Once upon a time there was a cracker called Triscuit. It was wheat, oil, and salt. And for 50 years people liked it…allegedly.
Look, I’m not hear to disparage the tastes of those from the Greatest Generation. As far as I’m concerned, if you kick the Nazis asses and rise out of the Great Depression, you’ve more than earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what you consider good eats. These days though, I’m glad we have more than a few Triscuit flavors and other crackers to crunch. Rosemary and olive oil, caraway and dill, sundried tomato and basil—seriously, just give me some aged cheese and I’m ready to go to town.
Triscuit’s latest crackers, the Wasabi & Soy Sauce Thin Crisps made with brown rice, don’t exactly lend themselves to cheese pairings. But one would think the pungent and salty double-whammy of wasabi and soy sauce would provide more than enough flavor to render toppings unnecessary. Good thing? The jury was out as I stared down the cracker box in my local grocery store with echoes of bygone Super Bowl beer commercials reverberating through my noggin. But clearly this cracker dared to go where few mainstream crackers have gone before, and I knew I had to try it.
I’ve previously been intrigued by the crunch of the newer versions of Brown Rice Triscuits, but this is the first time the company has offered it in a Thin Crisps variety. The box claims the wasabi and soy sauce combination will deliver a “deeply intense flavor experience.”
I know this because I could stuff a handful of the crisps in my mouth and not make that face Steve Spurrier makes when his team fails to convert on third down. Also known as my Wasabi Face, it typically involves a momentary cessation of all vital breathing functions, an inward suction of the cheeks and lips, and, most importantly, a slight head shake in acknowledgement of the sinus-clearing capacity of wasabi paste.
Because I go balls to the walls when I eat crackers, I made sure to measure the relative intensity of a handful of crisp against a single crisp topped with a dollop of actual Wasabi paste and a drizzle of soy sauce. Long story short, I instantly cleared up any nasal congestion by eating the latter crisp. I couldn’t say that about the former, although I did save my face from quite a bit of contorting.
Truth be told, I could appreciate having the flavor of wasabi in a cracker without having to subject myself to the physical effects of actual wasabi. Making a constipated face isn’t exactly how one envisions his or herself during the social occasions that oftentimes feature crackers, and in the modest flavor of the wasabi, in tandem with a subtle toasted brown rice sweetness, I found a happy snacking medium. Nevertheless, I do wish the soy sauce flavor had more pop, both in terms of its saltiness and that umami savoriness which makes it such a natural compliment to rice. It’s just not there, and if anything, I found the crackers to be slightly sweet instead of moderately, but pleasantly, salty.
Speaking of rice, while I appreciate the crunch on each crisp, the decibel level created within your noggin from each bite is incredibly distracting. Those who struggle with multitasking may wish to use caution, as chewing the Thin Crisps is not advised while listening to significant others speaking and/or operating heavy machinery. On second thought, these might actually come in handy…
Triscuit’s Wasabi & Soy Sauce Thin Crisps are a daring flavor for a mainstream cracker brand that has almost become synonymous as nothing more than a vehicle for cheese. But like most steps out of the familiar confines of our snacking comfort zone, the new crisps play it safe enough not to blow anyone’s head off with the intensity of their flavor.
(Nutrition Facts – 10 crackers or 30g – 130 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Nabisco Wasabi & Soy Sauce Brown Rice Triscuit Thin Crisps
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7.6 oz. box
Purchased at: Weis Markets
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good change of pace from regular old boring Triscuit flavor. Brown rice has subtle toasted sweetness. Wasabi flavor without causing looks of constipation and third down futility. Whole grains.
Cons: Soy sauce flavor is weak. Wasabi flavor lacks nasal-clearing pungency of actual wasabi paste. Asian flavor profile kills the usual the cheese and cracker vibe with Triscuit. Makes a loud ass noise inside your head when you chew.