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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Cracker AA Round 1 Flight 2: Vote!

Submitted by on October 15, 2013 – 9:30 AM24 Comments


Does anyone else remember that Premium Saltines commercial where a sleeve of the crackers is tossed into the ocean to demonstrate how watertight it is?

I always thought that was a pretty neat commercial, especially when you consider how the crackers are so desiccating that your tongue goes Gobi the instant a crumb enters your mouth. That said, saltines have a certain something that other crackers don't. Is it their ubiquity at a stomach flu victim's bedside? Is it how after eating just four squares you have to stop and clean out the area between your cheek and lower gum line like you're dragging the river for a body? I don't know. Saltines aren't gussied up with herbs, oils, or various cheeses, so they aren't likely to progress far. Still. They're humble. They're comforting. And even though I haven't eaten one in decades (Carr's Water crackers fended off my pregnancy nausea), I find myself feeling oddly protective of them and not a little choked up at the idea of them being voted out.

Moving on, I have no idea what they are, but Toast Chee sounds like something drunk, cockney chimney sweeps do at the local pub after almost breaking their necks on the rooftops of the gentry. This of course means I have to vote for it here and eat it later.

Aside from those two crackers, I really don't have any strong feelings about the remainders. I guess I'll probably throw in for one of the Carr's, because those are always solid cheese bottoms. ("Bottoms"? Is that the correct term? What's the opposite of a "topper"?) –Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic


Remember how I said that the randomizer threw us a couple of curveballs? Exhibit A. All the saltines? Really? Plus a bunch of obscure Cheez-Its that all sound delicious and all sound made-up.

I can vouch for the existence of all these Carr's lovelies, though, and while I don't expect either of them to advance, Rosemary and the wheat biscuits have my vote — Rosemary on sheer flavor, and wheat because 1) they can go sweet or savory, cookie or cracker, and pair well with any cheese or fruit and 2) I had a ritual in my school days, a superstitious collection of sensations I "needed" to study for final exams. A great-composers cassette on the boom box; a particular corner of my room I seldom sat in the rest of the year; and a full sleeve of Carr's in the red box.

What's my third? The wholly artificial, cancerously orange Toast Chee. Love those things!

But none of these wins the flight; I'm seeing a saltine of some sort, Nips, and probably the Kavli. — SDB

N Cracker AA 1st Round, Flight 2: vote for your THREE (3) favorite crackers!

  • Premium Saltines original (72%, 354 Votes)
  • Cheese Nips (38%, 185 Votes)
  • Carr's Rosemary (22%, 110 Votes)
  • Vegetable Thins (19%, 93 Votes)
  • Carr's Whole Wheat (18%, 89 Votes)
  • Carr's poppy/sesame (13%, 65 Votes)
  • Zesta saltines (12%, 60 Votes)
  • Trader Joe's savory thins (11%, 54 Votes)
  • Cheez-Its hot and spicy (11%, 54 Votes)
  • Cheez-Its pepperjack (10%, 48 Votes)
  • Cheez-Its mozzarella (9%, 46 Votes)
  • Nabisco sea salt/evoo flatbread crisps (9%, 43 Votes)
  • Raincoast Crisps rosemary raisin (8%, 37 Votes)
  • Ryvita (6%, 31 Votes)
  • Toasted's wheat (6%, 28 Votes)
  • Sunshine Saltines (6%, 27 Votes)
  • Toast Chee (6%, 27 Votes)
  • Trader Joe's corn tortilla (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Kavli five-grain (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Stauffer's Cheddar Fetti (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 489

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  • Sandman says:

    Oh, I'll be sad if Raincoast Crisps don't do well, but it's not looking good. They're so delicious, but not well known, I guess.

  • JenV says:

    I can't believe there is a kind of cracker with raisin bits and/or raisin flavor. That is gross.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    "I can't believe there is a kind of cracker with raisin bits and/or raisin flavor. That is gross."

    – FTFY

  • Kristin says:

    I cannot speak for the other, and therefore lesser, Cheez-Its, but I can verify that Cheez-Its Hot and Spicy is a real, and a beautiful, thing.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Wow, I think I'm a cracker snob because there's not a single cracker in this round that might inspire me to vote. I only ever eat saltines if I've been sick and only because they're what stays down. Weird!

    I'm also on board team "raisins/raisin flavors in crackers = gross."

  • Sandman says:

    I forgot about that watchword of TN, "shut up, raisins." (More for me!)

  • Sharon says:

    CARR'S WHOLE WHEAT!!!!!!! That is all…

  • Another Rachel says:

    I am psyched that Carr's Rosemary has so many votes. I didn't discover them until a few months ago when looking for something to put herbed goat cheese on, and I have stopped letting myself buy them because they last for about four seconds once they're open.

  • cayenne says:

    How is it possible that anything containing raisins made it into a bracket? I thought we had established so firmly that it should never be forgotten that – repeat after me – RAISINS ARE EVIL. Hmmm?

    Repeat a few more times. Then go have a Carr's Whole Wheat (FTW!).

  • Meg says:

    Yes, the original Saltines are the best.

    Last holiday season, the entire theatre company did Secret Santa, and we had a survey to fill out, of our favorite things for ideas. I did put Saltines for my favorite salty snack (since I knew they're easier to get than anything else I like), and received multiple boxes of them. I was quite happy.

  • Just discovered that Premium Saltine Rounds juuuust fit in one bite, without the scratchy corner effect!

  • patricia says:

    The Saltines write-up brought to mind with great clarity a book I read when I was a kid. It was about a girl who went to summer camp, was worried about fitting in (…as usual), started to like it despite herself, etc. She was in a relay called the cracker and whistle; swim a bit, get out, eat a Saltine, whistle, swim back. She was a strong swimmer, winning it for her team during the swim part, but just could. Not. Whistle. Because of the dryness, the Saharan aridity of the Saltine. She ended up losing the race, covered in shame, etc. Best cameo by a Saltine in a non-illness context.

    Totally don't remember the name of the book (an Ask the Readers crossover?). Only other thing I remember about it is that was the first time I encountered the word "lanyard," and had no idea what it meant.

  • Pam says:

    I voted for each saltine listed just to make sure one of them moved on… Can't eat soup without them, y'all! Throw some ridiculously sharp cheddar and spicy mustard on them and broil in oven until cheddar just starts to liquidate… Yum!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @patricia, I totally read that book!

  • MaryAnne says:

    I'm boggled that Cheese Nips are doing so well … they only wish they were as good as Cheez-Its.

    But I would still eat those, before anything with raisins/raisin-flavored, and not just in the cracker genre. Raisins = yuck.

  • Linds says:

    I had (and loved) that book! It is Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby, by Jane O'Connor. (Apparently Ms. O'Connor has gone on to become quite well-known in the children's lit world!)
    On Amazon:

  • patricia says:

    @Linds: you're the best! I loved that book too, probably read it 20 times. Seeing the title and reading the first few pages on Amazon really brought it back. Thanks!

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Well, now I have a new book to read and cracker to try! Toast Chee sounds so terribly British, don't you know. I love toasted cheese sandwiches. Mmmm… lunch….

  • Still Another Kate says:

    If only I could vote for Carr's Rosemary three times!! Best. Cracker. Ever.

  • Keckler says:

    Another reason not to eat raisins.

    "How to Read a Scientific Paper (About That Researcher With a Nematode in His Mouth)"

    Just saying.

  • Mimi says:

    @Keckler, I like raisins (blasphemy, I know), but after I saw that article this morning, I've sworn 'em off for a while. Why are there worms in raisins? Why?

    I am sad that more people haven't discovered the addictive properties of TJ's savory thins, but that just means more for me.

  • Ben says:

    I think Cheese Nips are benefiting from the same name-a-like confusion that must drive their sales. There is no other explanation.

    Also, it's sad that people are not more on board with Nabisco's Sea Salt and EVOO flatbread crisps. They are the superior "Crackers and …" cracker in every way. Any dip, spread, side, topping would benefit from their wholly superior foundation.

  • Sandman says:

    @Keckler: Aaaiieeee. Thanks bunches.

  • Maria says:

    Cheese Nips have MSG in them. BARF. I discovered that years ago when I decided I'd just "buy what's on sale" instead of sticking with the Cheez-Its. Nips taste funny *and* give you a wacky headache? No thank you!

    Original Saltines, Carr's Whole Wheat, and Rosemary for Thanksgiving hors d'ouvres!

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