Ohio’s Own: Stan Evans Whole Wheat Crackers
Stan Evans Bakery has an ardent fan club for its crackers. It’s a formal baking operation in Grandview with the requisite array of grainy loaves of bread, and crackers are a road less well-travelled by local bakeries. At Stan Evans, however, the crackers are so good, they’re distributed and sold at local grocers such as Weiland’s and Hills.
The Whole Wheat crackers look artisanal — suspiciously artisanal. The crackers are sold in a plastic bag (not particularly artisanal) through which you can see that they’re cut in giant, rectangular shards. It’s not terribly clear, from appearances, how much cracker constitutes a serving size. Etiquette standards are disappointingly silent on the subject of giant crackers. If you take an entire rectangle, you’ve committed yourself to a serious snack.
But it’s a good commitment. One bite, and you’ll know that you really do want the entire, giant crispy rectangle. Like any cracker, it breaks and crunches. It has the requisite brine and brittleness. But the bakery’s cracker is also more complex than your generic saltine, or even a Trisket or Wheat Thin.
The ingredient label explains the complexity: flour, whole wheat flour, sesame seeds, flax seeds, butter and salt. While it’s a short list, the sea of toasted sesame and flax seeds contribute a great deal of appealing flavor in the mix. It’s almost a miracle something so simple can turn out so impressively.
Fans of the crackers applaud the simplicity, too, noting that the ingredient list excludes common additives and preservatives. Even absent the chemicals that keep big-box things fresh, the crackers kept their crunch for at least a week. After that, they were gone, so there wasn’t really a way to test their long-term freshness.
They are truly sublime with cream cheese, by the way.
As mentioned, you can find the bakery’s wares at local gourmet grocers, or you can visit Stan Evans itself in Grandview, at 1417 Grandview Ave.