The Humble Biscuit

True West|September 2020

The Humble Biscuit
Nothing beats a hot, homemade batch of cowboy biscuits straight from the Dutch oven.

The humble biscuit quieted the growls of many hungry pioneer stomachs and sometimes served as their only meal. Biscuits were enjoyed with butter, honey, jam or gravy and served in Nebraska sod houses, fancy frontier hotels and along dusty cattle drives. Even though most pioneers enjoyed biscuits, none were more particular about them than the cowboys. Their chuckwagon cook was either loved or hated based on the quality of his biscuits. The good ones were called “dough gods” while the bad ones were called “belly cheaters.” A scene from Lonesome Dove captured the pride and appreciation for a good biscuit baker. McMurtry’s character Jake asks Gus, “What’d it take to get you to whip up another batch of them biscuits? I’ve come all the way from Arkansas without tasting a good bite of bread.”


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September 2020