Canada is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, and we thought we’d have a look throughout the year at a few products that we’ve either grown up with or are identifiable as Canadian. There are lots of items out there that have stood the test of time and have been gracing our tables for generations. Maybe the company that originally made them has been purchased by an international conglomerate, but we still call them our own. Sort of like our favourite movie stars.
If you grew up in Canada chances are you had a box of Stoned Wheat Thins in your cupboard, or reached for the iconic oblong box at your grocery store with its bright red oval label beckoning you to bucolic fields of wheat billowing in the background. That’s gotta be somewhere in Saskatchewan, right? Although Nabisco, the American company that makes Stoned Wheat Thins was purchased by the giant Multinational Mondelez and they are now distributed in the States marketed under the name Red Oval Farms the crackers are still made in Canada from Canadian wheat and it is the cracked wheat in them that is stone milled, hence the name.
Stoned Wheat thins have a somewhat neutral flavor, nutty and nuanced, perfect with savoury or sweet accompaniment or topping, a willing and serviceable accomplice for the ascetic or indulgent. On the nutrition side it gets favourable marks; a serving of two crackers contains 60 calories and 4% of your RDA of iron as well as no added sugars or trans fat or saturated fats.
When push comes to shove, a cracker for the most part is a tasty delivery mechanism for what goes on top of it; a canapé. It should be mildly satisfying on its own, but not too obtrusive nor a scene-stealer; a good cracker knows its place! It should be able to withstand the rigours of being dipped into a spread, or having said spread schmeared on it, it should be able to hold the weight of a piece of cheese or two and should not crumble under the duress of peanut butter and jam. In this regard, Stoned Wheat Thins can certainly hold their own, and then some. A Stoned Wheat Thin will likely not win a any beauty contests, but it is a sturdy, no-nonsense cracker, likeable, familiar and reliable, perfect on a first date at a cocktail party or as an old reliable midnight snack (also hence the name)
Perhaps this is why they are a Canadian Favourite after all these years.