See Also: Nabisco
Crackers are thin, crisp, savory waffers or 'biscuits' of flour and water. The term dates back to the early 18th century. Pound for pound, crackers are actually more nutritious than bread.
Those holes in crackers are not just there for appearance. If they are too close together, the crackers will turn out flat and tough, and if they are too far apart, the upper layer of the cracker will separate and form a large blister which is easily broken.
Early crackers were a matter of convenience for people on the run, namely the Jews fleeing Egyptian slavery. Too rushed to allow their dough to rise, matzoh was the result.
The early crackers, or “biscuits” as the English call them, were handmade, hard-baked products made from flour and a little moisture. The low level of moisture, decreased even further with baking, left no medium for molds to grow. Made with little fat, rancidity was not a concern.
A soda cracker barrel was the method of marketing as long as cracker production was localized. At the turn of the century, Adolphus Green (one of the founders of the National Biscuit Co., later renamed Nabisco) laid the foundation for the modern cracker baking system that is used today. He was the first to abandon the old barrel and supply fresh, whole crackers in triple-wrapped packages.
Wheat Foods Council www.wheatfoods.org
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