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Saltines, Soda Crackers, Whatever...

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I used to love soda crackers. Gimme a can of sardines and a pack of crackers and you had one happy camper! But no more. The sardines are still good, but soda crackers have gone away. I first noticed it with store brands a couple of years ago. They tasted like a cross between raw potatoes and raw flour. Not good. So I only bought premium crackers. Then it happened to them too.

Up until last week, I could still come by decent crackers by ordering a 99 cent cup of chili at Wendy's, then begging for more crackers. Then, about three days ago, Wendy's crackers bit the dust too. <sigh>

Has anyone else noticed this? Have saltines become unsaltinely, or have my taste buds moved away from home? Is it real?

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  1. I've notice this also. The saltines don't seem crumbly any more, but hard and crunchy with little taste. They must be changing something to save money.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Antilope

      How about lower salt and lower fat (esp. transfats)?

    2. I agree, although possibly for different reasons. Tonight I picked up some premium soda crackers for my little dose of Imperial cheese. Remember that in our house my choice of crackers is at the bottom, so I don't get to savor them very often. Anyway, I sat down to enjoy my fine repast, and the crackers crumbled so badly that I had to give up and get something else. A dream dashed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Conrad

        Yes I've noticed crackers of various brands crumbling easily now . . . or breaking really easily if you drop them (arrowroots too). It seems to coincide with the removal of transfats from the products I've noticed it in. I can't think of what would stand up to Imperial cheese now. But now you've gone and made me think Imperial which I haven't had in eons. Me want!

        1. re: Conrad

          That is my experience too, super crumbly. I bought a box of saltines to eat with canned sardines and practically every cracker in the sleeve was crumbled already.

          Disappointing.

        2. On the subject of crackers (and I hope that this isn't too off topic) has anyone tried those new crackers from Blue Diamond- the almond people? Those things are incredible! And the serving size is 16 of 'em! And they advertise on Chowhound!

          Back on topic, yes I have noticed the demise of the saltine. I've always preferred the unsalted tops style, but they have become almost inedible. In fact, the last two boxes that we have purchased have had lots of mangled saltines in each sleeve, so apparently the packaging machines haven't adjusted to the change either...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Clarkafella

            I checked the Nabisco web site to confirm just what is in their soda crackers and one of the ingredients is high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is not necessary. It is not healthy. The ingredient lists on different boxes is different, so what is the truth. If soda crackers are made the way the vid shows, it takes a long time to produce soda crackers. I bet the producers are trying ways to cut down on expences any way they can and have corrupted the original recipe until we would hardly recognize it. Still, I do not have the equipment nor the time to make them myself. If the labels are indeed telling the truth about what's in the crackers, I guess I will be buying the smaller packages from now on. No HFCS for me--- none!!!

          2. Try these: http://zebs.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=P...

            They are made in Vermont and absolutely perfect, imho. You also can find them at Cracker Barrel restaurants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Beckyleach

              I was going to suggest these also. They are great.

            2. What I notice about soda crackers is that they seem to be underbaked. Never a good browned on in the bunch more often than not. Sad when companies can't even make soda crackers correctly.

              3 Replies
              1. re: KristieB

                Actually you are so right. I used to zap the premium crackers in the microwave to cook out the remaining moisture in them to make them more crunchy, and to brown them up a little.

                On the other hand, I tend to get the whole wheat version because the bran in them makes up in flavour what the pale, plain ones are missing.

                1. re: tarteaucitron

                  Oh that's a good idea. Chucking them in the oven would brown them up too. A lot of things are under baked a bit these days. Everyone's so afraid of flavour or something.

                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                    My mother bakes her soda crackers regularly to improve the taste and recharge stale packages. I tease her mercilessly, but I admit that it does work.

              2. I, too, have noticed that they don't taste the same. However, I bought a box of "Krispy" brand a couple of weeks ago, and they are much tastier than the store brands or even "Premium" saltines - IMO

                5 Replies
                1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                  We quit buying "Premium" way, way back...The Krispy, or Zesta, while maybe not the greatest are much better IMO.

                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                    Jacquelyn do they have the hydrogenated shortening in them? I don't have Krispy here and am just wondering if the trans fats are part of issue.

                    1. re: cinnamon girl

                      I'll have to get back to you on that, I threw out the box and put them in my reproduction "Premium" tin container. They are good and "krispy" though ;-).

                      1. re: cinnamon girl

                        Hi, I checked out a box of Krispy saltines, and no, there wasn't any hydrogenated shortening, trans fats or anything like that. Just flour, water, salt etc. Maybe it's the way they are baked and packaged, all I know is that the box I just bought is so much better than the store brand I have been buying

                        1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                          Thanks for checking! I'll look for them.

                    2. I can't help you, but my memory was jogged by this (thanks) and I remember, as a kid, eating saltines and Wolf brand chili as well as sardines and crackers.
                      A good bread has replaced crackers with my soup. Triscuits and the like (think "wholesome" and "nutritious"), have nudged "ordinary" crackers from the hors d'Ĺ“uvre platter.

                      1. I like Saltines and soda crackers but they are hard to find here. Do you have cream crackers over there? Jacobs makes them. They are traditionally served with cheese and similar to soda crackers. Don't have a package now so can't check the ingredients. I also like matzos, and especially tea matzos to have with stuff like cottage cheese and dips. Very low fat.

                        1. I do not know what happened, just had a standard healthy choice chicken soup + standard premium saltine crackers (crunched up and added), and it was horrible!! I noticed something wrong with the taste, after investigating I noticed the saltines smelled like paint!! They were absolutely horrible. Paint is the only thing I can compare it too. Thinking it was just a bad batch or something, I got rid of that box and opened another, lo and behold same thing (these were larger premium saltine boxes bought at cosco). If they changed the recipe, which seems crazy to me that no-one noticed the horrible difference during taste-testing. Really bad move there nabisco!

                          1. Here is a link to an e-book copy of a color catalog of the time (1881) showing what commercial soda crackers and cookies looked like:

                            **Color Pictures of 1881 Cookies and Crackers (Baker's illustrated color catalog of cookies & crackers baked goods)

                            Here's a link to the "Descriptive sample book of goods manufactured" by Dozier-Weyl cracker co. St. Louis, Mo.
                            Published 1881. You can read it online or download PDF, EPUB, MOBI files for free at these links:
                            .
                            Link to online readable book
                            http://www.archive.org/stream/descrip...
                            .
                            Link to Open Library listing of book:
                            https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23664....

                            1. I agee saltines used to have shortening or some fat in them and they were good. The Gordon Co. - i think - used to make Wendy's crackers. Good luck finding something tasty.