The packaging read “Quattro Formaggio” (that’s Italian for 4-cheese snack cracker). Without hesitation I tossed the box into my reusable grocery sack and moved to the checkout aisle. Could these Triscuits… these baked whole grain wheat crackers possibly satisfy my cravings for a full week? And what of the multiple cheeses? Could this inspired recipe bring forth an explosion of flavor previously unavailable to those who walked similarly wheaty cracker paths? And are Triscuits really made in Italy?
These and other questions clouded my vision as the cashier rang up the sale, but through the haze something caught my eye. There was a note on the box, something I hadn’t noticed before. In all caps, for all the world to see, right there in the center of the package the following words were written: NATURAL FLAVOR WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS.
The message rang loud and clear. There was a combination of flavors at play, to be sure. Yes, the four cheeses of course. But also natural flavor, as well as other natural flavors. I hurried home and went to sleep well before my bedtime, hoping with all hope that the night would race by, bringing me that much closer to the remarkable natural flavors contained within each wondrous Triscuit.
I won’t lie, I had a hard time sleeping that night. But like clockwork, morning did eventually come. To the sweet whistle of a blue bird I hopped out of bed, already in my work clothes, and raced to the bus stop with cracker box in hand. When I arrived at the office the faces of my workmates lit up like fluorescent bulbs. They were happy, not only to see me, but also my Quattro Formaggio Triscuits. Surely with the additional natural flavors packed into these crackers I’d be able to spare one or two, right?...
Wrong! I devoured the entire box within minutes of my arrival. They tasted pretty much like ordinary Triscuits, but I was really hungry.