“Make it Raw” Crackers
The raw food movement is something which is finally beginning to take off in New Zealand.
Companies are popping up everywhere, offering raw crackers, ‘cheese’cakes, cookies and any number of delicious, healthy foods in a natural, close to unprocessed state.
The philosophy behind ‘eating raw’ is that food should be consumed as close to its natural state as possible, if it is being processed, it must still be kept at a low temperature, in order to preserve the natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals which would be destroyed in the cooking process.
I try to eat raw as much as possible, and am always excited to try new foods, so when I found the website for Make it Raw, I eagerly ordered two packets of each of the savoury flavours- Olive, Rosemary and Almond and Sundried Tomato and Almond.
In a few days, a big box arrived at the door containing my treats, so I tore into a packet each to try the newest crackers on the NZ raw food market.
These crackers contain Almonds, Flax seeds, Olives and Sea salt (all listed as organic except the olives).
Texture: Crisp and well dried. It has always been my fear that eating raw would mean I would have to give up my crunchy snacks. I’m a chips and crackers girl, give me salt and sour cream seasoning and I’ll be a happy bunny. Texture-wise, these did not disappoint. The almonds and flax seeds held together to give a cracker which could almost pass for baked.
Taste: Sadly, this was where these crackers fell short. I’m a huge fan of the strong, salty taste of olives, so this was the flavour I most wanted to succeed (also, olive crackers are a market which hasn’t been successfully cornered in either the raw or cooked snack arena). However, the pieces of olive in these crackers tasted like dried pieces of… nothing.
What I would really like to see in these crackers, is more olives, and blended right into the ‘batter’, so it’s more of an olive paste mixed right through than small slices. The flavour needs to be more intense and spread through the whole cracker. As it stands at the moment, these might as well just be Almond crackers with unidentifiable black stuff in them
Rosemary and Almond
These crackers contain organic almonds, flax seeds and sea salt, and spray free rosemary.
What initially bothered me about these crackers was the name. All the crackers in this range (save for the buckwheat based ‘sweet’ crackers are almond based, so it seems unnecessary to state it in the name, especially when it’s not stated in the olive crackers, they’re just as almond-y as the rosemary ones!
Nitpicking aside, on to the crackers themselves.
Texture: Like the olive crackers, these had a satisfying crunch and a good mouth feel. They were crispy and didn’t crumble to the bite like many vegan ‘baked’ goods can.
Taste: These were actually my favourites of the bunch, taste-wise. I’m not usually a huge fan of rosemary (unless it’s combined with garlic- which would be AWESOME in these crackers) but these were palatable. It’s not so much that I enjoyed them, but they were the ‘lesser of three evils’ so to speak, and the only ones I managed to eat more than a few of.
Sun-dried Tomato and Almond Crackers
These crackers contain organic almonds, flax seeds, sun-dried tomato, spices and sea salt.
Again with the almond in the title! It wouldn’t bother me if the olive crackers were ‘olive and almond’, but I don’t see why there’s discrimination on the almond front here.
Texture: The texture of these ones actually really bothered me. They were either under dried, so still a little moist, or stale, i couldn’t really tell which, but my theory is that as these have the tomatoes blended into the mix, they would most likely be more moist to start with (The other flavours have drier ‘mix-ins’). So they should have been dried for a longer time to compensate for the extra moisture. This is just a theory, but it could explain why both packets had the texture issue (they were actually slightly bendy) it was still definitely a cracker, but erring on the side of raw flatbreads which I have tried.
Taste: I expected these to be my favourite, as sun-dried tomatoes are amazing and I had some wonderful crackers (same deal, same ingredients, raw crackers) made by Little Bird which I cannot get enough of, so I was expecting basically the same cracker but cheaper. Perhaps that was where I went wrong, going in with expectations meant I was immediately disappointed that the main flavour I could taste here was rosemary (it’s pretty clear what the ‘spices’ listed in the ingredients are), followed by a mild tomato flavour. I was expecting a spicy hit of concentrated tomato, so I guess I was disappointed.
Going in with prior expectations is always dangerous, and if I had tried these crackers before I tried the Little Bird ones I would have probably enjoyed them more (texture aside), but as it was, I would prefer to shell out the extra $3-4 to get the better quality crackers, and leave these ones alone.
Overall: I was disappointed with the offerings from Make it Raw at this point in time. That said, they’re a new company, and small, so I’m sure they’re constantly working to improve their product, and I will be more than willing to try them again once they’re a bit more established. I’m also keen to try their raw chocolates, and will be ordering some of those soon.
Products available from their website or at varous farmers markets around Christchurch. Check their website or Facebook page for more information.
Crackers priced at $6 for a 100g bag
Olive Crackers: 5/10
Rosemary Crackers: 6/10
Sun-dried Tomato Crackers: 4/10
Overall: 5/10- meh. I’m going to keep paying the extra for my beloved Little Bird, and look forward to trying Make it Raw’s crackers again once they’ve perfected their technique.