On crackers

The word ‘crackers’ means different things in the US and the UK. In the US, it’s my favorite snack food, much better than potato chips (crisps) and often either cheese flavored or used as vehicles for cheese or other nice savory foods. Here in the UK this meaning is mostly the word I find confusing, ‘biscuits’ which can can be either like crackers or can be sweet and essentially like cookies. I am well-known on this blog for being obsessed with the American crackers called Cheez-its, which are my favorite snack food ever. They are amazing on their own, or are even better in a double-cheese configuration when dipped in cream cheese. This was the subject of my recent shock contest win from another blogger in the US, where I won a box of boxes of crackers mailed to me. The resulting bounty of snack foods are pictured here:


Yum. I’ll be busy for a few weeks with these, although as they arrived more than a week ago, I am already down one box of Wheat Thins and one of Cheez-its. Crackers don’t last long in my carb-craving household.

But as I was walking home from work today, I saw the seasonal British crackers in a shop window. I actually experienced this for the first time in Australia last Christmas, and there are pictures of me wearing a paper crown hat. Thank goodness for semi-anonymous blogs, as I have the perfect excuse not to post the image. But you can get the idea at the ‘Christmas Cracker Shop’ website. I looked downright silly. I can see how this is one of those holiday traditions that one retains from childhood, and I thank my Aussie friends for sharing their tradition with me last holiday season. Maybe I’ll even buy some this year to acknowledge my increasing adaptation to my adopted country. But on the balance, I think I prefer Cheez-its. And thank goodness I have another box yet to go.

9 responses to “On crackers

  1. Then of course there’s the sense in which ‘crackers’ = ‘a bit loopy’. I can’t think of the US equivalent. Would it be ‘silly’?

  2. I’m glad you’re going nuts for the crackers! Thanks for the mention.

  3. > The word ‘crackers’ means different things in the US and the UK.

    Not quite. The COED’s no. 3 definition for this word is the same as the American one, though we Brits tend to use the term ‘cream cracker’ for this kind of food item (it is also used in rhyming slang, e.g., “I’m utterly creamed!”)

  4. And US biscuits should be called unsweetened scones or something!
    I love the British thing of us all sitting around the table on Xmas day wearing the thin paper crown that we’ve just pulled out of the cracker. Makes us all looks quite crackers really!

  5. Oh, I’m so jealous of your cracker hoard.

  6. okay. i love this posting. and i love that you won a box of boxes of crackers. also, i love english crackers–the holiday kind too. i’m a sucker for a surprise, even if it is a silly tissue paper hat.

  7. It’s funny how living in France I am surrounded by British people, and learning more British English than French. 🙂 Of course, I got a lot of British English in Canada, too (and Belize, where my close friend was a Canadian).

    The snack food I miss is Cheetos Puffs! They have various kinds of “flips” and “souffles” in France and Germany, but they’re mostly peanut flavored. Although France does have some really nice goat cheese and pepper ones, as well as emmenthal. But it’s not the same thing. Just something about that unearthly orange powder mixed with the greasy fake cheese flavor. Similar to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft Dinner in Canada). There’s nothing like it. One of my evil guilty pleasures.

    I do have a friend from home sending me some Cheetos, though! If she really does it, I’m going to send her some French nougat. I think that’s the thing I’ll crave when we leave France.

  8. The American equivalent for “crackers” as in a little crazy would be “nuts”. Are you nuts? is said a lot around my international household.

  9. Pingback: This year’s party effort « Not From Around Here

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