Our childhood cracker 'experience' was pretty limited to saltines, oyster crackers for chowders, Triscuits (or Wheat Thins), mom's Melba Toast and an occasional plain ole' English imported water cracker-which was considered rather posh eats back then.
NOW-crackers are its own gourmet category-not an accessory to the main gigs of cheese, canapés, and things to crunch up in soups.
Some highlights from the most recent Fancy Foods Show
|we grabbed a sample of these on our way out-the O.T.C.(Original Trenton Cracker) Oyster&Soup crackers are so much better than the standard grocery outlet ones hard to explain why- but apparently the dough is given hours to rise naturally, and kneaded/layered over and over before being shaped. Def.these 'artisan style' bites have more flavor, airy texture, super crisp and the shape allows for it to float better in soups without getting soggy. Us-we devoured without anything else by the handful....and available at AMAZON and Walmart.|
|WASA crackers-oringinally from Scandinavia are readily available all over the world-their new THINS in Sesame +Sea Salt and Rosemary +Sea Salt have a lot more flavor than their other flatbread versions-you can eat these solo, imo...yet are just as crispy and fiber packed.|
|Granny inspired...the Brooklyn based The Matzo Project (founded in 5775-Jewish calendar fyi)...makes 3 flavors of matzo-cinammon sugar, salted and everything (pictured) in traditional sheet form and crisps for year round eating. At the show-this new launch got a lot of attention-partially because the packaging is so cool. Kosher (DUH). Available for now in NYC but we bet this will be picked up by many stores in urban locales.|
|From Denmark-KAREN VOLF (Bisca owned) high fiber, crispy organic crackers (KRAV is the Swedish certification, fyi)- probably not so easy to find here-but if you're the type to like the crusts of breads/bagels/crostini -this very crunchy cracker is for you. Good for layering on-spreads and jams-its ideal thickness that can support the trendy 'it' Mediterranean spreads like Ezme. FYI non-GMO as Europe bans those things...|
|GLUTEN FREE is a food trend with legs...so much so we think it's going to be a 'thing' for ever-especially for USA dwellers fed up with the whole GMO wheat crop grown here though for some reason-some growers just don't 'get it.' Rice Crackers are now grocery store staples-LAIKI Rice crackers though-elevate this category by making there products from exotic rices...red and black that are more flavorful than white or brown rice-with oil and salt AND NOTHING ELSE. NON-GMO certified too. Available in N. California stores like WholeFoods and on AMAZON.|
|HARVEST STONE makes an easy to find -light crispy crunchy Gluten Free USDA Organic, NON-GMO certified (our bucket list!!!!) that is priced barely above the other regular ole' crackers sold -that have a chemistry lesson worthy ingredients let alone the Japanese Usuyaki ones. Which is why we love them even more-taste great with wholesome flavor...brown rice based with hint of sesame seeds and flax-four flavors available. we ate these straight up.|
|SIMPLE MLLS gluten free, soy free, almond flour based crackers...are NON GMO certified -and delicate crispy bits. This flavor-Rosemary and Sea Salt has organic onion, garlic, rosemary and pepper-full flavor that stands on its own.|
|New: Simple Mills Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers- made form Almond Flour-has onion, garlic and rosemary hints|
|new flavor-Farmhouse Cheddar -almond flour, sunflower seeds, and flax seed packed crackers by Simple Mills...qualify as a sophisticated snack too! With light garlic, onion and rosemary hints-cheesy flavor comes from organic cheddar.|
|USA made but Italian inspired La Panzanella is Seattle based. ..we loved these crispy cracker snacks -Mini Croccantini that are appetizer and snack worthy.|
|La Panzanella-full sized CROCCANTINI crackers-resemble flatbreads-but are made to be broken by hands "and shared with love." IMO might be too tasty to share...four flavors-original, rosemary, cracked pepper and roasted garlic-have a buttery olive oil hint to them. Widely available including Whole Foods, Fairways, GIANT stores...|
|Another Italian inspired food company- FERRARIS water crackers.compliment the bold flavors of any cheese with crispy underpinnings...pictured -five flavors. FYI-an Argentina company-we saw their products when we shopped in Buenos Aires.|
34º Crisps-from Colorado, (the name refs Sydney Australia where company founder discovered his passion for food/wine)-has two new sweet versions of their addictive delicate crisps---in Vanilla...and Chocolate. Other flavors now available online at AMAZON.
|Pairwell Food Co. hails from Utica N.Y.-with a "...mission...to deliver wine lovers the snacking experience they deserve." Hence these flavored (Pesto, Parmigiano Reggiano, Sea Salt) Wine Sticks that are NON-GMO-and bonus points here-15 calories per stick!|
|ITALIAN inspired-of course-these delicious super thin crisp tasty-aromatic breadsticks are from Piedmont ITALY-made by Mario Fongo "Stirati-Stretched" breadsticks bursting with flavor that trumps mass merchandised wannabes in this category...these are actually manually rolled out by hand -thereby preserving the air bubbles-versus industrial machines that crush them out. Important because it explains why these breadsticks are some of the crispiest we have tried with light buttery texture-courtesy of organic olive oil! Find these on Amazon and GourmetImportShop as well as Italian fab focused emporiums like NYC;s Eataly and OUR FAV (as well as Oprah Anointed) Buon Italia|
|TENTAZIONI PUGLIESI "Irresistibili per natura" needs no translation for its delectable bites. This Italian company had many types of snacks ...all palm oil and yeast free...and of course NON-GMO. Pictured---the Tarelli line of snacks that are reminiscent of the original flavors of the typical Apulia Taralli...includes white wine as an ingredient---though very subtle. Pictured are the rustic Taralli et Coffee (in Italian that would be Café-also a chocolate one) from the sweet line that pairs well with milk, yogurt, cottage cheese-or like we did-we dunked ours in coffee :-)...and more cracker like Taralli ai Multicereali, Taralli al Grano Arso (Burst Wheat-made from durum wheat)---that are solo eating or paired with typical appetizers. There are other flavors and an organic bunch of taralli---and other products from this company like crispy croutons, crostini, and friselle...|
|ALSO found at Italian food emporium Buon Italia, Panealba classic breadsticks and Crostini|