Saturday, November 16, 2013

Best (and Worst) Crackers

Polly Wants These Crackers

Flour + water = crackers. Seems simple enough; but take a peak at the cracker aisle in your local grocer, and you'll likely change your tune. There are lots of different crackers to choose from (Goldfish, Ritz, Saltines, etc.) so many in fact, that we came up with the following evaluations, to help you decide.

365 Everyday Value Wasabi Rice Crackers: Whole Foods makes a crisp, healthy and zesty cracker that's bound to raise attention at your next wine & cheese party. That's because the zest comes from fiery wasabi. Affordable too at just $2.19 for a 3.57 oz. pack.

Grade: B-

365 Everyday Value Wasabi Rice Crackers

Barber Cream Crackers: Barber rivals fellow British import Jacob's for best cream cracker, but for $.50 less at Rodman's ($1.39 for 7 oz.) Add butter, and you have the perfect combination for breakfast or a late night snack.

Grade: B-

Barber Biscuits Crackers

Keebler Cheese Peanut Butter Sandwich: The perfect marriage of cheese and peanut butter, wrapped together in a crunchy exterior. $.89 for a pack of eight.

Grade: B

Keebler Cheese Peanut Butter Sandwich

Keebler Club: These are good, all-purpose crackers with nice crunch & a touch of salt. I like 'em with cheese or dip (great shape, sturdy too) but they're a bit bland on their own. I load up on 5.25 oz. double packs when they go on sale at CVS for just $.99. Great to have in your cupboard.

Grade: B-

Keebler Club

Keebler Town House Pita Sea Salt: Good crunch, and the perfect shape for dipping (hummus!) What's missing? Taste, specifically salt. May as well bake your own pita chips at home. Mediterranean Herb might be a better bet.

Grade: C+

Keebler Town House Pita Sea Salt

Nabisco Chicken in a Biskit: I fell in love with these years ago; and still find them addictive. Dehydrated cooked chicken may not sound appetizing; but wait until you taste them. Great crunch, and only a hint of chicken flavor... just enough to get you "in the mood." Perfect amount of saltiness too.
Grade: A-

Nabisco Chicken in a Biskit

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Original: Not only are they fun to eat, Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish are downright tasty too. They come in nine flavors, almost all of which are cheese-based; but I buy only Original and Pretzel. If you like your crackers small and salty, then look no further.

Grade: B

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Original

Ritz Fresh Stacks: One of the most popular crackers on the market, Ritz appears to have lots of salt; but good luck tasting it. On par with generic saltines, you could argue they have no flavor whatsoever. I do like the concept of Fresh Stacks however... 8 individual packs of 13 crackers each (220 calories) keeps 'em fresh. Often on sale for as low as $2 per box.

Grade: C-

Ritz Fresh Stacks

Trader Joe's 12 Grain Mini Snack: One of my staple items on each visit to Trader Joe's, these super affordable ($2.29 for 10 oz. box) crackers are quite simply "da' bomb." Healthy, pint-sized and just salty enough, they come packed with three grams of fiber per serving (22 crackers.) That's a day's worth of fiber per box... which can easily be devoured in one sitting, if you're not careful.

Grade: B+

Trader Joe's 12 Grain Mini Snack