Saturday, May 8, 2010

Unsalted Tops

37 crackers per pack, 4 packs per box, 7 "servings" per pack, 60 calories per "serving". You do the math.

Oh hell, I'll do it, you illiterate lazy ass. That comes to about 420 calories per pack of saltine crackers; multiple that by 4 and you've got almost 1700 calories per box. Now, you're not supposed to eat a whole box at a sitting, but what if you ate a couple packs a day, making you a two-pack-a-day cracker eater? Just in crackers alone, you'd be consuming 840 extra calories a day.

You may ask why all the crackers? How about crackers with your tuna? Crackers with cheese? Crackers with your bowl of chili? Crackers and peanut butter? Crackers by themselves for the hell of it because you're too damn lazy to fix a meal? Crackers to sooth your stomach?

I was in Walmart after wandering the entire mall and discovering changes, like Sears doesn't have shoe salesmen anymore, their once mighty shoe department looks like Walmart's, with shoes in boxes and serve yourself! Back in the day you would pick a pair of shoes, and the sales guy would go in back and bring out a box in your size, sometimes more than one box if it wasn't definite which size from that shoe maker would fit your feet best. No more, it's all gone. I did find some stairs that haven't changed in almost forty years (I crawled up those stairs as an infant of three months, and by the time I was six months, I was running up and down them) but those friendly old friend stairs were the only thing that was the same in the whole store. Once, long ago, that Sears had a restaurant. It also once had a candy counter where they sold popcorn and caramel corn and chocolates. It had real mannequins with full bodies and faces and in those faces were mouths that you could stick a real cigarette in for a joke (or you could put one between their mannequin fingers). There aren't any mannequins with flesh tones in Sears like that anymore. They even had little kid mannequins in the children's clothing department.

You also always bought your childhood Pooh bear there.

So I went to Walmart, which was pretty full of customers after the nearly deserted Sears. I wasn't going to buy saltines, but on a whim (a lot of things happen to me on a whim) I grabbed a box, then found out on closer inspection that they were the unsalted tops variety. It was Walmart's cheapo Great Value brand, and I almost put it back in favor of the salted tops, but then I glanced at the nutritional label and saw a lot less sodium in the unsalted tops version. I took them home with me, figuring that even though I'm cutting carbs and avoiding white flour products, a few crackers would be all right to have with my endless supply of canned chili and tuna (and chicken, yeah I forgot about the canned chicken, my mercury poisoning fighting chicken cans, which fight the poison by being an alternative to tuna, thus keeping me from consuming too many cans of tuna in a week), plus, as an added bonus, a lot less sodium!

Tonight I sampled the new, I mean, saltless tops, crackers and said to myself, my they have a strange taste, don't taste nothing like the last box I bought at Walmart. Of course that's when I remembered they had no salt on their tops. The difference is truly astounding! Now, when I made some tuna to see how they would taste, my tuna and crackers experience was nearly the same, with just a slight diminishing in overall taste satisfaction. Next came a big bowl of chili, and again, not much difference. Finally, the old standby, the crackers and peanut butter (I eat only the creamy kind) and again, a small but this time more obvious difference from the fully salted crackers.

After my taste tests were done this last evening, I reached into the box for just one more cracker and...

...I had eaten them all.

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