View Full Version : Saltine conspiracy

01-17-2000, 02:45 AM
What IS it with saltine crackers?? When I get a bowl of soup in a restaurant and the requisite two packages of two saltines each, more often than not (~90%) each saltine will have ONE edge that is browner than the other three, not burned really, but noticably browner. These edges are always oriented together, i.e., never at 90 or 180 degrees to each other. I have also noticed this in the larger 1/4 pound stacks of saltines where every saltine in the stack has exactly one edge so disposed, with all aligned to the same side of the stack. Now here is the scary part: I have observed this phenomenon to be consistent AMONG several different brand names! I first noticed this at least 10 years ago, so it cannot be explained by a simple maladjustment of the oven(s), but why would a manufacturer purposefully create a product containing what is, after all, a purely visual defect, so consistently and for so long a period of time? And why are different manufacturers producing the same defect? Is there really only ONE saltine oven in the world which produces ALL of the world's demand with such flawed precision? Is this done purposefully to assist the packaging machinery in some way? Or am I simply being anal retentive with too much time on my hands?

"If there's one thing I hate, it's superfluous redundancy." -RedDawg
"Every creative act results from the sudden cessation of stupidity."
-Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid Land Camera

01-17-2000, 03:05 AM
          Any oven is heated as much by the re-radiated heat of it's sides as by the original heat source. (Brick ovens are less disposed to this, and are therefore much prized by bakers.) Since the dimensions of an over are significant elements in capital outlay for any business, they are made only as large as needed for the product being mass-produced. In the case of crackers, height is a minimal benefit, and so, very low, wide ovens are used. The edge of the cracker closest to the wall of the oven is heated more than the edge nearer the center.
          Most probably, two crackers are passing through the oven on a mechanical conveyor, leaving two edges of a much larger cracker than the one you buy near the edge to brown more than the edges near the center. That leaves one edge of each cracker browned more than the other. Changing the oven to provide a completely uniform heating would be prohibitively costly. No one else notices. It is no big deal. In other words, yes, you are anal retentive, and have not got enough to do. Evidently I am also insufficiently employed by current circumstances, since my answer is as long as your question. ;)

If I have not seen as far as others have seen, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.
-- Anonymous

01-17-2000, 03:13 AM
But this "each saltine will have ONE edge that is browner than the other three, not burned really,but noticably browner." is the crunchiest and best tasting part. If they didn't put two in every package I'd have to ask for extras. I just wish the crackers in stores came in see-through packaging instead of those boxes. I get the toastie ones.

Oh, I'm gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

Krispy Original
01-17-2000, 04:31 AM
Maybe you should try Original Krispy saltines...

Krispy Original -- voted SDMB's 19th most popular poster (1999)

01-17-2000, 08:47 AM
Krispy, I think there are a number of posters here who would like to mangle and drown you in boiling hot liquid.