AskDefine | Define rusk

Dictionary Definition

rusk n : slice of sweet raised bread baked again until it is brown and hard and crisp [syn: zwieback, Brussels biscuit, twice-baked bread]

User Contributed Dictionary



or Portugese rosca a twist or roll of bread.


  1. a rectangular, hard, dry biscuit
  2. a twice-baked bread, slices of bread baked until they are hard and crisp (also called a zwieback)
  3. a childrens weening food
  4. a cereal binder used in meat product manufacture


light, soft bread, often toasted or crisped in an oven







Extensive Definition

See Rusk (disambiguation) for other meanings.
A rusk is a rectangular, hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread (zwieback). It is sometimes used as a baby weaning food. In the UK, the name also refers to a food additive.

South Africa

In South Africa, rusk is a traditional biscuit (called beskuit in Afrikaans) that is eaten after having been dipped in coffee or (more often) tea, especially rooibos tea. Historically, rusks evolved (along with biltong) during the country's early pioneering days as a way to preserve bread in the dry climate. It was traditionally baked at home, but there are now several mass-market versions available, the most famous probably being Ouma Rusks. Many bakeries, dellis and home industries sell them, often using more exotic ingredients than their mass-market counterparts. In addition to plain and buttermilk flavours, there are wholewheat, condensed milk, muesli, and lemon poppyseed versions.


Beschuit (like zwieback, means baked twice) are the light, round rusks savoured in the Netherlands. It is customary to serve beschuit met muisjes at the birth of a baby.

United Kingdom

Farley's rusks

In the UK, Farley's rusks are a dry biscuit dating from the 1880s but manufactured by Heinz since 1994. They are given to infants, sometimes soaked in milk and mashed up. They have a cult following among University students.

Butcher's rusk

To the British, butcher rusk is a dry biscuit broken into particles, sorted by particle size and sold to butchers and others for use as a food additive in sausage manufacture. Contrary to popular belief, the rusk is not primarily a "filler" (used to "bulk-up" the meat product), but is instead used to bind the meat together and provide the proper texture. Though originally made from stale bread, now called "Bread-rusk", a yeast-free variety called simply "Rusk" is now more commonly used.
Various rusk particle sizes are used in the food industry, where uses include:
  • A carrier for flavours, colours and seasonings
  • A binding agent in hamburgers, sausages, stuffings, pies, and other compound meat products.
  • As an ingredient for dried stuffing mixes


rusk in Arabic: شابورة
rusk in German: Zwieback
rusk in Esperanto: Biskoto
rusk in French: Biscotte
rusk in Dutch: Beschuit
rusk in Japanese: ラスク
rusk in Russian: Сухари
rusk in Finnish: Korppu
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