What is a "water cracker," and why is a food product marketed that tastes like nothing?
Carr's water crackers are basically made of flour, fat, salt, a mostly-tasteless starchy additive, and fortified nutrients. They taste like nothing. What is the point?
Wikipedia states that (the contemporary version of "Webster's Dictionary defines x as...") water biscuits are made from flour and water, without shortening or other fats (so Carr's gets a wrist slap for including the palm oil?), and that they are popular with the British. They are commercial versions of the spoilage-resistant ship's biscuit or hardtack of the 19th century.
The question remains, however: what is up with the British liking these? Why would anyone like these?
One person's opinion: "We like how crispy it is, and the flavor is delicate enough not to compete with cheese or tuna salad or whatever else we're ferrying to our mouth (we actually like they way they taste alone, too). And they're a good size—generous but not too much for one bite."
"Delicate," that is one way of putting it.
One Amazon reviewer (people review crackers on Amazon) stated: "Every box in the box of crackers we got was flawless. I have experienced few, if any, broken crackers." A true wonder.
Another Amazon review: "It allows the topping to be the star."
People keep remarking on how healthy it is, because it has so few ingredients. As though they are unaware that white flour and palm oil are not exactly superfoods.
A blog called The Canada Cheeseman has a thoughtful review:
A delicate cheese needs a delicate cracker. And that is why I suggest Carr’s Table Water Crackers. They have a nice consistency. They won’t break under the pressure of a knife unless the cheese is atypically stiff. They are a nice size, perfect for two or three bites, unless you have a big appetite, or a big mouth. They are a perfect cracker for brie.
A problem with some crackers is that they have surface salt. The Carr’s crackers do not. I find the baked in salt balance just about perfect. The Carr’s Table Water Crackers can also carry stronger cheeses competently. It is my cracker of choice for Cambozola and other blue cheeses. In fact, it is a great all around cracker for most cheeses.
And that, I guess, is the whole story. No substance, no taste, beloved by people who don't want to taste their crackers, just what's on top of them.