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Taste of the Caribbean: Excelsior Genuine Jamaican Water Crackers

Taste of the Caribbean: Excelsior Genuine Jamaican Water Crackers
Excelsior Genuine Jamaican Water Crackers/SBPR

PANIC!

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival starts today, and my favorite West Indian grocery store is low on the life-saving Bajan biscuits that got me through my marathon judging duties at last year’s Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival. Eclipse Crackers helped me survive 40 rums in four hours. For the Miami event, the drink menu measures more than 100 rums!

Clearly, I need a replacement. Something light, yet hardy. Something tasty and capable of taming rum’s rough side.

What I need are Excelsior Genuine Jamaican Water Crackers.

The biscuit of choice in Jamaica, these round and fluffy mouthfuls are celebrated from Mandeville to slide-a-ville for their unique flavor and trademark “toughness,” a product of the special wood-burning brick oven baking technique used in their production for over 100 years. From the package:

These unique–fat free crackers were first produced at No. 2 Church St. Kingston in 1911… At that time the freshly baked crackers were sorted and packed by hand into wooden barrels. Excelsior Water Crackers were soon available in every town and village and to this day form a favourite part of the Jamaican diet.

On their own, Excelsior Water Crackers are a treat –dry and light, yet filling. As a Jamaican friend told me recently, though, they really sing when enjoyed with traditional Jamaican fare like Solomon Gundy, steamed fish, cheese, Ackee and Saltfish, etc. Her words:

Put some butter and jam and nyam!

I may do just that some day, but today I’m picking up a few bags so that I can enjoy these treasured snacks alongside the best rums in the world.

Excelsior Water Crackers are widely available in West Indian groceries and mainstream supermarkets here in South Florida. If you can’t find them on store shelves near you, try ordering a bag online.

Or better yet, just look for me at the Deauville Beach Resort this week in Miami. I promise to have enough of these tasty Jamaican treats to share…

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