Rhyneinjun Bread.

Our local newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, recently had a story “Old playbill keys concert revival” that describes a concert inspired by “a tattered but still readable playbill from a concert apparently staged at the property in 1873”; about halfway through, we get:

The thematic link to the past could extend to performers appearing in period costume, while publicity for the shows might include the dated writing style and unorthodox spelling and capitalization that appears on the 1873 playbill.

For instance, the playbill notes that a certain “Goodman Stone,” the proprietor of “ye Big Tavern on ye main road to Williamsburgh, will supply all ye people who may be Hungerie with Pork & Beans, Rhyneinjun Bread also Good Cider.”

What on earth was “Rhyneinjun Bread”? My first thought involved the Rhine, but a little googling revealed that it was an odd spelling of “Rye & Injun Bread”: “The name comes from the rye flour and cornmeal (Indian meal) used.” So now all is clear, and you can see a picture of the thing itself at that last link.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it today; my wife and I are off to her sister’s for the traditional excessive meal, so I won’t be around to rescue comments from moderation (and provide occasional acerbic rejoinders) until sometime this evening. Don’t break the furniture!


  1. Sounds good. I’ll have to try making it sometime. I might omit the molasses though.

  2. Made by authentic Rhyeninjuns!

  3. And Happy Thanksgiving to our host, and to all!

    (I’m so Thanksgiving-unaware, I don’t even know whether that’s an appropriate rejoinder.)

  4. Sure, that’s perfectly appropriate, and now that I’m back I can report it was an excellent one, with the turkey tender and the stuffing, potatoes, and gravy all fine accompaniments (as was the wine I brought, California rosé and zin).

  5. Giacomo Ponzetto says

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Dmitry Pruss says

    Tiptoe around dangerous topics and don’t trip on the furniture in the process . Nice celebration to all!

  7. Hey, for LH and any other denizens of the Pioneer Valley, allow me to plug my friend’s new wine shop in East Hampton – Tip Top Wine Shop on 150 Pleasant St. Female owned and operated and the owner, Lauren Clark, also wrote a nice history of beers in New England a few years ago. Worth checking out for an interesting selection of wine, craft beer and liquor.

  8. Y, if you omit the molasses it won’t be authentic 19th century American bread. Molasses is also the secret to good baked beans and ginger bread. Living in Europe, with no molasses, I have to come to appreciate it as a true New World flavor.

  9. Molasses are good judiciously, as flavoring, but all too often there’s too much of it, meant to either overwhelm other flavors (rye in this case), or to sweeten things. I am particular about sugariness, even if well-disguised.

  10. Note that the while the method in the recipe mentions baking soda, it is omitted from the list of ingredients. It is essential. I think that you want about a scant teaspoon.

  11. David Marjanović says

    in Europe, with no molasses

    Available as something strange & wonderful in a few select locations. After Kinderkaffee (chicoree-based) ceased to be produced, I put molasses into my milk for a few years (some 35 years ago) because my mom happened to find some in a nearby organic-health-whatever store.

  12. Is molasses really hard to get in Europe? I would never have guessed. In retrospect, I can see why that might be the case though. From colonial times, a huge amount of molasses was produced in the Caribbean (by cooking sugarcane juice) and sent to North America, where it was fermented into rum. (Now, of course, lots of rum is produced locally on the islands, but traditionally it was a skilled trade largely reserved for wypipo. Even into the twentieth century, industrial-scale production of ethanol from imported molasses was a significant economic activity in New England, leading to the Boston Molasses Flood.) With tons of molasses on hand in colonial America, it makes sense that it caught on as a major sweetener in a way that it need not have in Europe.

  13. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Are molasses and treacle the same thing, or not? Wikipedia redirects treacle to molasses, but I thought they were similar but distinguishable.

  14. Treacle vs molasses: key differences:

    The production process is a key difference between treacle and molasses. Another major difference is the ingredients – black treacle includes refiners syrup.

    Both have a deep, aromatic flavour that adds a unique finish to food and drink recipes, but they are subtly different, with treacle tending to be a sweeter product that has less of a bitter profile than molasses. Compared to treacle, molasses is thicker in consistency and darker in colour.

  15. Jen in Edinburgh says

    This is a little difficult to imagine, given that treacle is almost black and sticks stubbornly to the spoon 😀

    Entertainingly, while looking for pictures of molasses, I found exactly the same picture being used to illustrate both…

  16. Giacomo Ponzetto says


    Is molasses really hard to get in Europe?

    It’s much harder to get than in the US, because it isn’t a standard grocery item that major groceries stores stock. In a small town, you might have to order it online.

    On the other hand, it isn’t hard to get in absolute terms. In a large city like Barcelona, I’m pretty sure I know where I could buy a jar within the next hour.

    Nonetheless I haven’t bought one in at least a decade, if ever. I have to agree that European life is mostly devoid of molasses. Like you, I always figured this must be because Europe remains the continent of the sugar beet.

  17. I have only ever seen molasses in a farming context. It was fed to dairy cows mixed with their fodder. I was not familiar with it as a food for human consumption.

  18. Amadama bread is different.

  19. This page, despite its irritating popups, does lay out clearly the differences between light, medium, and blackstrap molasses, as well as treacle and sorghum-based pseudo-molasses. Note that it is equally a byproduct of beet sugar and cane sugar production.

    Personally, I prefer maple syrup from New York State, Vermont, or Canadian sources. See also The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, whereby C$18 million of it were stolen bit by bit from barrels constituting Quebec’s strategic reserve, being replaced first by water and then by nothing at all, before anyone noticed.

  20. Quebec’s strategic reserve [of maple syrup]

    In wartime Britain, staples like butter/flour/sugar were rationed, and there was a controlled reserve. These days there are strategic reserves of petroleum, and maybe coal. The EC (at least used to) maintain mountains/lakes of foodstuffs — but this was to artificially suppress supply/hoist up prices, not for fear of an emergency run on Beaujolais.

    Would anywhere in C21st but Canada regard ’empty calories’ as something “Strategic”? — even “International”, according to that wiki article. Quaint!

  21. I would guess it’s to maintain Quebec’s trustworthiness as a reliable supplier of syrup.

  22. I think the price-manipulation theory is more likely to be right. Quebec maple-syrup producers are a legal cartel.

    (Sorry about the overly long link text in my last comment; it should have stopped after “Heist”.)

  23. David Marjanović says

    I definitely had blackstrap molasses.

    its irritating popups

    All I get is a cookie notice that allows me to choose “reject all”, a “Trending Video” that I can close before it loads and that somehow isn’t officially a window, and a “2” appearing on the symbol of my adblocker – so two unspecified ads have been blocked, but I’m not even notified that the page tries to open any popup window.

  24. Sorry about the overly long link text in my last comment; it should have stopped after “Heist”.


  25. We keep molasses around to make the gingersnaps I so love.

  26. I prefer maple syrup from New York State, Vermont, or Canadian sources.

    New Hampshire maple syrup is the best.

  27. @AntC

    Empty calories? Clearly you need to listen to the Canadians.


    It may not be kale, but maple syrup is better than corn syrup or refined white sugar.

  28. It contains quebecol? Well, then.

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