Cracking the Oyster Cracker Code

Yes, we went to London weeks ago, and yes, we’ve been back for a couple of weeks now, and yes, I owe the world some posts about the Ab Fab time we had. But to misquote Kanye, “Yo, London, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but….” (Sidenote: I had to bookmark this Wikisite of Kanye quotes is now bookmarked. Because, let’s be honest, when isn’t a Kanye quote hilarious?)

What was I saying? Oh yeah. Kanye. Or, actually, oyster crackers and why they absolutely, unequivocally, indisputably suck.


This tirade is actually not completely out of the blue, and is in fact, London adjacent. We had no food when we got home, so we defrosted some leftover chili out of the freezer. Now, since I’m from Texas, the only suitable accompaniment to chili in my mind are corn-based: cornbread or Fritos. Chili and corn just go together. Period.

My beloved XFE is not similarly palate-encumbered (and apparently, neither are the people of Cincinnati, where this abomination is quite common). He seems to like oyster crackers, and his reasoning seems sound: they’re small, so you can control the portions and they stay crunchy in soups and chilis.

cincinnati chili
Cincinnati does all kinds of weird stuff to their chili, including the use of cinnamon and cloves. Oh, and putting it on top of spaghetti. I believe that’s called “bolognese” NOT chili. 

But it’s precisely this characteristic that makes me so suspicious about the makeup of oyster crackers. What the hell? Why do oyster crackers stay (for the most part) crunchy?

This article gives a bit of history, and clarifies that they are a flour-based product but doesn’t really explain why they stay crunchy.

I would parry that it is because they are horrible. Tasteless, bland, horrible pseudo-accompaniments. Not even good enough to sit next to Saltines in the cracker aisle, because at least Saltines have salt on them. There’s some effort at flavor with a Saltine. Oyster crackers? Not so much.

In fact, I think the recipe for oyster crackers goes something like this:

  1. Take a plastic tub of white paste.
  2. Cook it till hardened.
  3. Top other more flavorful items with the results.
  4. Watch your saliva dry up and your tongue shrink away from the horror.


So they are basically the equivalent of celery. No, scratch that. Because at least with celery, you can stuff that little groove with some spreadable cheese or peanut butter, making them a handy delivery vessel for some yumminess. You can’t spread anything on these stupid, mini-“crackers.” I don’t even recommend you try this, because I have and it does not go well. Those things just fly out of you pinched fingers. Plus, celery is good with Bloody Mary’s so again, oyster crackers < celery.

The other suspicious thing that about oyster cracker is that their shelf life is about equal to that of a cockroach. It’s true. We’ve had the same box of Trader Joe oyster crackers for ages. Because, how would you even know they were stale? They already taste stale and bland, so how would one distinguish a loss of quality? That very shelf life is why we recently had oyster crackers with our chili, and thus, put these odious little cracker wannabes on my radar and led to this long-overdue rant. They were just….there, like they always are, hanging out in our cabinets.

Do these look appetizing to anybody?? “No oils, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no flavor. Total waste of chewing.” 

I’m happy to report that no oyster crackers were ingested during our actual visit to London, but a bunch of other English deliciousness was so we’ll get back to that during normal, non-ranty blogging days.


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