In the world of crackers, a debate that’s raged for years involves Wheat Thins and Triscuits. For nearly as long as they’ve co-existed, they’ve been pitted against each other but is there any real difference between them?
Fans of each will swear up and down that there is and you might be surprised to learn that they’re right – there are things that make each of these beloved snacks unique.
We’ll be covering each of those in detail but when it comes right down to it, the main difference between Wheat Thins and Triscuits lies in the ingredients and how each is made. Both crackers contain whole wheat flour. Triscuits contain only oil and salt whereas Wheat Thins also contain enriched flour, vegetable oil and other ingredients. In terms of preparation, Wheat Thins are rolled thin and then oven-baked while Triscuits are made from rolled dough that is cut and twice baked.
While those constitute the main differences, there are many more that separate these beloved crackers so without any further delay, let’s get right to it!
Differences in History and Origin
Just as the taste and texture of Wheat Thins and Triscuits are significantly different, so are the respective histories of these treasured treats. Let’s take a look at the backstory of each of these crackers.
Wheat Thins were first produced by Nabisco (short for the National Biscuit Company) in 1947. Over the years, the cracker has gained a foothold as a healthier cracker alternative. This is mostly due to marketing efforts by Nabisco to position it in this way as a lower calorie option that is lower in fat as well. Triscuits are now produced under by Mondelēz International which owns Nabsico.
Triscuits pre-date Wheat Thins by nearly half a century. Also produced by Nabisco, the first iteration of Triscuits were the brainchild of Henry Perky. Aside from Triscuits, which were released in 1903, Perky is most well-known for his invention of shredded wheat cereal.
There’s a bit of lore attached to the Triscuit brand name. For many years, it was thought that the “Tri” prefix alluded to the fact that the cracker contains three ingredients. However, early ads for the cracker state that they were, “Baked by Electricity”. Further, the ad claimed that Triscuits were the only product that could claim this distinction during the early 1900s.
It was speculated that instead of “tri” meaning three, it was actually derived from the word “electricity”. So, in short, Triscuit stands for “Electricity Biscuit”, as confirmed by the company.
|Cracker||Year Introduced||Company||Key Ingredient(s)||Marketing Position|
|Wheat Thins||1947||Nabisco (now owned by Mondelēz International)||Wheat||Lower calorie, lower fat option|
|Triscuits||1903||Nabisco (now owned by Mondelēz International)||Whole wheat||“Baked by elecTRIcity”|
Differences in Ingredients and Preparation
Now that we’ve seen how these popular crackers differ in their origins, let’s explore the next part of what makes them unique – their ingredients and how each is made.
Let’s start with ingredients. The main ingredients in Wheat Thins are enriched wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt. They also contain other ingredients such as:
- Caramel color
- Reduced iron
- Malt syrup (from corn and barley)
- Leavening (baking soda, yeast)
- Folic acid
- Thiamine mononitrate
- Soybean oil
By contrast, one of the main marketing claims made for Triscuits are the limited ingredients used in the crackers, the crackers only contain three primary ingredients: whole wheat flour, oil, and salt.
Moving on to how each are prepared, anyone who’s ever eaten either Wheat Thins or Triscuits will tell you that, in terms of consistency, they are nothing alike. The reason for this mainly comes down to how each of them is manufactured.
Wheat Thins are produced by rolling out the dough into a thin consistency. From there, the crackers are oven-baked. In contrast, the method used to produce Triscuits is multi-faceted. First, wheat used to make the crackers are cooked in water. The goal is achieve a water content of fifty percent. Once it has, the mixture is allowed to temper which ensures even moisture distribution throughout the grain.
Next, the grain is transformed into strands of wheat and then webs with the use of slotted rollers. Once in web form, the mixture is stacked, crimped into squares and then baked to remove the moisture content.
|Wheat Thins||Enriched wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, caramel color, reduced iron, malt syrup (from corn and barley), sugar, leavening (baking soda, yeast), folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, soybean oil||Rolled out dough is oven-baked|
|Triscuits||Whole wheat flour, oil, salt||Wheat is cooked in water, tempered for even moisture distribution, transformed into wheat strands and webs, stacked, crimped into squares, and baked to remove moisture content|
Differences in Taste, Texture and Mouthfeel
So far, we’ve explored the history, ingredients, preparation, and usage of Wheat Thins and Triscuits, but what about their taste, texture, and mouthfeel? How do these crackers compare when it comes to flavor, texture, and the sensation in the mouth? Let’s find out.
Rounding out this comparison between two of the world’s most beloved crackers, we come to the differences in taste, texture and mouthfeel.
Of course we can say that both Wheat Thins and Triscuits are loved for their crunch but beyond that we can find some subtle differences.
Wheat Thins are light, with an airy mouthfeel. They possess a mild, sweet flavor that makes them perfect for snacking on their own, dunking in your favorite dips or spreading with nearly endless toppings.
In contrast to the slight sweet flavor of Wheat Thins, Triscuits possess a distinctly nutty taste. In terms of mouthfeel, the cracker is crisp and firm with a resounding crunch. Like Wheat Thins, Triscuits are ideal for pairing with dips and spreads of all kinds.
|Wheat Thins||Mild, sweet||Light, airy|
|Triscuits||Distinctly nutty||Crisp, firm|
Hey there, I’m Melody! I’m a lifelong foodie and love talking about it to anyone who’s willing to listen (or read!) about my opinions. My favorite pastimes include cooking, eating my cooking and thinking about what I’m going to make next!