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Jan 26, 2008 11:19 AM

Oyster Crackers...(Yes, revisited)

Okay. The only brand I had tried prior to last nights purchase of Trader Joe's Soup & Oyster Crackers was the Nabisco brand of Premium. And I had only tried them once, the Premium brand that is. I didn't particularly like them. They didn't seem very tasty or crunchy on their own let alone hold up in my soups or chowders.

The Trader Joe's are far and above superior. From the back of the box, and I totally agree...

'If you're familiar with the hunt for a good oyster cracker, you know that some can be flat-ish with a dense, bland, and not flakey consistency."'

'Trader Joe's Oyster Crackeres are specially made so they have a very firm and flakey consistency. They're domed shaped, and they yeild a very satisfying crunch.'

That first sentence totatlly describes the Premium brand to a tee. Somebody said in another Oyster Cracker topic that Premiums were decent (?). IMHO, not even. Especially when compared to the likes of the TJ's 'brand'.

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  1. I found great oyster crackers at "Aldi". Is this where I am supposed to apologize for shopping at Aldi ? Anyway their food for the most part is trial and error. However, the oyster crackers were advertised as part of a super bowl chili recipe promotion (BTW I've never put oyster crackers on chili). They were only .69 cents a bag. Man, they were tasty, right out of the bag. Flaky, crunchy, dome shaped. They tasted good in some leftover broth I had. .
    I found that a lot of times that oyster crackers are stale right out of the bag (not expired). I will be stocking up on these the next time I go to ALDI's.
    (BTW, anyone reading this, they have the hugest sweet pickles ever. If you are a sweet pickle lover, and like me are frustrated by the small gherkins you get from the main perps like vlasic, etc [expensive too]. You can get a jar with pretty big pickles (I pulled one out that was the size of the length of the jar, it was like some crazy deli dill but was a sweet pickle).

    3 Replies
    1. re: rochfood

      Don't really understand your 'Is this where I am supposed to apologize for shopping at Aldi ?' statement. If you like the store, product selections, and the prices what's to appologize for? Hey...I'm happy for you that you like the oyster crackers from Aldi's. They sound every bit as good as the ones that Trader Joe's carries. And why not oyster crackers with chili??? Crackers and chili have always made a great paring!

      1. re: crt

        I agree with crt, regardless of the supermarket, if you like their products and prices, why feel guilty? I buy a fair amount of food items from Costco (their Spanish olives are particularly good, and you can find stuff like decent quality capers for very reasonable prices). I love Trader Joe's products but can't always afford to shop there.

      2. re: rochfood

        Aldi's and Trader Joe's are owned by the same financial group. They operate "independently" but they use somewhat the same business plan. They stock mostly Private Label knock offs of national brands(and usually fare quite well or even better then N.Brands). I would tend to think that if either one finds a knock off that hits a"home run"(like said Arster crackers), either someone drops a dime on their counterpart or that manufacturere runs as fast as he can to the other store group to make a sale!!!

      3. crt...the comment was not directed at you personally. It was a sarcastic comment because there always seems to someone apologizing everytime they talk about eating a processed prepared food, or dining at a chain or national fast food establishment. I of couse(like you I assume) make my own way and decisions through the "food jungle" and do not care what the reputation of the store is (bad grammar). I have read enough pompous comments on this site about chains and so forth that it seems people have to apologize beforehand for fear of angering the "cook everything from scratch with organics..never go to a national chain" crowd. I just roll my eyes at them. Good food at a good price is a passion of mine. It is always fun to find a good product at ALDI..etc. BTW..excellent jarred salsa (1.00 for 24 oz jar).
        Sorry, for the tangent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rochfood

          It's cool, rochfood! I didn't take offense at the statement. And your 'tangent' is well taken and understood as well!

        2. The best oyster crackers are made by OTC,Trenton NJ.

          4 Replies
            1. re: bobfxd

              You got that right Bob. When I was a kid I knew I was a big boy when I could crack two of them together in one hand.

              1. re: bobfxd

                I agree! They should be hard, almost round and great dipped in horseradish. For me, if you can't bounce one off the table, it ain't a real Oyster Cracker!

                I do not define "mini saltines" as an oyster cracker.

                1. re: bobfxd

                  But somehow OTCs don't taste as good to me as they did in the 50's and 60's. I don't think they're made in Trenton any longer either (or was it Lambertville?) Maybe they changed the recipe. They were really great. Not easy to describe to someone who hasn't tasted them

                2. Are oyster crackers supposed to be 'flavorful'? What besides salt should they have? And if they have too much salt they become saltines. Add other flavors and you get misshapened 'gold fish'. Nor should they be sweet.

                  Admittedly I don't buy oyster crackers that often, preferring instead to stock up on their big cousins, pilot bread. There are variations among those brands. PNW/Alaska Sailorboy brand pilot bread is on the solid side. Hawaiian Diamond brand is flakier, undoubtedly due to more shortening. In Canada I've found both the solid and flaky versions.


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: paulj

                    Are oyster crackers supposed to be 'flavorful'?

                    All I can tell you is I can definately tell the difference in flavor & taste between the Nabisco Premium brand and the Trader Joe's brand/label. Ingredients and cooking times/methods can most certainly affect flavor and thus taste.

                    1. re: crt

                      I'll have too look for the TJ ones. Sounds like they may be too flavorful for my liking :)

                    2. re: paulj

                      I know it's been a while, but where were you finding oyster crackers in Canada? I've been scouring Toronto for them. At this point I'd be happy to just mail order them.

                      1. re: precia

                        I was referring to pilot bread, not the smaller oyster crackers. I don't recall where I saw this (online or a store) but I think all Canadian pilot bread is now made by Newfoundland's Purity.


                        1. re: paulj

                          Oh, you're right. Thank you for responding anyway. I just might have to give the pilot bread a try, though...

                    3. We get these in New England they are very good.

                      I don't know if you can get them anywhere else.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: msroboto

                        I suspect the Trader Joes crackers are made by Westminster. They have similar rounded (not flattened shape).

                        TJ ingredients are
                        flour, water, canola oil, sugar, salt, yeast, baking soda; 60mg sodium/14g serving.

                        1. re: paulj

                          I would have to agree with you paulj. The ingredients between TJs and Wesminster are the same. The other store brands include some sort of soy product. I only know this because I had to do a little research for my chow-toddler, who is allergic to soy. By research, I also did a taste test. TJs brand has a deeper or toastier flavor. It's not just salty puffy crisp rounds. BTW, my chow-toddler loves them. We buy it consistently. It's a great little addition to her limited diet.

                          1. re: rumgum

                            "By research, I also did a taste test. TJs brand has a deeper or toastier flavor."

                            Exactly the words I was looking for when I tried explaining to 'paulj' the taste factor of TJ's oyster crakers when he posed his question asking if they're are supposed to be flavorful. Thanks for explaining. Your description is right on target! Explaining flavors can be difficult at times especially flavors of a subtle nature. Again, thanks.