A cream cracker is a dry, crunchy biscuit which is popular in
the United Kingdom. It has a square shape, with edges of around 7cm and a
thickness of a few millimetres, and is light brown in colour. Cream crackers are
usually sold in an orange packet. This is because Jacob's Cream Crackers, by
far the most well recognised brand, have used an orange packet for over a
century, and British trademark laws are not quite absurd enough to allow one to
trademark a colour.
Despite their traditionally British image, however, cream
crackers originated in America, and the Jacob's brand is now owned by the French
Danone. Their popularity in Britain is due to the Victorians, who
were wary of food that had excessive flavour or character.
The most common use of cream crackers is with cheese. A
platter of Cheddar, Lancashire, Wensleydale and Stilton without cream
crackers would be like roast beef without the Yorkshire pudding or Royal
Ascot without the hats. Opinions vary as to whether butter should be
served as part of the mix. Certainly, cream crackers are very dry, but whether
this is something to be corrected or an essential part of their character is up
For the more adventurous, cream crackers are also a way of
getting oneself into the Guinness book of World Records. The current world
record time for eating three cream crackers stands at 49.15 seconds, and is held
by an Ambrose Mendy, who beat the previous record by over thirty seconds in
2002. Although various attempts have been made at beating this record —
several of them by radio and television presenters who rather naively assumed
that it would be ludicrously easy — the record has stood now for three
and a half years. Potential record breakers should note that external sources of
moisture are not allowed.
One may occasionally hear the term 'cream crackered'. This
does not literally mean that someone has been turned into a biscuit; rather, it
is Cockney rhyming slang for 'knackered', which is in turn a slightly
colourful alternative to 'very tired'.
XWiz writes: "Tell me how many calories are in one and you automatically gain the title of Lord Of Crackers". There are 35 per Jacob's cracker — thirty five food calories, that is, which is thirty five thousand real calories. Plus all the extra calories from the cheese and butter heaped on top, of course.
• A packet of Jacob's Cream Crackers (300g)