Saltine quality/availability

So my go-to brand used to be Nabisco Premium Saltines. But a while back they suffered a dramatic drop in quality. Specifically, they began to smell/taste funny, as in a chemical aroma of some sort. Well, I switched to the store brand (Kroger) and all was well till now. Well, now I can’t find them anywhere (some supply-chain thing, no doubt) and don’t know if the Nabisco brand has, due to customer complaints or something, reverted to its prior edible status. I would appreciate any info anybody can provide.

Salines have been unavailable at local supermarkets for many months. Thanks to a Doper suggestion I was able to order them online from Costco, thus preventing Mrs. J. from having withdrawal symptoms. She is the Saltines fan in the family and has not griped about quality.


Looks like a Cafe Society topic. Moving.

People not having nausea eat saltines?

Sure, with soup.

I haven’t observed a shortage in my area, although I have seen “Limit 3 boxes” and the like.

I eat saltine-type crackers semi-regularly. (Haven’t exactly paid attention to what brand, except that it’s a national name-brand.)

I haven’t noticed a supply problem. (I’m in the San Joaquin Valley, within two hours drive to S. F. Bay Area.)

I generally eat them with peanut butter.

They’re a comfort food for a lot of people … especially, sometimes, with some interesting topping choices.

Here’s a tangential remark about quality of saltines:

I had a friend, 40-some years ago, who had a theory that he called “The Soggy Soda Cracker Theory”:

The underlying thinking was this: You would expect soda crackers to be crispy. It should just go without saying. So if some brand of soda crackers needs to be advertised as being “crispy”, then that’s a red flag – meaning, soda crackers thus advertised must be soggy. (Note that a major name-brand of soda crackers is “Krispy”.)

I haven’t noticed if there is a shortage or not because I haven’t bought any in quite a while. I used to love saltines. The last few times (within in the last couple of years) I bought them they were terrible. I tried the name brands and the store brand - they were all bland and seemed to become stale quickly. I stick to Keebler Club Crackers now.

I have noticed sporadic outages, but then they reappear on the next visit or two (metro Atlanta).

I have also noticed, if not a consistent downgrade in quality, at least uneven quality, over the past 4 months. Sometimes a box (or individual package) is normal, but others they are over-baked, or salt is less, or some other minor but noticeable difference.

As to why eat them at all: I was turned on to their low WW points value by a colleague was also on the WW diet. Now that I’ve reached my goal and am on “maintenance”, I use them as a generic snack when I want something to snack on. I absolutely agree: objectively, they are bland and below-the-fold in tastiness. But they do the job I use them for. And also in chili.

For the foreigner’s benefit, are they, as their name suggests, salty? I had to Google them, and they look a bit like square Ritz Crackers, which as most people know are indeed very salty.

Or are they blander and dryer? They look like something I might have on a cheeseboard, would that be right?

Anybody remember when they came with four crackers joined into a big square, and the skill it took to butter it without it breaking?

Just bought a box of saltines a few days ago. My local store had 4 brands, Nabisco Premium, Keebler Zesta, Annie’s Organic and the Kroger store brand. Bought the Keebler, they were on sale.

I sure do! And then at least one brand went to two joined together.

The skill you needed to break the square into 4 pieces was the same skill it took to break a Popsicle in half - remember when they came as two joined together, each with their own stick? I remember my mom trying to break a Popsicle in half for two of us to share. Someone always got a broken Popsicle.

You can get them the standard way with salt sprinkled on top (quite salty) or you can get them with no salt on top (very bland). They’re definitely drier/less oily than Ritz crackers.

Absolutely. Ritz are “buttery” whereas original Saltines are, as stated, pretty dry (I always have a drink handy when eating them).

I don’t usually bring facts to a discussion of crackers, but:
Ritz original: 80 calories/5 crackers, 4.5g fat
Saltines: 70 calories/5 crackers, 1.5g fat

The fat comparison is why they are so much better on my WW diet than Ritz, even though the calories aren’t that different. Both have various oils (neither contain butter), but Ritz has high fructose corn syrup. Yumm.

ETA: for someone who has never bought them but might be looking for them: the box doesn’t scream “saltines”, but rather:
[saltine crackers]