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Fun Fact February 24, 2020.

24 February 2020


I recently had the occasion to enjoy oyster crackers with a delicious soup my wife made and it made me wonder, why are they called oyster crackers and what is the history behind this crunchy little cracker.  Adam Exton  is credited with creating the oyster cracker at his Cracker Bakery in New Jersey in 1847, but New England’s Westminster Cracker Company claims that they have made them since 1828.  Where ever they came from, these bite-sized crackers most likely got their name because they are vaguely oyster-shaped and were traditionally served with oyster stews.  Today, oyster crackers are most commonly served with clam chowder, but are also served with other seafood stews, chowders, tomato soup, and even chili in Cincinnati. They also go by a few other names; water cracker, Philadelphia cracker, and Trenton cracker.  Whatever you call them they are all wheat flour-based crackers that have a flavor similar to saltine crackers but with less salt. Oyster crackers are docked, that is they have holes are made in the dough, and slow baked at low temperatures until crisp.  The flavors from various bakeries can range from bland to a little bit buttery.  Depending on the brand of oyster cracker, some are flaky in texture while others are tougher and denser.   These small crackers are sturdy and retain some crunch even after sitting in liquid for a while.  Despite the name, they are not made with oysters.