HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Cram

Type: Food & Drink

Description:

A compressed cake made by the Men of Dale and Esgaroth as a journey bread:
[They] rested for a while and had such a breakfast as they could, chiefly cram and water. (If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don't know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing exercise. It was made by the Lake-men for long journeys.)

The Hobbit, Ch 13, Not at Home

[They] had food for some weeks with care — chiefly cram, of course, and they were very tired of it; but cram is much better than nothing....

The Hobbit, Ch 15, The Gathering of Clouds

Bilbo... had by now had more than enough of the Mountain....

'The whole place still stinks of dragon,' he grumbled to himself.... And cram is beginning simply to stick in my throat.'

The Hobbit, Ch 15, The Gathering of Clouds

The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes.... Gimli... looked at it with a doubtful eye.... 'I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dale-men make for journeys in the wild,' said the Dwarf.

'So it is,' [the Elves] answered. 'But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 8, Farewell to Lórien


Etymology
KRAB- press. N[oldorin.] cramb, cram cake of compressed flour or meal (often containing honey and milk) used on long journey.

The Lost Road and Other Writings, HoME Vol 5, Part 3, The Etymologies

Contributors:
Still Anonymous, 27Feb04
Elena Tiriel 20Apr04, 14Feb10

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