Triscuits are, to put it lightly, divisive. When I’ve voiced my adoration for them, friends and colleagues have called my taste into question. My taste, what I make my living off. These Triscuit deniers will often describe the classic cracker as having an unpleasant, hay-like texture and a complete lack of flavor. They’re widely considered bland and boring. “Milquetoast,” you might hear in reference to them. I would argue, however, that Triscuits are subtle, perfectly seasoned, and the quintessential vessel for one of my favorite appetizers—crostini.
As Sporked’s chief potato chip and cracker correspondent (a title I just made up), it’s my opinion that Triscuits aren’t plain, but rather nuanced, consistent, and endlessly pleasant thanks to their toasted wheat flavor. A Triscuit, therefore, is the perfect base for wonderful toppings. A Triscuit is stable in both structure and flavor; it can withstand an onslaught of funky cheese, cured meats, spreads, vegetables, and pickled aromatics. In short, Triscuits make the perfect crostini. Triscuits openly claim to be crackers, but I think they’re more like cracker-bread hybrids. The crunchy texture of a Triscuit is not that unlike a buttered and toasted slice of baguette.
And while it’s impossible to sway somebody from their personal reasons for hating foods (see: Link), I will say there is one time a year that I think everybody should embrace a Triscuit, and that’s the Holiday season. Triscuits make the perfect starting point for a quick appetizer, a way to use up leftover cured meats, cheeses, jars of pickles, dips, and condiments hanging around your fridge. Triscuits have a variety of flavors, but we think these make the best base for some quick, shareable Holiday appetizers to stave off hungry guests.
Best with Italian Cheese: Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil
Here at Sporked, we love cracked pepper as a flavor for potato chips, and it works just as well with a whole grain Triscuit. Black pepper is just so piney and has a potent yet mellow heat, making it the perfect base flavor (kind of like a Triscuit itself). Pepper is best with cheese and meat, but I really think that sharp, aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano and Parmesan benefit most from a cracked pepper flavor. A thin sliver of Italian cheese and a light drizzle of olive oil on a Triscuit goes a long, long way, and it’s oh so simple to throw together for guests.
Best with Cheese and Fruit: Balsamic Vinegar & Basil
These Balsamic Vinegar & Basil Triscuits absolutely beg to be paired with fresh mozzarella. The tangy and sweet bite of the balsamic matches perfectly with the fatty yet neutral mozzarella cheese. Making a tiny little caprese appetizer (sliced tomato, mozzarella, some more basil for garnish) creates a thoughtful, yet simple snack. I also think that balsamic goes great with fruit. This fragrant and tangy Triscuit would be perfect for cream cheese and strawberries, cherries, figs, or even blueberries. Balsamic-flavored things don’t always work (most of the potato chips flavored this way are disappointing), but with a Triscuit’s simple elegance, the flavor just makes too much sense.
Best with Tinned Fish: Dill, Sea Salt & Olive Oil
Dill is a natural partner to smoked salmon and cream cheese, a rather obvious pairing, but don’t sleep on the wonderful combination of canned sardines or salmon and a crunchy Triscuit too. Canned fish that’s steeped in olive oil has wonderful, fatty flavor, and a Triscuit is thick and crunchy enough to absorb oil in a way that a simple cracker cannot. Nuri sardines and Polar salmon are the two canned fishes I’m recommending here. And, for those who aren’t fish freaks, labneh or thick Greek yogurt goes very well with dill too.
Best with Meat: Rosemary & Olive Oil
My personal favorite Triscuit, the Rosemary & Olive Oil flavor is rich, peppery, and piney. Rosemary is especially good with meats, so if you purchase some cured salami or beef, thinly slicing it and putting it on this flavor of Triscuit will do well. I’ve been a huge fan of Foustman’s cured meats all year long, and flavors like their Hot Toscano with Calabrian chiles, Fennel and Pepper, and even their Garlic Lamb would go great with this Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuit.