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Home » Culture and Criticism

Your N Cracker AA Champion Is…

Submitted by on December 19, 2013 – 8:30 AM12 Comments

ncrackeraa-1

Update, 19 December 2013: Wheat have a winner.


It stayed closer than we'd predicted, but our cracker champion is Wheat Thins. Thanks for all the votes and commentary — and stay tuned, because in 2014, we're finally building the cookie Thunderdome we've been threatening for years now.

*****

Triscuits are easily my favorite. They're my standard. My comfort. My companion in midnight snackery. That said, I'm having a really hard time letting Ritz go. I can't believe they didn't make it to the finals. The only reason why I — an avowed Ritz-lover — don't stock them the way I stock Tricuits is because I know I can't control myself around them. As far as I'm concerned, you open a sleeve, you finish a sleeve, so what gives, people? Was it the mock apple pie recipe? I'll bet it was the mock apple pie recipe. You know, I really can't blame you for that. As much as I love Ritz, I never did get over that particular weirdness. At first I thought the "mock" of that recipe was Ritz standing in for the crust — which, by the way, was weird enough, since Ritz have that fine sprinkling of salt that in a pre salted-caramel-on-everything world would have been very weird when mixed in with a dessert — but then I learned that THERE WERE NO APPLES EITHER! That just blew my mind, and I really don't blame everyone who voted in the NCrackerAA for holding a grudge. The apple lobby has deep pockets.

I think I'm sort of bored by the actual finalists, to tell you the truth. I'll be voting Triscuits to be sure, but I'm not all that excited by it. I was kind of hoping there'd be some dark horse of an Ak-Mak or a flavored Kashi gumming up the works — essentially the upstart cracker equivalent of Louisville taking it all the way. But as it is: boring. Come to think of it, crackers in general are pretty boring. They're mostly there to provide some crunch and snap to our snacks; simply a purveyor of flavor, not a usurper of the cheese slice, pâté smear, or dip sludge. Crackers play backup. They aren't attention whores like a plate of runny brie or a bowl of glistening purple tapenade. They make everything taste better just by providing support. Crackers are dependable and comforting. Boring? I think so, but that's why we love them. — Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

*****

Almost more notable for what isn't here — Ritz; Saltines; any functionary of the Carr's empire — than what is, the NCrackerAA final poses the question we so often face in the TN/Grub Report food brackets: do you vote on preference, or on general use? In the case of a cracker, do you favor it for its usefulness as a conveyor of cheese, charcuterie, etc.? Or must it hold its own as a discrete snack?

The original Triscuit is, in my opinion, the only cracker left that qualifies as both a cheese vehicle and a solo nibble, despite the valiant attempts of Wheat Thins' marketing over the years to convince me that cutting Muenster and pepperphony into minuscule star shapes is a good use of my nanoscopic free time — with a single olive slice on the top, fuck's sake; we have jobs, you know! Yeah, you can futz a little floret of Easy Cheeze on a Cheez-It, and I have, but it's not the recommended usage.

Alas, of the three finalists, the Triscuit is my least favorite. I don't hate it, but as far as application of cheese, it's a little too big whole and a little too slender broken in half, and a little too shreddy overall. The Cheez-It is only technically a cracker — good luck making an hors d'oeuvre out of a single It — and doesn't have the childhood sentimental pull, for me, of a Wheat Thin…which you can also use as a chip substitute (and they hold up fabulously to a heavy seven-layer dip on game day).

A win for any of these wouldn't anger me, and I predict a win for the Triscuit, for the reasons I've discussed. But I'm voting Thins. – Sarah D. Bunting

N Cracker AA Final! Vote for the cracker you like best:

  • Wheat Thins original (37%, 183 Votes)
  • Triscuits original (35%, 172 Votes)
  • Cheez-Its original (28%, 137 Votes)

Total Voters: 492

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12 Comments »

  • Kizz says:

    I hope to see the Thins take the bracket. If there is any justice in the world they shall. The Triscuit has been pretending to the throne far too long.

  • Alicia says:

    Oh, it's a tough choice between Wheat Thins and Triscuits. I came down in favor of fiber (or what seems like fiber, anyhow), but I keep hearing the Family Guy Wheat Thins schtick in my head and dithering.

  • Margot says:

    My vote for Cheez-Its is based on which of the finalists I would want to have with me on a desert island. No toppings, no other choices in the pantry — just me + one cracker for life. And it's gotta be Cheez-Its.

  • Lindsay says:

    Come on, people – let's see a Cheez-it rally!! Those are my go-to snack cracker. CHEEZ-ITS FTW!

  • MaryAnne says:

    Cheez-ITS, Cheez-ITS, Cheez-ITS … I'm on board this rally!

    Triscuits are like eating compressed hay with the added bonus of tearing up the roof of your mouth and Wheat Thins are fine, but for straight-up, eat handfuls directly out of the box, Cheez-Its FTW!

  • annabel says:

    Wheat Thins??? Really??? Wheat Thins???????

  • Maria says:

    I love Wheat Thins as much as the next binge eater, and I'll gladly eat an entire box (and regret it instantly) given the means and opportunity. BUT. Given the desert-island scenario, it's Cheez-Its FTW. Salty, cheesy, non-mouth-roof shredding goodness.

    RALLY CAPS LOCK ON!!

  • Sophie Charlotte says:

    I can't in good conscience endorse any of the above, and am considering not voting at all (universal suffrage be damned!). Perhaps being a fairly recently diagnosed celiac is unduly coloring my perspective, and that in my heart I truly believe that the only cracker worth eating is actually the croissant I can't have either.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Enjoy your victory, Wheat Thins–I don't hate you but I'll never buy you, although if someone serves you at a party with cream cheese dip, I'm in! I remain loyal to my beloved Nairn Oat Cakes. And have been known to dance around the kitchen singing "Nairn Oatie Cakes" to the tune of the Fruity Oatie Bars jingle from Serenity when opening a new box. In my best Jayne voice.

  • annabel says:

    Thanks to whoever several brackets back who, even though I am a stated Triscuit purist, recommended the rosemary/olive oil with a nice sharp cheddar. Yum!! I am a convert! I may never buy the original again…

  • WordMaven says:

    I'm okay with Wheat Thins as #1. However, I must say that the reduced fat version of WThins truly does taste better; by comparison, classic Wheat Thins taste a bit heavy and greasy.

  • Lindsay says:

    The only cracker I didn't like, and never voted for, won. This is the story of my life right now.

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