This week, a continued conversation about the best kind of cracker for cheese. Since I prefer serving cheese with bread, a cracker's got to carry a certain kind of special quality if I'm going that route. And these most certainly do. Surprisingly, though, I passed them by for years, not knowing exactly what they were all about.
Would you ever think that a Carr's brand cracker could blow your mind? I had a chef friend of mine over the other night who couldn't believe that the crackers on my cheese board were of such humble origin.
You'd never expect these to be as delicious as they are from the packaging. Even more misleading is the brand.
They're Carr's Whole Wheat cracker. The one in the red box. I always overlooked that variety, dismissing their potential based solely on their whole wheat-ness. But these are sweet, like an English digestive biscuit. And they're super excellent with so many kinds of cheeses.
Best of all, you can find them nearly anywhere. No, best of all is that they're tasty as anything. Nearly buttery in their crumbliness, like an oat biscuit, or a shortbread wedge. How great they are with blue cheese! This cracker is certainly one of the most amenable additions to a dessert cheese platter.
These crackers aren't fancy, but they look more original than your standard water cracker, and they can somehow elevate the cheeses with which you pair them. I'd err on the side of softer, rather than hard, since the crackers are slightly delicate.
Partly because the crackers are so hearty and partly because they're slightly sweet, almost honeyed, they contrast quite well with young cheeses with a bit of tang or earthiness. I served them with a great fresh goat cheese (tangy) and a really ripe Brie de Meaux (earthy). A few cherries alongside and that was that: a cheese hour that made me a believer in the power of a cracker. Whole wheat, who knew?
(Image: Nora Singley)