Student Life at the Dawn of the Millennium, people. Sometimes I swear that it gets harder and harder each day. It leads to vice, the small, justifiable kind like eating cookies long before most people are awake, or long after they’re at work. Alone. In sweatpants. The sole unwashed pair in a sea of clean laundry. Citing briefs in my briefs. It’s a beautiful life. I’d like to pat myself on the back for both tracking down these cookies and successfully calling over 30 Walmarts in Connecticut without an ounce of self-loathing. It turns out that merely asking (okay, begging) the public relations team will yield cookies, albeit 24 hours after considering driving to Topeka, Nowhere to see if their Dollar General has them.
But I don’t have Oreos. Not yet, anyway. And I don’t have much conviction, and I don’t have a sweater. I’m cold. What I do have is Ritz crackers. The savory Oreo. Will they suffice? Will they weather the storm of cookie dough blitz and rice crispie clamor? Perhaps. They’re Japanese, and they’re impossible to find in the US. They’re also the epitome of Ritz crackers- camembert and black pepper, and cheddar and almond to drink with your 1% milk. Bon appetit. Before the actual critique, let me get one pressing fact out of the way: yes, they’re just like the cheese sandwiches you used to eat during 4th grade recess, but they’re totally for adults and also, appropriate for dinner parties. Ritz Camembert and Black Pepper is, by far, the more successful cracker. It falters with its generic, grainy ‘cheese sauce’ flavor but ranks higher due to its magnificent, freshly cracked black pepper flecks and sharpness, a really clean, vegetal afternote that complements the buttery cracker. Ritz Cheddar and Almond is a little strange. It smells nutty, like almond flour, but ends up tasting like a coffee drink, as it has that pervasive fake roasted nut tang that I gave up years ago. The sweetness of the cracker and cheese do not temper this well. Still, they’re fancy Ritz crackers, from Japan. Their cost preclusion makes them literally Ritzy and makes me feel wildly spontaneous just for having them in my cabinet, like a food-themed Zooey Deschanel protagonist. They increase the value of my quirkiness almost as much as a handmade ukulele would, with 100% less shame.