Outward Bound had just gotten started, I believe in either 1964 or 65. Sorry I can't remember their first year. The story that was told to Floyd was that it was a version of a high energy bar carried by Edmund Hillary (circa 1953) when he successfully climbed Mt. Everest. It was supposedly made by a woman in England (evidentially much of his provisioning was done in England). This recipe is a takeoff on a popular oatmeal bar called a "flap jack" in England. I have talked to many that recognize "flap jacks", they are usually cut like small cookies (biscuits of course to our English friends). It was modified to be as complete a "ration" as possible with several types of sugar (carbohydrates), fat and proteins. The several sugars were supposed to be absorbed at different rates giving a longer heat and energy level (this may or may not be true, but makes a good part of the story anyways). Floyd added the "all American" flavor of Mapleine. He thought it was going to be a hit, brought it out to me and said he was going to call them "Flap Jacks". We gave them a try -- instant success!!

Sitting in the old office (formerly the trading post) of the "Bay Post" one afternoon several guides were telling me how the Scouts liked the "Flap Jacks" but the name seemed a little wrong since we call pancakes flapjacks. I agreed -- I said, rather flippantly as I recall, we will just call it "Hudson Bay Bread". The name stuck and many others started to use it. Everyone of course had their own version; peanuts instead of almonds, then walnuts. Northern Wisconsin even added raisins at one time -- everyone wanted to take credit for developing it but now you know the "rest of the story" -- It came to us from Outward Bound via Floyd at the bakery but was named looking out over Moose Lake from the "trail staff" office of OUR Bay Post!! The first time I saw it in print was the book by Ragsdale, a former Advisor from Texas. I have now seen it in so many cookbooks I couldn't begin to tell you the number. Originally our version was oatmeal, fats (mostly margarines), almonds and Floyd's magic touch of Mapleine.

Thought you might enjoy this.

Sandy