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Crumbling Crackers Crisis

No, not Ukraine. Much closer to home. After the Christmas crisis looking for usable pot holders and candy canes, the household now faces the crisis (and mystery) of crumbling crackers. Our long-time favorites "Stoned Wheat Thins," crumble when touched, barely touched.

What are crackers good for? As platforms for peanut butter, herring, and cheese. Shortly after the New Years, opening a new box, I found they did not stay intact long enough to break in half along their perforation. Forget peanut butter!!! Subsequent boxes: more crumble.

Took the matter in hand and wrote to the manufacturer, Mondelez. They have replied: "The differences you noted may be due to a change in the production facility and the process we use to make the cracker. We have also made some minor changes to the formula. Some of the changes we made are: Changed the oil; Removed the Whey Powder; Added Ammonium bicarbonate and sodium metabisulphite (used to make dough rise)....We apologize for this experience. We will make sure our Quality team is aware of your comments. Thank you for your loyalty and we hope that your next experience is a good one."

Can the experience of crumbling crackers ever be a good one?

About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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Thank you for mentioning this!  I think we both like the same crackers (used to be manufactured in Canada by Weston, now by Red Oval Farms).  I wrote to the manufacturer a month ago complaining bitterly (but politely and with cloying respect, BD) about the loss of quality.  No reply yet.  And the retailers have the temerity to charge about $4.00 a box for them, too!

Minor changes in the formula, my foot!

I'm glad that you heard from them (how long did it take?) and I'll try again ... politely and respectfully at all times, of course.

Yes, formerly said, "Made in Canada." Yes, Red Oval Farms. I suspect the change in oil (probably no fats, at all!) is part of the problem.

I was not polite and respectful. I was annoyed and hard-nosed. Go for it!! It took about a week to get the answer. I answered the answer: "Why have you ruined a perfectly good cracker?" Let's see what they have to say to that!!! 

Mondelez International!! headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois.

All thin crackers seem to be crumbling more easily. I used to be able to dip Saltines into the peanutbutter jar (extra crunchy), and remove intact. Not no more. I had to scrape the pieces of cracker and pb out of the jar with a spoon.

I have been making my own crackers with flour tortillas or pitas cut into wedges and baked at 350 until browned (about 15-30 minutes, depending on the thickness). 

The result of the anti-cholesterol, anti-gluten craze. No fat; no wheat; what's left? Whey powder;  ammonium bicarbonate and sodium metabisulphite. What can be made from that? Crumbling crackers.

Yes, pita is also turning up in place of nacho  chips. Is this a Gen X plot?


To answer your final question, yes.  But only if crumbling graham crackers to make a crust for cheesecake.

Usually when I buy somehing that says low fat, It means no taste;  if if says low salt, it means that the sugar content is increased.

This is dismal.

Has the same thing happened to the mini stoned wheat thins? I thought those tasted better than the full-sized ones, and it seems so weird that this should be so. But this saga offers me a hypothesis. Maybe they haven't doctored the recipe of the mini crackers. Yet.

Modern life is so depressing. Perfectly fine products being changed into garbage. 


Crumbled crackers might also be useful for breading fish or chicken. But most cooks would probably want to do the crumbling themselves. Culinary pride, you know. Unless that's a sin.

Mondelez International!! headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois.

Apparently they were Kraft Foods until 2012, at which time Mondelez was spun off, taking the snack-food brands with them.

Presumably, Kraft still makes Velveeta and Cheez Whiz.

Ritz all the way.  They have a new bacon-flavored cracker that's certified kosher.

I love deep theological discussions and cussings.

Yes indeed. Just waiting for Francis to comment.

As for graham cracker substitute. No!

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