Ritz Fresh Stacks: A Crispy, Buttery Love Letter

Written by Life

Posted from: South Carolina

Dear Nabisco / whichever multi-tentacled overlord conglomerate company owns your delicious Ritz cracker brand at the moment:

It’s rare that I get so excited about cracker packaging, but your new Ritz Fresh Stacks (tee em) have given me a new lease on consumption.

Everyone has their little quirks when it comes to food.  Some people hate pecans. Some people are sexually attracted to breaded chicken wings. And I have a tumultuous relationship with snack boxes.

See also: buying ice cream at the grocery store makes me hysterical. The thing is (and bear with me, because this really does come back around to crackers), I despise re-frozen ice-cream and freezer burn. If I met freezer burn in 18th-century France, I’d challenge it to a duel immediately. It’s just that I’m uncomfortably aware that as soon as my popsicle packages leave the chilly embrace of their temperature-controlled storage shelves, the deathmatch with physics begins, and until I get home and put them away, I can’t concentrate on anything except the fact that my popsicles are melting. I try to act calm about it in the store, but my maternal popsicle-nurturing instincts consume me completely.

I shake my tiny fist at thee, biology. I shake my tiny, tiny fist.

I have similar anxiety issues when I open a new box of crackers. See, when I want some crackers, I only want a handful of crackers, and I only want a handful of crackers about twice a week. But with the exception of Hitler, freezer burn and failing a perception check during a dungeon crawl, nothing in the multiverse is worse than a stale cracker. So every time I eyeball a fresh new box of crackers in my snack cabinet, I have to weigh the strength of my desire for crackers against my reluctance to waste whatever I won’t eat. Maybe this time, I think to myself, I’ll feel like eating them all.

Eventually, my willpower collapses, or I convince myself that I’m hungry enough to eat like a real American, and I take the sodium-laced plunge. And sure enough, as soon as I eat a handful, I feel like I might as well just throw the rest away, because I know the next time I come back to the snack cabinet, I’ll be coming back to a tangled holocaust of less-than-crispy food. And that gets me thinking about starving kids in third-world countries, and the fact that the remaining caloric energy in the cracker box would feed like, two hungry children for two days, and I wonder why no one has started an international aid organization that makes daily rounds collecting snacks that suburban America knows it isn’t going to finish and airlifts them overnight to Africa. And then I wonder if African children would hate me more for throwing away a barely-touched box of perfectly good nosh, or for forcing myself to eat the rest even though I’m not really hungry anymore.

Eating crackers has since become such a downward spiral of guilt and recklessness that I’d given up on the whole thing.

So imagine my joy at seeing, way down there on the bottom shelf at Publix, Ritz Fresh Stacks, a scrumptious bundle of single-serving hatchling cracker packages.  I just finished eating one, and I don’t even feel a little bit weird about it, because the rest of the crackers are still in individual air-sealed papooses.

Thank you Nabisco / tentacled conglomerate. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.