I would like to start with an apology for the lack of photos. With 5 boxes of crackers from three different countries, I was a bit overwhelmed. I was also extremely dehydrated from all the cracker eating and it led to weakness of the arms, resulting in my inability to hold up a camera phone.
Today I did a grand event featuring three countries and their Ritz crackers. It was two-part, the first featuring Japan and the US duking it out in a mini Ritz cheese cracker competition. The second part was regular Ritz crackers from three countries – Britain, America, and Japan.
A lot of apple juice harmed in the making of this blog.
I enlisted Jessica to help me taste test the crackers. As the mother of a toddler, she’s eaten a ton of Ritz crackers and I found her highly qualified to judge. She was also the only person around when I wanted to eat crackers.
So let’s go ahead and give you the results for the cheese crackers. We compared the US version to the Japanese version because I obviously didn’t order enough British snacks – a horror I hope to never feel again. The Japanese cheese crackers were much lighter in color, the cheese was a natural looking yellow. The American version was a darker, more brownish-yellow.
It was disconcerting to realize I’ve been eating cheese that is poop colored all my life.
As far as cheese distribution, American work ethic was apparent immediately. The cheese on the US cracker was all bunched up and unevenly applied. Like a teenager was getting paid $15 an hour to hit a button that squirted the cheese at the correct time. Instead of hitting the button on time, he was playing Candy Crush on his phone and was hitting it a second too late. In contrast, the Japanese cheese was so evenly applied that we wondered if someone hand painted the cheese into place.
We bit into the work of art.
Our mouths were immediately filled with a pleasant cheese flavor. The cracker was crunchy and light and left an overall fresh feeling in the mouth. I’m not sure if this was Nabisco’s aim with the Japanese recipe for the Ritz, but it was magnificent. We followed up this magnificence by biting into the American cheese Ritz. Salt. And more salt. You couldn’t taste any of the cheese and you had to guzzle half a glass of juice to get it down your throat. It definitely had less crunch and there was no feeling of freshness, just a wave of desperation when we realized our juice was gone.
It’s bad enough that our own American brands are being beaten out each week by the British – now the Japanese are also getting a better product.
Let’s move along to the plain cracker taste test. Appearance wise, the British had the lightest color cracker while the Japanese had the darkest color. The Americans had the shiniest color.
You could have seen it shining from the Space Station.
I told Jessica the shimmering glow of the American crackers was a result of the chemicals we add to our food to make it taste better. We both figured that at this point in our lives we’ve ingested a lot of chemicals, and as long as the food tasted good we would continue to do so.
Upon biting into the British cracker, we instantly died. Not really, but we did choke a bit. The British cracker was dry – very, very dry. I think they must dunk these in tea – and let them soak for a few minutes. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so hasty in dumping our tea in the Boston Harbor in 1773. There was no buttery flavor, but the dry mouth may have been hindering our taste buds.
Then we bit into the Japanese Ritz. It was salty, too salty – and that’s saying a lot since Americans thrive on salt! I think Japanese people use these crackers in the place of salt licks for their farm animals.
The shiny American cracker was finally up on deck. It was light, buttery and perfectly salted. HALLELUJAH! We finally did it! Sure, we may have miserably lost the cheese Ritz taste test. But we won the regular Ritz test. And frankly, I’m taking this win and running with it. Suck it, suckers!!!
Sorry, I really let this win go to my head. I would like to think I could win with dignity, but I think that’s asking a bit much of me. I’ve been getting pummeled for weeks in these taste tests. I thought I had a win that one time, with the mac & cheese, but I got outvoted by my fellow Americans.
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