Name this cracker from my past!
July 4, 2006 10:53 AM   Subscribe

SnackFilter! In the 70s my grandmother would always have a bag of these tasty cracker snacks handy, and now I can't figure out what they were.

I've tried to illustrate them as accurately as possible, but here's some more detail. They were very light, like styrofoam... or that green floral foam, you know? (The kind you like to stick your fingers into.) They were concave, and toasted very slightly at the edges. Their flavor was very mild (to the point of nonexistence -- unlike today's snacks!), but their appeal was in that texture! (No, they weren't actually styrofoam.)
posted by scamper to Food & Drink (18 answers total)
They're not oyster crackers? The illustration looks a lot like oyster crackers, which are often floated on top of soup or chili. They're more ... stale? ... in texture than saltine crackers, but similar in flavor.
posted by macadamiaranch at 10:58 AM on July 4, 2006

Prawn crackers?
posted by fire&wings at 11:07 AM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: No, definitely not like any of the oyster crackers I've ever happened upon. Most oyster crackers are hexagonal, much more "crackery," and quite small. The snacks in question were more rectangular, with rounded edges, and just under 2"... (taking into account that my hands were smaller then. ;) Thanks for guessing...
posted by scamper at 11:08 AM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: Not prawn crackers... :)
posted by scamper at 11:09 AM on July 4, 2006

Were they potato-y at all? I remember something from Keebler called Chippos or something. These people are talking about something similar to what I'm thinking of, and here's a box shot of "Chipsters" from Nabisco.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:16 AM on July 4, 2006

Langue de chat? They have quite a foamy texture. Or Boudoir biscuits? Not the right shape but they have a similar texture and may have come in different shapes.
posted by fire&wings at 11:17 AM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: In my search I actually saw that Chippos conversation, and while it sounded promising, they weren't Chippos. I do remember that the snacks in question came in a clear crinkly plastic bag, so boxed goods are prolly out.

I hadn't heard of Langue de chat, or Boudoir biscuits. Nice guesses, but the mystery snacks weren't particularly biscuity.
posted by scamper at 11:31 AM on July 4, 2006

What you're talking about is something oriental. They're made by processing shrimp or prawn into a batter, which is then deep-fat fried. The texture is very much like styrofoam, and sometimes they're dyed green or blue or pink. They taste pretty good. I would ask around at an oriental food market.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:40 AM on July 4, 2006

It turns out that the proper search term is "shrimp chips". Here's a page with a picture.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:51 AM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: I wish I could feel as certain as you, but even if the methods of their formation are the same, the crackers of my past are still somewhat different. First off, the coloring was richer, more yellowy, and much less porous. (Granted, the above is a bad photo, but I can tell.) Also, my crackers were all exactly the same shape and size (as Pringles are to regular potato chips), while the snacks you've linked to have quite a lot of variation.

Elusive little beasties, aren't they?
posted by scamper at 12:07 PM on July 4, 2006

They sound appealing. I grew up in the 80's and have never encountered such a snack.

Perhaps if you give us some clues as to where your Grandmother lived, what ethnicity she was, what type of cooking she did (I realise she didn't make them herself)...
posted by parallax7d at 12:58 PM on July 4, 2006

They vary more than you suspect. They can be darker and the texture can vary somewhat, too.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:24 PM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: My grandmother was an old white lady (she still is, but doesn't remember the snacks) living in N. Virginia. I'm pretty sure the crackers weren't of any particular ethnic fare because... well, you'd have to know my grandmother, and that's how I'll leave that. ;) But they may well have been the product of a regional (if not local) market. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of them in an old family photo!
posted by scamper at 3:35 PM on July 4, 2006

Ok, so your grandmother bought them at Safeway, Giant, or MacGruders, most likely. That actually narrows it down quite a bit.

Also, I believe boudoir biscuits are the same thing as lady fingers, which eliminates them as a possibility based on the original description.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 7:15 PM on July 4, 2006

While these are from Whole Foods, are they at least similar? I've had them with dip, and definitely are styrofoam-like.
posted by cabingirl at 8:26 PM on July 4, 2006

Response by poster: Safeway, Giant, or MacGruders, yup, very likely. Ha ha, and I've seen those veggie chips. You're right: very packing material. However, my very old fashioned grandmother would have had the same reaction to "veggie chips" that proto humans had to a massive black obelisk. (Which is to say that she'd cautiously touch the bag and then bash my grandfather over the head with a tapir bone. I seem to have gotten off track here though...)

I'm thinking my best bet is still the box of fambly photos. If I ever catch a glimpse of them there I'll post here. :)
posted by scamper at 11:13 PM on July 4, 2006

Common crackers, maybe?
posted by QIbHom at 9:35 AM on July 5, 2006

Response by poster: Nice try! But in this case they would seem to be uncommon crackers...
posted by scamper at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2006

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