Is there a right or wrong way to serve salted crackers? I never thought to question it, because all my life, I knew which way was correct. What was there to question? Like so many of my preconceived notions, this one had not been thoroughly examined.
To set the stage, I’ll tell you about the Law of Wind according to Anne. I grew up in the South before air-conditioning was available. Most folks went to church, and they used the cardboard fans in the pews just to stay alive through a long sermon. Since most of the fans were provided free by local undertakers, I eventually made the connection that you’d die of the heat if you didn’t use the fan. Before that, though, I observed that the moving fan generated wind to cool the face. I should have realized it was only a theory. One of my most embarrassing moments came from my faulty Law of Wind. Someone at the dinner table spoke of the wind, and I said, “It can’t be windy because the trees aren’t moving.”
Someone older and wiser asked, “What on earth are you talking about?”
I explained my 10-year-old reasoning, “The trees make wind by moving their branches. You know, like when you use a fan.”
Everyone cackled. At that point in time, I learned that trees did not generate breezes. I wondered for years after that where wind came from. You can list things like temperature, rotation of the earth, oceans, and barometric pressure, but wouldn’t you agree that my premise is much easier to understand?
Now, back to crackers and how to serve them. I’m talking about the standard ones – saltines, Ritz, and club crackers. I need to check this out, but I think the pictures on boxes of crackers always show the salted side facing up. Why only one side has salt is beyond the scope of this post. All my life I KNEW the proper side to add cheese or peanut butter was on the top side where the salt was. Old age brought me up short. Failing eyesight and low light were the two factors that made me question the Law of Crackers. I couldn’t see that I had put crackers on my plate with the salt side down. I would NEVER have willingly spread peanut butter on the bare side. Proceeding in ignorance, I did just that. My eyes opened wide in surprise as the salt hit my tongue and gradually mingled with the sweeter peanut butter. What a revelation! I am going to have to carefully reconsider the rule I followed for 70 years. There may be times when food tastes better when crackers are wrong side up. Could we have a vote here? Right side? Wrong side? Buy unsalted? Switch to bread?