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Baltimore, Maryland 21222

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The Fascinating Origins of Oyster Crackers

The Fascinating Origins of Oyster Crackers

Many different soups are garnished with oyster crackers.

Many different soups are garnished with oyster crackers. You can also add them to salads and stews. But one question that always lingers is simple: “what are oyster crackers?” You’re also probably why they got their name when they are only shaped like oysters and contain no oyster meat at all. So let’s learn about their intriguing origin story.

How Oyster Crackers Came to Be 

The original oyster crackers go back to 1847. Adam Exton is credited as their creator through his Cracker Bakery based in New Jersey. The Westminster Cracker Company, based in New England, disputed this story by claiming they came up with the crackers roughly two decades earlier, in 1828. The reason the crackers got their name is that they are shaped like oysters and were often thrown into oyster-based stews. In modern times the oyster crackers are most commonly used as a topping for clam chowder, seafood stew, tomato soup, and Cincinnati-style chili. Also, they called by several alternative names: water crackers, Philadelphia crackers, and Trenton crackers. 

How They’re Made 

Now let’s look at how these crackers are produced. Wheat flour is the key ingredient, along with some salt and butter. While they taste like saltines, they aren’t as salty. During the docking process, the batches of dough have holes punched in them. Techniques such as slow baking help them achieve their final form, although different brands and manufacturers will come out with flakier crackers while others will be crunchier and tougher to chew on their counterparts.

Adding Them to Different Meals

Now that you know more about oyster crackers, let’s look at how you can use them to add more textures to different meals you want to enjoy at home or your seafood destination. They’re unbelievably sturdy and even absorb the broth while remaining crunchy.


Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. You may recognize our restaurant, which was recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today, as well as #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.

You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!


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Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 699 reviews
4100 Northpoint Blvd. Baltimore , Maryland
410-477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes