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What's your favorite way to have cheese and crackers?

Hey ya'll, I'm new to posting here! I don't know if this has been asked before, but as I was preparing one of my favorite snacks, cheese and crackers, I got to thinking how we all might picture something different when we hear that phrase. For me, my favorite cheese and crackers "preparation" is slices of extra sharp cheddar on saltines with a dot of yellow mustard on top. To me that's standard, classic. I imagine there must be fancier and not-so-fancy takes on this favorite- do share! =)

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  1. I'm flexible about the cracker, but the cheese should be old cheddar and I love a generous dollop of my homemade cayenne pepper jelly on it. Yum!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ferdzy

      Ahhh I need to get into the homemade condiment biz! Sounds good!

      1. re: Meowzerz

        I'm too lazy to make condiments; I buy them. I enjoy a fig-orange jelly from Croatia with mild, ripened cheeses, on plain crispbread crackers, with a nice chardonnay.

    2. I am heavily programmed so that I cannot read or hear the phrase, "Cheese and crackers," without "Got all muddy," popping to mind. This may mean something to you too, and maybe even elicit a smile. If not, that's okay too... Cheese and crackers got all muddy!

      A sizable chunk of bleu on a 34º Crispbread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caroline1

        Since cheese and crackers always means a cocktail too, "got all muddy "might not be acceptable I'm thinking?

      2. I love a thick, seedy cracker like dr kracker with sharp cheddar or ultra creamy havarti or Brie. I love seedy dark crackers with cheese these days...no saltines for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedimental

          Dr Kracker is one of my favourite crackers, and the variety with cheese and seeds built in would not even any additional cheese on top of it ;-)

        2. Usually two cheeses per plate for comparisons. Each week, one has to be a variety I've not tried before.

          1. Two ways I like it the best, 1. SkiQueen Gjeatost (sp) on plain Ryecrisp
            2. Kraft Deluxe American (I don't care if it's processed, I like it) on Club cracker with a dot of
            Sriracha. Once in a while add thin pepperoni or hard salami slices. I have this sometimes twice a week for supper if the weather is real hot (like this summer).

            1. Costco recently started carrying Mary's Gone Crackers crackers again, and they're the absolute best with a fresh mozzarella or mild cheddar or gouda or Laughing Cow cut into slices, or queso fresco or queso cotija and/or a little pepper jelly. Lots of fiber and omegas, it's bird food gone awesome.

                  1. re: RedTop

                    I've loved these since I was a kid. Love my cheese (sharp cheddar) and crackers (Ritz) with a little peanut butter on the side. MMMM!!!

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      How about this one? I used to inhale them and they were probably my first cheese and crackers.

                       
                        1. re: vil

                          Those are disgusting.

                          DISGUSTINGLY delicious. : )

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Mmmm, a box of the white cheddar, please, with an Evan Williams SB on the rocks.

                        3. Always prefer bread to crackers with cheese.

                          31 Replies
                          1. re: Harters

                            John, next time you're Stateside, try Triscuits -- think salty Shredded Wheats, but they play beautifully with more-assertive cheeses.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              "salty Shredded Wheats"

                              You're not selling this very well. :-0

                              The nearest I come to a cracker is a digestive biscuit where I think the sweetness works as a contrast with a sharp salty cheese.

                              1. re: Harters

                                no, no -- nothing at all like a digestive biscuit! (Much as I adore Jaffas and HobNobs and Ginger Nuts and most any other type of British biscuits, I have never quite understood plain digestives, other than ground into crumbs and used for pie crust!)

                                Not even like Cream Crackers, either...those are too floury to compare with US snack crackers.

                                Because the US tends to NOT eat cheese on bread, there is entire aisle full of savoury crackers -- Tuc would be a starter (but would be called Ritz, Town House, or Club, as well as the harder-to-find Tuc)-- but a Triscuit is indeed made of shredded wheat, pressed into a flat shape, then salted...it's crunchy and a little bit nutty, and a little bit salty -- an excellent partner to cheese.

                                Lots and lots of whole- and cracked-wheat type crackers -- Stoned Wheat Thins (yes, lots of jokes there), Wheat Thins, Wheatsworth,

                                Then there are spin-offs that take on other things -- crackers made of flat, thin pretzels, and the utterly neutral crackers like Bremner's Wavers and Water Crackers.

                                Drop into a supermarket and just peruse the offering -- there's an entire aisle of all sorts of flavored crackers.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  We have both Tuc and Ritz here but I always find them too salty for my taste for cheese. Hence the digestive biscuit, the sweetness of which counterbalances the saltiness of the cheese. But then I'm from the part of the world that enjoys a rich fruit cake with cheese.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    now put that with what most Americans are stuck with for cheese....you gotta do something for flavor!

                                    (that's not a knock on the US, before anybody gets their shorts in a twist -- but there's no comparison between what's in the dairy case in an *average* American supermarket and what Harters and I can buy in our respective countries.)

                                    You might really, really like Bremner's Wafers or Carrs Water Biscuits -- they're both very light, very crispy, and not salted at all (original flavors) -- probably closer to what you're accustomed.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      We have Carr's as well - a favourite of Mrs Harters with her cheese.
                                      I have it mind that carr's is a British company.

                                      By the by, like most Europeans I've been happy to disparage American cheese until recently. I don't know the quality and range of cheese in US supermarkets but there's certainly some stunning cheese out there. I became a convert earlier in the year after a meal in Portsmouth, NH. We had cheese instead of dessert - four really good ones all from Vermont. If you come across "Reconsider" made by Bardwell Farm, it really is a stunner - made in the style of an Italian Toma.

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        There IS good cheese in the US -- and there's a little more of it every year, happily

                                        But it's not found in your *average* supermarket -- that's still the realm of orange blocks of plastic -- and when you CAN find it, it's quite dear.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          In the current Trader Joe's Yay/Nay thread I mentioned we found an aged three years, White Vermont Cheddar that tasted marvelous.

                                          1. re: RedTop

                                            Still not *average*. And still not cheap.

                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                            Where the heck do you shop? I feel sorry for you.

                                            I live in a fairly rural area, & still every single "average" supermarket here has a section containing a fair number of lovely cheeses outside of the "orange blocks of plastic". Even - dare I say it - WALMART. (In fact, our local Walmart has the best price for both plain & herb/chive covered fresh goat cheese. Excellent.) In our other "average" markets I can get imported aged Cheddar, various goat & sheep's milk cheeses, brie, camembert, jarlsberg hand-cut to order from a huge wheel, etc., etc. And these aren't specialty groceries - just regular run-of-the-mill neighborhood supermarkets.

                                            Your post makes it sound like U.S. supermarkets are nothing but purveyors of Kraft American cheese slices. That kind of thinking is SO decades old.

                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                              Don't feel sorry for sunshine842. She lives in France now, and as far as cheese selection and quality go, no doubt feels sorry for the rest of us!

                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                and all of those varieties are expensive.

                                                And US supermarket DO primarily sell orange blocks of plastic.

                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                  not everywhere Bacardi, although with a large asian population and lactose intolerance cheeses aren't big sellers here (hawaii). when the newest safeway opened here about 3 years ago they had a wonderful cheese selection. That lasted about 4 months, and they sold virtually none of it. the sandwich deli has now taken over the cheese section, with only a portion of one side of an aisle of cheese left, squeezed between yogurt and butter.

                                                  oh, im no gourmet, but cheese and crackers to me means an edam, maybe some smoked gouda, and a good jack on wheat thins. no mustard or other condiments. just cheese and crackers (although occasionally i follow calliopes rec. below and serve it with salami or pepperoni slices)

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    Yes, most Chinese and Japanese, as well as some other Asians, are lactose intolerant. It took me years of queries to find out why there were not a lot of ancient great cheeses coming out of Asia. But during the Bubble Economy in Japan, back a decade or three ago, when conspicuous consumption became a national pastime, very expensive cheeses were the rage in Tokyo. I never did figure out why, but sure would have liked to own a few Tums concessions! Tofu is "Japanese cheese." Iinteresting that the lactose intolerant of Hawaii are passing cheese by... But Bubble Economy Tokyo-ites are not the first to endure pain for fashion's sake. Anyone for extreme pointy toe shoes?

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      I'm Asian and a cheesemonger and lactose intolerant. I can tell you for a fact that being lactose intolerant does not preclude you from enjoying cheese. Most of the lactose is washed away or converted to lactic acid during the cheesemaking process. Indians and Mongolians have a long history of cheese making (paneer and yak cheese respectively). Japan makes wonderful fresh cheeses in the Hokkaido region, and parts of Korea have taken up cheese making. I think in general it is a lack of exposure, proper handling and finding cheese that fit into the Asian pallet - not impossible but requires insight and not the typical "give them the creamy" stuff dogma that most Westerners use for new cheese consumers.

                                                      1. re: sillyeatinggirl

                                                        Thanks. I wasn't very clear on my perspective point in my post. I first became curious about the development and evolution of cheeses and cheesemaking in my cultural anththropology classes in college. In other words, from "the dawn of time" to the present. On that scale there are large areas of the "far east" where milk-based cheese of any animal just didn't happen until "very recently" on that time scale. For example, in Japan, even today you are highly unlikely to encounter ANY cheese in a true kaiseki meal. That's true for a classic Chinese meal too.

                                                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      Okay - perhaps not "everywhere"; but I don't really think Hawaii is representative of food availability in the majority of the United States.

                                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                                        Probably not Bacardi, and I will be sure to check out the cheese selection at various markets when I'm in LA this November. Perhaps I was being unfair, but there are a large number of items that are common in one part of the country but not in another - or even in one section of a city but not others.

                                                2. re: Harters

                                                  There is a lot of excellent cheese now being made by American artisan cheesemakers. The largest concentrations are in Vermont, New York, Wisconsin and California, but, really, they are all over the US.

                                                  Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont is indeed a standout. I spent a good hour with one of the owners at the farm several years ago. They are well respected for both their goat's milk and cow's milk cheeses, which have won numerous awards. I'm not familiar with the cheese you had (Reconsider), but I have enjoyed several others: Dorset (cow's milk washed rind), Manchester (aged goat), Pawlet (like Reconsider, an Italian-style toma), and Rupert (Alpine-style cow). An interesting tidbit (or titbit, as the British say) about Consider Bardwell: "Consider" is not a verb asking you to think about choosing the farm's cheeses. There was actually someone named Consider Bardwell who started Vermont's first cheesemaking cooperative in the mid 1800's on the land where the current farm is located.

                                                  I know that you don't live near London, but you really should see if Neal's Yard Dairy still carries Rogue River Blue from Oregon or Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Wisconsin. These are both amazing cheeses that have come out on top, not only in the US, but also in worldwide cheese competitions. I assume that NYD ships to other parts of the UK.

                                                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                    *That* is a cool story...and a nice tribute.

                                              2. re: Harters

                                                I am going to have to try your digestives and cheese idea. I love fruit cake with cheese.

                                                1. re: EM23

                                                  If you can get British digestives, so much the better, EM23. If not, American Graham crackers would possibly do - but they're not quite right (at least not to my taste)

                                            1. re: Meowzerz

                                              I do too but also like them with cheddar or cheese and pepperoni. I love the new caraway rye triscuts. Have you seen the new ads where people are complaining that they never knew you could eat triscuts without a topping? http://www.mediapost.com/publications...

                                              1. re: calliope_nh

                                                That's just odd...marketing campaigns are so complicated these days! haha. I do not care for most of the flavored Triscuits, I'd give the rye a try though!

                                                1. re: Meowzerz

                                                  The rye Triscuit is amazing. I'm normally a plain Triscuit girl, but these will do me in every time. I have to have someone else in the house "hide" the Triscuits from me, otherwise the box will be gone in a sitting!

                                              2. re: Meowzerz

                                                Have you tried any of the new flavored Triscuits? I've unfortunately found the Black Peppercorn flavor downright addictive, with the Rosemary a close second.

                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                  Love, love, love the black pepper & olive oil ones! No cheese on those for me, though. I like plain trisuits with extra sharp cheddar. That's probably my favorite hearty snack.

                                              3. re: sunshine842

                                                I love Triscuits. Love to use Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, smoked swiss or most any cheese. Also love to include some summer sausage and sweet honey mustard. (It's also very good to snack on - on a Sunday afternoon whilst playing a good game of cards) Also very good is a brick of creamed cheese smothered with cocktail sauce and small cooked shrimp. A triscuit goes with anything.

                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                  Totally agree! Thanks for the new ideas.

                                            2. Unsalted top saltines are my favorite cracker for cheese. For cheese I like either a nice sharp cheddar or some kind of stinky veined cheese. Also like a dab of hot pepper jelly on top if I have it on hand.

                                              1. Welcome Meowzerz!
                                                As I replied to Harters above, cheese with fruit cake (the rich, dense version popular in Ireland and the U.K.) is a great combo. Date nut bread is good with cheddar as well. Crostini wth ricotta, goat cheese and burrata. And I like Dare or water crackers with.most other cheeses. And a piece of deli sliced yellow American melted on top of a saltine is always good.

                                                1. Saltines, topped with a smear of mayo and a square of sharp cheddar. Preferably eaten along with a piping hot bowl of cheapo ramen noodle soup.

                                                  1. Red Rind Hoop Cheese on saltines. ~~~ With Sardines, Vidalia Onion, and Louisiana Hot Sauce......

                                                    1. To me, cheese and crackers somehow should only include certain hard cheeses, and to cross that line (such as by including creamy cheeses) would make it more into a "cheese platter", to be enjoyed more with bread and wine.

                                                      My go-to cheese and crackers plate would include small selection of whatever sharp, strong and aged hard cheeses I have on hand, and one or two types of crackers I have on hand that must be dry (i.e. not greasy, no Ritzes). Saltines, water crackers, rye, seed crackers, cream crackers all work for me.

                                                      1. A variation that I particularly enjoy is pimento cheese on a saltine cracker.

                                                        Anybody ever eat "Government Cheese"? We were fortunately not poor enough to be able to get it from the government but my dad bartered for it on the black market. : ) That stuff made the best pimento cheese ever.

                                                        This was in the 70's and early 80's. Probably sucks now if they even still have it.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                          We used it when I was a cook in the military, can't remember ir they were 20 or 30 lb blocks, very good cheese, used it for everything.

                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                            I remember it from the 80's. I liked it. God help me, I also loved their powdered eggs.

                                                          2. I really love a variety of cheeses (salty romano, sharp cheddar, creamy brie) with olives and sopresata or prociutto and (bizarrely) hunks of avocado. Crackers to me are sort of not necessary, texturally, though I know that's not the norm.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                              The only cheeses I eat with crackers are spreadable cheeses. If it can be picked up with the fingers, then no crackers are needed. Crackers just detract from the cheese and are messy. When I do have crackers, then I like ... something that's soft enough to not shatter when you bite into it. Whoever brought water biscuits into the US and promoted them should be shot.

                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                  While I don't condone the shooting thing (if we did away with everyone who makes a crappy product, there would be a lot fewer people on the planet!), I agree that crackers often detract from the cheese itself. If a cheese is so soft or runny that it is too messy to pick up with the fingers, then I'll spread it on fresh bread. Firmer cheeses can stand on their own. I do, however, eat a little bread or a neutral cracker as a palate cleanser between different cheeses on a cheese plate.

                                                                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                    Yes, but there would also be less crappy product on the planet, maestro. That wouldn't be a bad thing. :-)

                                                                    And I agree with Ruth - I like soft spreadable cheeses on crackers, and a long-time everyday favorite is Alouette Pub cheese - garlic and herb cheese spread, or a soft triple creme on either crackers or a thin slice of a baguette (always good with fruit sitting atop the cheese).

                                                                    But an amazingly sharp cheddar is also enjoyed. The crackers I use depend on what I have. Ocean State Job Lot is a great place to try new-to-me crackers at a relatively inexpensive dollar output, so I'll pick up a few boxes every time I go of something new.

                                                              1. Okay... Second time around. I've been thinking.... Cheese....???? CREAM cheese.....????? Crackers.....????? GRAHAM crackers.....????? CHEESE CAKE!

                                                                BINGO! I WIN...!!!!
                                                                -)

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                  OMG - gotta love your thinking, girl! LOL

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    I LOVE cream cheese and graham crackers! It's been a favorite of mine for 40 years. Yes, it's like cheese cake, except the only sweetness is from the cracker: the cheese is cool and tangy.

                                                                  2. Folks, it seems that perhaps you might just be missing it.

                                                                    Cheese and crackers, if taken to zenith, has the requirement of a freshly-made bed, with sheets to their tautness.

                                                                    That way, each partner can call foul to the crumbs, in a loving fashion.

                                                                    Heck yes to the extra sharp, as it curls and it crumbles when under slow knife, and gives reason for teasing when the sheets display crumbles.

                                                                    Heck yes to the Saltines, with their gift of the crumbs.

                                                                    A true connoisseur of the Crackers and Cheese will know that the goal is:

                                                                    Sheets that are licked clean of crumbles and salt,
                                                                    and retain yet their remnants of mutual sweat.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                      Woah. I blushed while reading, that for some reason o.O :-)
                                                                      Very good!

                                                                      1. re: Meowzerz

                                                                        Sharp cheese, sharp knife, and the willing to wait as cheese crumbles from blade.

                                                                        Sharp Saltines, sharp teeth, and the willing to savor both salt, and the crumbs.

                                                                        Sharp sheets, sharp partner.

                                                                        That be the recipe for Crackers N' Cheese.

                                                                      2. re: FoodFuser

                                                                        Ummm.....is it a tad warm in here? ::::fanning myself::::

                                                                        1. Trader Joe's carries these rosemary and raisin crackers; super thin and crispy that I adore and with a smear of ashy goat cheese or chudder spread or a funky blue is just heaven. But I often use slices of cucumber or zuke in place of crackers with harder cheeses....or a slice of honey comb and cheddar...

                                                                          1. Ok, technically this may just barely be "cheese" but here's the recipe. Place a block (or two) of cream cheese on a serving plate. Pour a bottle of PickAPeppa Sauce (like, 7 ounces) over it. Surround with Triscuits. Add some cute little spreaders for your guests. Party!
                                                                            You can also "make" this using something like jalapeno or red pepper jelly, heated gently and stirred so it flows slowly. Pour over cream cheese (you won't need the whole jar.) Sprinkle with snipped scallions. (Look, here comes Santa Claus!) Serve with pita chips or another dip-worthy cracker.
                                                                            Depending on how many guests you are having over, you could even soften several packages of cream cheese and press them into a jello mold in some festive shape (a wreath comes to mind), chill until firm then unmold onto your classiest, most expensive platter-since this whole dish costs, like, 5 bucks. (Who needs Brie, right?) Use two or three kinds of jelly to turn it into a work of art! (Just don't drown it in jelly.)

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jilkat25

                                                                              spicy condiments (chutneys, pepper jellies, etc) poured over cream cheese just might be the simplest apero out there...and one that never fails to get raves.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                I refridgerate my cream cheese, cut it with a christmas tree cookie cutter, pour jalapeno jelly on it with pimentos as the ornaments. I'm classy like that.

                                                                                1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                                                  That rocks! I suppose I could also mention that sometimes I make sort of a flavored cheese ball without coating it in nuts or parsley. I remember making a Christmas tree for one of my kids' class (high school club) parties that went over well. It had sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives and chopped green onions in it, I think. The teacher had me send out an email with the "recipe". I can't remember what kind of crackers I sent to school with it. Maybe "water crackers" I got at Big Lots. (Yeah, I'm a big spender!)

                                                                                2. re: jilkat25

                                                                                  We do the cream cheese and pepper jelly along with grilled wild duck breast or venison tenderloin. Cooked rare and sliced paper thin.

                                                                                  1. re: jilkat25

                                                                                    I had an aunt who used to make a cream cheese spread that was potent & absolutely ADDICTIVE for garlic lovers. She'd soften a couple of blocks of cream cheese, then stir in an obscene amount of minced garlic & chopped dill pickles. Then, using plastic wrap, she'd form the mass into a block & chill it till firm again. Finishing touch was to unwrap & roll the block in finely-chopped parsley right before serving. Boy, was that good. I've made it myself a few times, but you do have to warn guests in case they're not up to raw garlic like that.

                                                                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                        Sweet roasted garlic would take care of that raw garlic issue.

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          Yes, I'm sure; but the wonderful play between the raw garlic & those chopped dill pickles would be lost. I think the roasted garlic would be too sweet.

                                                                                      1. re: John Francis

                                                                                        Perfect choice, John! Jameson 12 year old Irish also goes well with cheese! Uh oh. I might have to invoke the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" rule today! Any ideas for a tasty main dish, or should I just go with the whisk(e)y, crackers, and cheese today?

                                                                                      2. I have two comfortable favs, but can willingly eat just about any cheese n crackers combo
                                                                                        -cream cheese with Cavander's Greek Seasoning on a grainy cracker
                                                                                        -white cheddar with Sweet n Spicy mustard on saltines

                                                                                        I lived in Australia for a little bit and loved Extra Tasty cheese on Black Pepper Carr's.

                                                                                        1. I have a newly acquired cheese and crackers addiction. We live just a few miles from Sweet Grass Dairy. http://sweetgrassdairy.com/ Their pimento cheese (made from their Thomasville Tomme and piquillo peppers), combined with peach/pecan preserves on very thin, cripsy flat bread crackers. It's the perfect blend of creamy/salty/spicy/sweet/crunchy!

                                                                                          They don't offer the pimento cheese or the preserves on their website. But, I can drive over there any day and grab some!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: onrushpam

                                                                                            They make a couple of really gorgeous cheeses...one of these days, I'll get to the dairy.

                                                                                          2. I serve my cheese and crackers with a wonderful fig preserve that is to die for. The secret is orange liqueur added right before jarring it.

                                                                                            Fabulous Fig Jam

                                                                                            3 ½ cups of dried calmyra figs (about 18 oz, or 500 g) (Costco often sells a big bag for a great price)
                                                                                            3 ¼ c. of water
                                                                                            3 ½ c. granulated sugar
                                                                                            1/3 c. orange juice
                                                                                            1 Tbsp lemon juice
                                                                                            1 pkg pectin
                                                                                            1/3 c. orange liqueur

                                                                                            Combine figs and water in large stainless steel saucepan. Stir frequently, bring to boil and then cover and reduce heat. Boil gently til figs are soft, about 20 min. Puree figs with cooking liquid. Measure 3 cups. Add orange and lemon juices. Then follow directions on pectin box for cooked jam. Right before adding jams to jars, add liqueur. Pour into sterilized jars and lids. (I put my jars on a cookie sheet for 10 min at 225 degrees to sterilize them, and boil the lids). This recipe may be doubled, but the original recipe makes about 7 pint jars. If you have leftover fig/liquid, it can be frozen until you decide to make another batch. Believe me, it will go fast!

                                                                                            1. Depending on the cheese, with either Chardonnay, or a Zinfandel. Changes with the cheese, but Chard with more cheeses.

                                                                                              I really like aged Swiss on a Sesame cracker, with an older Chard, or maybe a Vouvray.

                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                              1. Meow, I agree with everything you posted right up til the saltines, my preference is ritz...gonna go have some now ;)