Crackers

Crackers
bagel chips
bagel chips
You can buy these crunchy chips ready-made, but they're easy to make at home.
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breakfast cracker
breakfast cracker
These sturdy British crackers are quite bland.
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chips
chips
These are vegetables or grain products that have been cut into thin slices, deep-fried or baked until crisp, and then salted. They're often served with creamy dips. The British use the word "chips" for what Americans call French fries.
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corn chips
corn chips
These are made with cornmeal, and taste especially good with chili.
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crostini
crostini
These are small slices of toasted bread, which are often used as a base for appetizers.
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croustade
croustade
These crispy cups can each hold about a tablespoon of filling, so they're perfect for making tiny hors d'oeuvres and desserts.
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croutons
croutons
These add crunch to salads and soups. You can buy them readymade at many supermarkets, but they're much tastier if you make them yourself.
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digestive biscuit
digestive biscuit
These British crackers are similar to American graham crackers, only they're more crumbly and less sweet. They're often crushed into crumbs and used to make pie crusts.
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friselle
friselle
These peppery Italian crackers are baked twice, which makes them hard and dry and gives them a long shelf life. They're usually rehydrated with water and then topped with olive oil and other flavorings like herbs, cheese, and tomatoes.
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graham crackers
graham crackers
These moderately sweet crackers are made with whole wheat flour. They make great snacks for kids, but cooks often crush them and use the crumbs to make pie crusts. Cinnamon or chocolate flavored graham crackers are also available.
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hardtack
hardtack
Hardtack is an unleavened, unsalted biscuit that sailors used to eat while on long sea voyages. Since it's very dry, it can be stored for a long time without refrigeration.
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Highland oatcakes
Highland oatcakes
These mildly sweet crackers are a good base for hors d'oeuvres, but they're higher in fat than other crackers.
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matzo
matzo
This cracker is served during Passover to symbolize the unleavened bread the Jews ate during their hasty exodus from Egypt. To conform with Jewish dietary laws, matzo producers can't use leavening agents like baking soda or yeast. But they're still able to give the crackers a bit of airiness by baking them in extremely hot ovens, which causes trapped air bubbles in the dough to expand.
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melba toast
melba toast
These thin, crisp slices of bread are often used as a base for appetizers or served with soups or salads. When crushed, they make an excellent breading for meat or fish.
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pappadam
pappadam
These tortilla-shaped Indian crackers are made with chickpea or lentil flour. Before you serve them, you need to fry them in very hot oil or heat them in a microwave oven until they puff up and become crisp. You can then break them up and serve them with curried dishes, or use them like tortilla chips. They're sold in Indian markets.
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potato chips
potato chips
These are very thin potato slices that have been deep-fried and salted. They're crisp and just sturdy enough to dunk into a creamy dip without breaking. They come in many flavors, including barbecue and sour cream. The British call them "crisps," and use the word chips for French fries.
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pretzel
pretzel
Pretzels are ropes of dough that are usually shaped into knots, sprinkled with coarse salt, and browned in an oven. They can be soft and breadlike or hard and crunchy. Soft pretzels, also called bread pretzels, are often served with mustard, while crunchy pretzels are eaten just the way they are.
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rice cake
rice cake
These crunchy snacks are relatively low in fat--and flavor. They come in different flavors, like caramel, cheese, ranch, and apple cinnamon. Don't confuse this with mochi, which is also sometimes called rice cake.
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rice crackers
rice crackers
These addictive Japanese snacks are available in many large supermarkets.
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Ritz® cracker
Ritz® cracker
Produced by Nabisco, these are the best-selling crackers in the United States. They're high in fat and sodium, which makes them a tasty foil for cheese or peanut butter. Cooks sometimes crush them and use them as a pie crust or topping for casseroles. The crackers are also used to make the filling for a mock apple pie, which contains no apples. Reduced fat and low sodium versions are available.
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saltine cracker
saltine cracker
These salty crackers are very crisp, and they're great for snacking. They're often made into tiny sandwiches with cheese or peanut butter in the middle.
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shrimp chips
shrimp chips
These Indonesian chips are made with tapioca and different flavorings. Before serving them, you're supposed to fry them in hot oil for a few seconds until they expand and become crunchy. Look for them in Asian markets.
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soup nuts
soup nuts
These matzo meal crackers are used in soups or ground into crumbs.
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tortilla chips
tortilla chips
These are tortilla wedges that have been deep-fried or baked. They're often served with Southwestern-style dips, like salsa and guacamole.
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Triscuit®
Triscuit®
These crunchy crackers are made of woven strands of whole wheat. They're often used as a base for appetizers, though some devotees eat them straight. Reduced fat and low sodium versions are available.
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water cracker
water cracker
These crunchy crackers have little flavor, making them a neutral foundation for spreads and appetizers.
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wheatmeal biscuit
wheatmeal biscuit
This is Australia's answer to America's graham cracker.
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zwieback
zwieback
These are slices of bread that have been baked a second time, making them crisp and dry. Toddlers use them as teething biscuits, while adults add them to soups.
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