Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ener-G Gourmet Crackers and...


...or whatever you want. These crackers are the perfect hand to mouth delivery system for whatever you want to put on them. Seriously, they taste good on their own; kind of a cross between a gluteny saltine and a gluteny butter cracker. But they are neutral enough that you can put anything on them your heart desires.

I found these crackers about 6 months ago. I was looking for something different from the shiny and very crunchy rice crackers and uber seedy Mary's crackers that were out there. None of them went well with a variety of toppings. They were all too strong in taste or texture. Or just wrong for the things I was wanting to top them with. Then I looked at the top shelf in my local store and saw this unassuming box. It looks like packaging from the 70s. Not like the trendy and hip packaging that is all over the crackers aisle. When I read the label I was very nervous. They have almost nothing in them, how could they taste good? And they weren't cheap, but I was desperate for something new. I bought them. I love them. Now I stock up when they go on sale.

I used them on New Year's Eve when my husband and I indulged in our favorite tradition of bringing in the New Year stuffed with a variety of international, gourmet cheeses and cured meats. I spread them with my favorite triple-cream brie (St. Andre). I topped them with a piece of manchego and a morsel of quince paste. Delish! And don't get me started on the soft and tangy cheese that had a layer of black truffle in it....oh my!

I have used them in my lunch with tuna or chicken salad and even Toby's tofu pate. And recently I went back to something I enjoyed as a child (a very poor child at times), sardines. I remembered eating these little canned fish and not being bothered by their...wholeness (well, thankfully they don't have their heads). I knew they were loaded with omega-3s and because they are near the bottom of the food chain, they are also low in mercury. They are relatively inexpensive and low in calories. The water packed variety had a mere 100 calories for 13 grams of protein. And if you can tolerate the bones (which you can't tell are there as they are so soft and take on the feel and texture of the fish) you can get 45% of your daily requirement of calcium. And that only cost me $2. Wow!

And according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, sardines are an excellent choice as far as being eco-friendly and sustainable.

They come packed in water, oil (usually soybean or olive), mustard or piri piri (red pepper sauce).

I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I opened my first can of these little fish. I think I was under 10 the last time I ate them and hadn't had a single biology class. I hadn't been through college anatomy or marine biology classes. I also hadn't done 11 years of genetic research on a similarly small fish, spending time studying every aspect of their anatomy and their development.

So with great trepidation, I scooped the first little bit of fish on my cracker and quickly put it in my mouth. I didn't look too closely at the fish or allow my knowledge to contaminate my experience. Hmmmm....it was tasty and there was no weird texture; I couldn't even tell there were bones in there. Just fish. I like tuna, it was similar, but not as dry as canned tuna can get. It was good and it was filling. I didn't need a snack until I got home for dinner. I was sold.

Are you brave enough to try this inexpensive, healthy and eco-friendly tuna alternative? I dare you.

And if you are not brave enough for that, try the Ener-g crackers (I have no endorsement from them, they have never given me anything free, I just like them).


  1. I just found your blog, I am so ready to try everything! Even the sardines, well....almost! My daughter and I are new G-free girls and we are so happy to find info to make our new life easier. Thanks :)

  2. I am a big fan too. I am GF and dairy free and they are safe for me too. I love them; they go with just about anything. thanks for turning me on to them. Go Amy!

  3. I found an onion flavor version of the crackers on sale and tried them, but I like the plain better. And no, I don't think I am brave enough. I've gone this long without trying sardines, why change now? I'm proud of you though!