Photo by CoLab
The Creamy History of Crackers & Cheese
Have you ever wondered how the playful pairing of cheese & crackers came to be? Cheese, without a doubt, is one of the most delectable foods in the world. It has a mildly addictive compound (it’s a scientific fact!) called casein that has an opiate molecule known as casomorphins that makes our brains crave for it. Cheese is like a peculiar character that you’re curious to explore– it comes in many different types, it’s stinky yet tasty - and we’re here for it.
Crackers, on the other hand, tells a different story. It’s flat, dry and typically made from flour. It’s uncomplicated and straightforward. But, let’s not be fooled by how plain crackers look because we all know how incredible they can taste— salty, sweet and savoury. And together with cheese, they transform into a perfect food combination that you can find in unlikely places— from lunch boxes, soups to hors d'oeuvre and charcuterie boards.
So, how did cheese and crackers find each other and become a perfect food pairing? Let’s explore!
Crackers were first known as pilot bread or sea biscuit.
A man named John Pearson of Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA was said to have invented the crackers in 1792. He named them Pearson’s pilot bread but later came to be called as sea biscuit because sailors, explorers and travellers became fans of the pilot bread because of its shelf life, thus the beginning of crackers travelling the world.
The term crackers came from its crackling sound in the brick oven.
Josiah Bent, also from Massachusetts, came up with the name crackers because of the crackling noise in his brick oven while baking the biscuits in 1801.
Cheese and crackers were used as war ration.
Who would've thought that cheese and crackers were war heroes! Cheese and crackers, called hardtack during the war, were used as a food ration in the American Civil War to keep the army and navy from starvation during battle. Hardtack is made from unleavened water and flour. They referred to the food pairing as ‘square meal’.
Travellers and mountaineers paired cheese and crackers with meat and raisins.
Because good food and home cooked meals are hard to come by during travelling and mountain explorations, American pioneer Ezra Meeker would eat hardtack and cheese with dried venison. Mountaineer Philip Rogers would add raisins and nuts to his square meal.
Crackers and cheese became a popular snack in homes and parties by the 20th century.
Crackers and cheese became a national food sensation in America. They were added in salads, soups and other dishes, and were served at home and during parties. By the 1950s, crackers and cheese was recommended as a snack for children.
Easy Cracker & Cheese Combinations
When in need of a quick snack, we look to cheese and crackers.. You just need a pack of crackers, a slice of cheese and a few extra ingredients for a quick and tasty appetiser ready to serve. Here are a few combinations:
Cheddar and Apple Slices
Sounds off, but don’t dis it until you’ve tried it. Add a healthy twist to your crackers and cheese with apple slices. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon and nut butter to make it more exciting.
Make mini BLTs with crackers. Toss in some lettuce, a little mayo, cheese, bacon and tomatoes, and voila.
Another mini take on a favourite dish, make mini pizzas with crackers and cheese using mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and your choice of toppings. Pop in the microwave until the cheese is melted and you’ll have your cute-sized pizza! Bon appetit!
Guac & Crackers
Who doesn’t love a bowl of guacamole? Mash some avocados, add some coriander , onions, lime, olive oil, salt, pepper and queso fresco/fresh cheese. Mix them together then dip those crackers!
Hummus & Olive Crackers
Hummus is another beloved favourite that you can always find at parties or at home in your fridge. Prepare the wine and your favourite cheese and cracker of course, add some olives and marinated peppers on the side. Be sure to add the hummus, with double-dipping encouraged.
Where to find the best cheese & crackers online?
Some would say we’re biassed, but we believe we’re honest. You can find a range of the best selection of cheese & crackers products online at Co-Lab Pantry. Aside from the varied range of cheese & cracker brands Co-Lab carries, we also curate gift hampers with the finest combinations of brands and products for any fan of the fancy formage and cracker.
Cheese & Crackers A$60.00
Includes: Zonzo Cabernet Sauvignon, King & Godfree Water Crackers, Selected By Will Studd, Brillat Savarin, and Nutshoppe Apricot Delight.
Everything you need for an easy snack pack is in our Cheese & Crackers hamper. Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or hosting a small party with friends, this beautiful collection has wine, cheese, crackers and nuts that you’ll enjoy.
Falwasser Pepper & Chives Wafers 120G A$7.95
Milawa Cheese Co. Goat’s Milk Camembert Goat - 150G A$11.00
Co-Lab Pantry is an Australian online food and beverage retailer based in Melbourne. With over 150 of the best local restaurants, cafes and grocers as partners, we deliver ready-made meals, cocktails, pantry goods and produce to people’s homes across the nation.