7 December 2011 Whitney Lamy of Castleton, Vermont, has perfected all natural, handmade, handcracked crackers that hark back to the day when Josiah Bent decided to make a lighter, thinner version of Hardtack, a staple of soldiers and seafarers. After learning from that history, she set about mixing, rolling, and cracking by hand thin sheets of pastry. The result— a superlative cracker with varieties named after Vermont towns. (Is she aspiring to 237? That’s a heap ‘o varieties just like it’s a heap ‘o towns nestled between the hills in that small state). Florence Fabricant, reviewing Castleton Crackers for the New York Times (Feb. 16, 2011), states: they are “sturdy enough for spreading and dipping but flaky enough for nibbling.”
Of the current five varieties of crackers offered, we chose three for our Specialty Foods Collection this year. Rutland Rye compliments most cheese (best with Vermont cheeses, of course!), and it’s great dipped in hummus or served beside a homemade Lentil Soup. Putney Pumpkin includes dried cranberries and thyme in its ingredients. This cracker is great with a good blue cheese, or served with corn chowder or with afternoon tea. Richmond Rosemary exudes the fresh taste of rosemary and is complimented by crunchy cornmeal. This cracker is perfect with goat cheese. Whitney has several recipes posted on her website; check them out at www.castletoncrackers.com
Gift Idea Number Seven: Pair these Castleton Crackers with a Rill Soup mix and wrap them up with a bowl from our Japanese pottery corner, perfect.