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Cracker (food)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Place of originvarious
Created byunknown
Main ingredientsflour, water
Variationspapadum, senbei and num kreab

A cracker is a flat, dry baked biscuit typically made with flour. Flavorings or seasonings, such as salt, herbs, seeds, or cheese, may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top before baking.[1] Crackers are often branded as a nutritious and convenient way to consume a staple food or cereal grain.

Reproduction of 19th-century hardtack, in the Army (square) and Navy (round) styles

Crackers can be eaten on their own, but can also accompany other food items such as cheese or meat slices, fruits, dips, or soft spreads such as jam, butter, peanut butter, or mousse. Bland or mild crackers are sometimes used as a palate cleanser in food product testing or flavor testing, between samples. Crackers may also be crumbled and added to soup.[2] The modern cracker is somewhat similar to nautical ship's biscuits,[3] military hardtack, chacknels,[4] and sacramental bread. Other early versions of the cracker can be found in ancient flatbreads, such as lavash, pita, matzo, flatbrød, and crispbread. Asian analogues include papadum, senbei and num kreab.

The characteristic holes found in many crackers are called "docking" holes. The holes are poked in the dough to stop overly large air pockets from forming in the cracker while baking.



In American English, the name "cracker" usually refers to savory or salty flat biscuits, whereas the term "cookie" is used for sweet items. Crackers are also generally made differently: crackers are made by layering dough, while cookies, besides the addition of sugar, usually use a chemical leavening agent, may contain eggs, and in other ways are made more like a cake.[5] In British English, crackers are sometimes called water biscuits,[6][7] or savoury biscuits.



Crackers come in many shapes and sizes, such as round, rectangular, triangular, or irregular. Crackers sometimes have cheese or spices as ingredients, or even chicken stock, such as In a Biskit, which is sold internationally with various flavors.

Saltines and oyster crackers are often used in or served with soup. Similar crackers include cream crackers and water biscuits.

Cheese crackers are prepared using cheese as a main ingredient. Commercial examples include Cheez-It, Cheese Nips and Goldfish.

Graham crackers and digestive biscuits are also treated more like cookies than crackers, although they were both invented for their supposed health benefits, and modern graham crackers are sweet. Similarly, animal crackers are crackers in name only. Animal crackers and Graham crackers may have docking holes.[citation needed]



Cracker brands include Bremner Wafers, Captain's Wafers, Cheese Nips, Club Crackers, Goldfish crackers, In a Biskit, Jacob's, Ritz Crackers, Town House crackers, Triscuit, TUC, and Wheat Thins, among others.


See also



  1. ^ Manley, D. (2011). Manley's Technology of Biscuits, Crackers and Cookies. Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition. Elsevier Science. ISBN 978-0-85709-364-6. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "The right moves for soup sippers". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  3. ^ Gooii. "Hardtack (Ships Biscuits) recipe - Cookit!". cookit.e2bn.org. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  4. ^ Raffald, Elizabeth (1818). The Experienced English Housekeeper: For the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers, Cooks, &c.: Written Purely from Practice, and Dedicated to the Hon. Lady Elizabeth Warburton, Whom the Author Lately Served as Housekeeper, Consisting of Near Nine Hundred Original Receipts, Most of which Never Appeared in Print ... with Two Plans of a Grand Table of Two Covers and a Curious New Invented Fire Stove Wherein Any Common Fuel May be Burnt Instead of Charcoal. James Webster.
  5. ^ "Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies". NESTLÉ® Very Best Baking. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  6. ^ "Water biscuit definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  7. ^ "British Vs. American English: Food Terminology". www.lostinthepond.com. Retrieved 2018-11-07.

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