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Saltines: Hopelessly Square


maggiethecat
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For those interested in the tin: my Pathmark carries three-sleeve-size tins of THE REAL THING (Nabisco Saltines, with salt and fat and all those good things!) -- for the Hispanic market (Nabisco galletas). So when I go shopping after vacation, I will get one for myself -- anyone else want one???

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I don't think I have ever seen a 3 sleeved sized tin. :blink:

And, OH YES! With chili. Not tortilla chips. I wonder if this is a Tex-Mex thing?

I will post a question in the current Q&A.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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We always had Nabisco saltines in the house. They would accompany ginger ale when we were sick, float atop a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup (made with milk), or smeared with butter or peanut butter when there was no other snack food. Mom had a Nabisco tin that had to be 20 years old and the powder blue lid never fit right after years of dents. After she died I took it home but the lid was inconvenient so I finally threw it out. I think Nabisco has peridoically come out with the tins.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Remember they used to make saltines so that they were four square, perforated, and you had to break them apart? When did they make the switch to individual crackers in sleeves? They didn't used to call them sleeves when there were like 10 four-up saltines in a stack.

That's what I wonder.

fifi, we always had saltines with chili, but my family is a buncha yankees from upstate Pennsylvania, so I assumed that we were in the wrong.

I just remembered something else about saltines: in the spring, when the chives first came up, my mom would cut up a bunch of chives and whip them with cream cheese, and we'd eat it on saltines. I still associate that taste with spring--it has to be fresh chives, though, not that horrible cream cheese with chives that they sell in the supermarket, where they're all these slimy dark olive green bits in the cheese.

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Saltines are served along side crab cakes in Baltimore. They are often used as the filler too.

I love saltines but have been avoiding them due to their relative lack of nutritional value. I like to eat them upside down so the salt hits my tongue first. I think I will buy a "sleeve" this weekend.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Remember they used to make saltines so that they were four square, perforated, and you had to break them apart? When did they make the switch to individual crackers in sleeves? They didn't used to call them sleeves when there were like 10 four-up saltines in a stack.

That's what I wonder.

fifi, we always had saltines with chili, but my family is a buncha yankees from upstate Pennsylvania, so I assumed that we were in the wrong.

I just remembered something else about saltines: in the spring, when the chives first came up, my mom would cut up a bunch of chives and whip them with cream cheese, and we'd eat it on saltines. I still associate that taste with spring--it has to be fresh chives, though, not that horrible cream cheese with chives that they sell in the supermarket, where they're all these slimy dark olive green bits in the cheese.

ooo... ooo... ooo... You are right about the four squares. That is what they were when I was a kid. Memories! I don't remember when they switched to the sleeves. Maybe maggie can find out and put it in her article or whatever. I do think that, as a little kid, my manual dexterity was partially trained by trying to deftly separate those four squares.

Nope, you were not in the wrong about the saltines with chili. That is how it has always been in my family. But then, we (me?) were profoundly affected by the opening of the big Nabisco plant in Houston in 1949.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Not to drag this thread off the more relevant discussion of Saltine recipes, but I seem to remember a juvenile urban legend (for lack of a better term) where it's supposed to be scientifically impossible - or some such nonsense - to eat a certain amount of Saltines in a prescribed timeframe without drinking anything. Apparently (I feel dumber and dumber as I type this), there's some magical required ratio of sodium content to saliva production and no one can crack it.

My friends and I tried this in the college dining hall on a slow night once, with one guy trying to eat some ungodly amount of Saltines within a minute or something. Eventually, all that chewed-up cracker just wadded up in his mouth and hit a critical mass that he couldn't swallow in time to make the time limit. Friends of mine - at a different college, mind you, so this wasn't just a Northwestern thing - also tried this and my friend ended up spewing un-swallowable Saltines all over her bed. I'm happy to say we've all graduated and are circulating in the grown-up world now...

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This just in from the eGullet Q&A with Robb Walsh.

Before there were chips and hot sauce, there were saltines and hot sauce.

And it isn't just a Houston thing.

Tex-Mex restaurants all over the state once served saltines, pats of butter and hot sauce while you waited for your meal. Tostadas, or chips caught on much later, according to an oral history by Delia Moya Hobbs of Moya's Cafe in Refugio. (See page 165 of The Tex-Mex Cookbook.)

There a few Tex-Mex restaurants that still serve saltines, butter and hot sauce instead of chips.

El Patio on Guadalupe and 31st in Austin being the most famous example.

I have to confirm what he is saying. I now remember going to Felix's in Houston with my grandfather. Yep! It was saltines. Not tortilla chips.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Who would ever have expected that the very mild-mannered, innocuous, saltine would have garnered this much discussion?? Perhaps this is a propitious time to watch for a spike in their stock? :laugh: Almost makes me question why there has been such a spurt in growth of "flavored" crackers ... garlic-onion this and parmesan-garlic that .... maybe all people wanted was to be reminded, ever so gently, that saltines need a public "rebirth"??

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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We always had saltines with chili, too. My mom learned how to make chili from her mother-in-law, who, though a second-generation Midwesterner, spent her early married life in Arkansas, and, as a prominent Quaker, also had significant family ties to Pennsylvania. Thanks to Robb, fifi and mrbigjas, we finally have sufficient evidence to support the long-standing contention that my grandmother was the until-now mythical "Ms Four-Square," renowned and regaled by anthropologists for decades -- the Texas-Pennsylvania saltines-with-chili infection vector.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Zesta's are the only way to go!! Those with a piece of Lay's or Elm Hill "cracker style" bologna, slice of hot pepper cheese, and a dash of Frank's Red Hot.. It doesn't get any better than that on the boat, unless you have hot pork rinds, or salt and vinegar chips.

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As a kid I ate saltines with slices of dill pickle :blink: ...yes, I was a weird child.

They were always served with my mom's homemade vegetable soup, Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup and my dad used to like eating saltines topped with sardines mixed with chopped onion and cider vinegar.

They were also used as faux bread crumbs. I remember many a tuna casserole with finely crumbled saltines topping the casserole, drizzled with melted oleo (never butter) and then baked until golden brown. It was a very "50's" way of cooking though it didn't help make the tuna casserole taste any better. :hmmm:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Saltines, oh yeah. Used to eat them with peanut butter until, a girlfriend started me on butter.

Room temperature sweet butter slathered on a saltine. You start wilth one and its real difficult to stop the process.

Sometimes it takes a call to the police or a parent or a friend, you get too caught up in the butter, saltine, into the mouth and start over again.

But now, a new use for the saltine. An Al Roker segment on the Food channel showed a cook putting together crab cakes with saltines.

Simply it was lump crab meat, mayo, and old bay with a bunch of crushed saltines.

I tried the recipe twice, just eyeballing the amount of ingredients to quantity of crab meat. Simple yet outstanding result for crab cakes.

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Oh, yes. My mom always gave us saltines and 7-up when we were sick. To this day, it's what I eat when nauseous. They help! We always got the ones that said "Premium" on the side of the tin, I think that's the name of the brand.

Fat-free saltines are hideous. So are salt-free.

My dad always used a humongous handful of crushed saltines in his soup (usually we had Campbell's tomato, or homemade chili). I always thought that it was a very sophisticated, grown-up thing to do, and only kids ate their soup plain. Dad would be mad if we were out of saltines, if my mom was serving soup.

I also remember the four-pane version. It must have been in the '70s because I was born in late '73.

When I found out our neighbor kids ate butter on saltines as snacks, I thought it was very exotic. My mom used icky "oleo" so whenever my friend Rhoda would share her buttered saltines, I was very happy. In first grade, when we made butter by taking turns shaking cream in a jar, everyone got a little taste of the fresh butter on a saltine.

Rachel Sincere
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Saltines are nearly a food group for me. But I eat them weird. I mean, OK... I do have the PB&J, and the hunk o cheese on a cracker, but I freak my wife out a bit when I do the other stuff.

Like thousand island dressing... or ketchup. Squirted right onto the cracker. Or tuna salad made right in the can (drain the tuna, add the fixin's, and mix it all up in the can - No dishes to wash!)

OK, the last three were from my starvation just starting out days. But I still love'em. Admittedly, I don't HAVE to eat them anymore, but it is something I do develop cravings for. Call me crazy.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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This just in from the eGullet Q&A with Robb Walsh.
There a few Tex-Mex restaurants that still serve saltines, butter and hot sauce instead of chips.

El Patio on Guadalupe and 31st in Austin being the most famous example.

I have to confirm what he is saying. I now remember going to Felix's in Houston with my grandfather. Yep! It was saltines. Not tortilla chips.

Fifi, I went to El Patio last month and they still serve saltines there.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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More notes from Saltine Nation--

Heather, I hope it works for you ... be sure to brine for a couple of hours, I think the brined-in juicifulness is key.

Are Premium saltines Nabisco? Never have heard 'em called Nabisco before reading this discussion.

My Dad was from the center of the Oklahoma panhandle, and saltines & chili were an immutable combination. He preferred Krispy brand, which came in stacks of big old 6-cracker sheafs, I think. It wasn't until I was buying my own saltines that I was able to indulge in Premiums and their perfection in squarity regularly, although they certainly were the standard among families other than mine. Most people don't even consider Krispys to be a saltine.

Also I forgot perhaps the fave adult way to eat saltines In Today's World, which is as a raft for a canned smoked oyster to accompany a stiff 100% alcohol drinky like a Negroni. A good way to generate pork-chop-intended leftovers.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Are Premium saltines Nabisco? Never have heard 'em called Nabisco before reading this discussion.

Yes. I just bought a (small) box today on my lunch hour! "Nabisco Original Premiums."

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Also I forgot perhaps the fave adult way to eat saltines In Today's World, which is as a raft for a canned smoked oyster to accompany a stiff 100% alcohol drinky like a Negroni. A good way to generate pork-chop-intended leftovers.

Please to be explaining your last sentence? :huh::huh:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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I remember the four-squares, too. As a kid I used to eat them with butter. Still do when I'm feeling nostalgic. Our family always had them with chili, as well.

Nowadays, I sometimes use them as a substitute for breadcrumbs if I don't have any.

Cheers,

Squeat

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We called them "soda biscuits."

My primary impression of saltines was formed as a child when I had some sharp cheddar crumbled between two of them and was perplexed by how strongly the flavour reminded me of corn.

Are you sure you don't mean "soda crackers"?

Soda biscuits are something you bake yourself, aren't they?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Also I forgot perhaps the fave adult way to eat saltines In Today's World, which is as a raft for a canned smoked oyster to accompany a stiff 100% alcohol drinky like a Negroni.  A good way to generate pork-chop-intended leftovers.

Please to be explaining your last sentence? :huh::huh:

Um, use the ones not eaten with smoked oysters for pork chop breading as discussed earlier?

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Also I forgot perhaps the fave adult way to eat saltines In Today's World, which is as a raft for a canned smoked oyster to accompany a stiff 100% alcohol drinky like a Negroni.  A good way to generate pork-chop-intended leftovers.

Please to be explaining your last sentence? :huh::huh:

Um, use the ones not eaten with smoked oysters for pork chop breading as discussed earlier?

Oh. Duh. I think I've spent too much time on e-gullet today :wacko:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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