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3 things you might not know about Osborne crackers

Some Malaysians might not know the name Osborne cracker, but most would definitely recognise the shape and flavour of it.

This oval-shaped cracker is generally made from wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, corn starch, salt and glucose syrup.

Here are three facts you might not know about Osborne cracker:
Cap Ayam is one of the famous brands producing this cracker.
1.It has a royal origin, of sorts.

This humble piece of cracker has a history dating back to 1860.

According to The Huntley and Palmers Collection, the crackers were intended to be named after Queen Victoria.

Her Majesty declined to be associated with a commercial product but gracefully suggested that they could name the biscuit after her favourite home, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

The cracker was one of the first semi-sweet varieties of biscuit to find mass favour in the 19th century.

Malaysians have many names for this cracker, including roti tawar, roti kapal and biskut kering.

In Sarawak specifically, the locals call it roti sebayan, biskut mayat, biskut pending and many more.

2.In the Krayan Highlands of North Kalimantan, they call it roti tasu and there is a historical reason behind it.

In the Krayan Highlands of North Kalimantan, Indonesia, the Lundayeh community call it roti tasu or dog crackers.

The reason behind this interesting name can be traced back during Indonesian-Malaysian confrontation in early 1960s.

Located near the border of Sarawak-Indonesia, the highlands was one of the hot spots for military operations such as Operation Claret.

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British and Australian troops were carrying out secret missions while hiding out in the jungle.

Nonetheless, some local Indonesians knew about this and secretly helped the Commonwealth forces during the confrontation.

According to tour guide Alex Ballang, some of the locals even helped in sending rations to the forces.

“The troops had a pet dog and the locals noticed the soldiers were feeding the dog with Osborne crackers.”

Since then, the local Krayan residents started to called it roti tasu or dog crackers.

3.There are recipes using Osborne crackers for you to try at home.

Most would agree that the best way to enjoy Osborne crackers is to dip it in a hot drink. Some even eat it just like cereal or porridge, mixing it in their beverage before eating it with a spoon.

But did you know that there are a few recipes out there using Osborne crackers as its main ingredient?

The most common recipe is bubur roti Osborne or Osborne cracker porridge.

It is made from Osborne crackers, coconut milk, sago, pandan leaves, water and sugar.

But when it comes to the weirdest recipe found online, it is none other than Osborne goreng.

The crackers are stir-fried together with garlic, onion, egg and vegetables such as bean sprouts.

Osborne crackers

Do you have interesting names, recipes or stories behind the Osborne cracker? Let us know in the comment box.

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.
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