The Right Way to Eat Crackers


Plate of Ritz crackers with slices of cheese

This is wrong
Photo: MSPhotographic (Shutterstock)

I consider myself something of a “mindful eater.” For example: When eating Doritos, I always examine each side of the chip to make sure the more heavily seasoned side is facing downward, towards my tongue. This results in a more flavorful, satisfying Dorito-eating experience. The same principle can be applied to crackers.

If you look at a box of crackers, you are almost always presented with some sort of “serving suggestion.” The cracker is usually “enlarged to show texture,” and the “top” of the cracker faces the sky, usually with a slice of cheddar, a dollop of peanut butter, or a smear of goat cheese with half a grape on top of the top. It looks good, but taste-wise? It’s an act of sheer folly.

The top of the cracker is the more textured, flavorful side, and covering it with a slice of cheese or some sort of spread hides its light under a bushel, so to speak. Whether your cracker is seasoned with dehydrated cheese powder, chicken flavoring, pepper, MSG, or a simple sprinkling of salt, those seasonings should be facing down, towards your tongue, so that you may taste them fully.

You’ll also reap many textural benefits if you consume your crackers this way. Take the humble Club Cracker, for instance. It’s top is buttery, salty, and slightly bubbled from baking. These raised portions of the cracker give way when you apply slight pressure (with your mouth), revealing flakey layers underneath. This is what you want near your tongue, not the flat, unseasoned bottom. Plus, putting your toppings on the flat side of the cracker means they lay flat—it’s truly the best configuration.

Now, obviously this doesn’t apply to crackers with no discernible top or bottom. Triscuits and the like are virtually identical on both sides, so there’s no reason to worry about the side on which you place your toppings. But for crackers that contain this duality, place your toppings on the bottom, and let the top touch your tongue. You’ll experience greater flavor, greater textural contrast, and the satisfaction that comes with being a more mindful, thoughtful eater.



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