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TIP OF THE DAY: Get Some Gourmet Crackers

Dr. Kracker is packed with different types of
seeds: good looking and good for you! Photo
by Melody Lan | THE NIBBLE.

Soup and crackers was a popular dish at my mother’s table: animal crackers, oyster crackers, Royal Lunch Milk Crackers*, saltines, Uneeda Biscuits* (water biscuits) and Ritz crackers made frequent appearances. Our favorites were Nabisco’s Triscuits and Stoned Wheat Thins, imported from Canada.

The gourmet cracker market didn’t exist then. Sesame seed breadsticks were a rare specialty that we had to seek out in Italian markets in Little Italy. The handful of gourmet food stores and cheese stores sold the bland yet purportedly elegant Carr’s Water Biscuits, imported from England, and long flat rectangles of Middle Eastern lavasch.

But today, there are more fancy crackers than we could desire, serving up interesting flavor profiles and alluring appearances. You can find some in supermarkets, some at natural grocers like Whole Foods and some at specialty food stores. Look for:

  • Asian rice crackers in many flavors, which happen to be gluten free (we especially like San-J’s Black Sesame Crackers).
  • Super-seeded crackers, like those from Crunchmaster, Dr. Kracker and Mary’s Gone Crackers.
  • Olive oil crackers like taralli from Italy, available plain or flavored.
  • Gourmet flatbreads like Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps and assorted gems from Rustic Bakery, pricey but worth it.
  • Flatbreads/crispbreads like La Panzanella’s Croccantini and Primizie, delicious and more affordable.
  • Frico, an Italian cheese cracker now baked in the U.S. by Kitchen Table Bakers, made 100% from cheese so gluten-free and carb-free.
    We could go on and on, but the tip of the day is to go on a cracker hunt and find some new and exciting varieties. Look for Daelia’s, Effie’s and 34 Degrees, among others.

    Then, enjoy them with a bowl of soup, a plate of cheese or a craft beer, with or without an accompanying spread.
    *Uneeda Biscuits and Royal Lunch crackers were Nabisco products that were discontinued after Kraft Foods acquired Nabisco.

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