What are saltine crackers, and are they in the UK?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Key Takeaways

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UK Availability: Saltine crackers are less common in the UK, suitable for snacks or nausea relief.

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Alternatives: Cream crackers, Ritz, and oyster crackers are similar options in the UK.

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Purchase Locations: Find saltines in Tesco’s American section, Amazon UK, and some small specialist stores.

Saltine crackers are light, rough-textured, a little bit salty and crispy that is assumed to be a pantry staple. These dry crackers come in various sizes and shapes, but the usual one is a small square that you see everywhere. 

This may not be surprising that these evenly baked crispy crackers are one of the best types of crackers that sell more than any other type of crackers. Their crispy texture makes them unique and widely enjoyed all over the world. 

They can be eaten with butter, cheese or other spread to boost their taste. These baked white crackers are served with stew, soups or chilli. If you are in the UK and want to learn about the UK equivalent of saltine crackers or anything related to it, read on.

What are saltine crackers?

What are saltine crackers

Saltine crackers are thin, dry and crispy crackers that feature sprinkled salt. They are also referred to as soda crackers. The flavour of these classic crackers come from simple ingredients i.e. yeast, baking soda, water, seasonings and white flour. Saltine crackers may be unleavened too because they are also made from white, seasonings and water. 

Some varieties of this cracker have crystals of coarse salt or even sea salt sprinkled on top. However, most varieties have only perforations on top. Its traditional version comes with salt sprinkled on the top and hence the name, saltine.

They feature docking holes that spread throughout its surface. These holes enable the cracker to be baked evenly to get a flat, thin and crispy texture. These holes also help escape the gasses so that the crackers are baked properly. They also prevent it from pillowing during the baking process. They are usually square in shape and have a mild to bland taste. Saltines are ideal for noshing and can be served with stews, pimento cheese, and soups. 

These bland-flavoured crackers add a crispy texture to whatever’s in your bowl. They can also be used as a baked casseroles topping by crumbling them and mixing them with butter.

Why Use them?

The originated country of saltine crackers is America, where it is the go-to food for the preggers to calm morning sickness. But in reality, they are more than a hungover or sick food. Used as a light snack, they are one of the simple pleasures of life. Whether you are under the weather or finding an ideal companion for a block of cheese, these salty and flaky crackers are the best option. 

Saltines are widely acknowledged for relieving nausea and settling an upset stomach because they can pass through the stomach easily. They help to stop nausea as they soak up the acid from your empty stomach that causes irritation. They don’t smell, and their saltiness helps you relieve this condition. Saltines have sprinkled salt on top that help replace lost electrolytes and inhibit acid from being released in your stomach. 

These soda crackers also act as a star ingredient as you can use them to give heft to your meatballs or bind crab cakes. Even you can take your cheese and baked mac to new heights with saltine crumbs when toasted with a knob of butter.

Why don’t we have them in the UK?

According to a consumer poll report, a box of saltine crackers is something that everyone has tucked away in the kitchen in the USA. However, in the UK, they are not as readily available as in the USA because they are not a snacking thing in the United Kingdom. 

So what are saltine crackers called in the UK?

Brits’ snacking habits are different from Americans, and they tend to eat potato chips more to enjoy something crispy. Similarly, popcorn is not as popular in the UK as it is in America. So you can say that the UK equivalent of saltine crackers are cream crackers that are available in local grocery stores across the UK. Cream crackers are plain crackers that can be a substitute for saltine crackers, but they are less salty and denser, unlike saltine crackers. If you are a fan of saltines, you can find them on Amazon or the American section of Tesco.

Substitutes to them in the UK

Saltine crackers are the best crackers ever, but some people might not get this salty treat. It is probably due to the product that is not available in their country or area. 

Especially if you are in the UK, chances are you may not find them. But don’t fret; there are a lot of substitutes that can be used instead of these crispy crackers.

Ritz crackers

Ritz crackers are simply irresistible due to their flaky texture and buttery taste, making them ideal for any savoury snacking situation. Unlike square saltine crackers, they are circular in shape. They are one-sided salted crackers that are crunchy. Ritz comes in a variety of flavours like garlic butter, the hint of salt and others. 

Cream crackers: 

Cream crackers are a good substitute to saltine crackers because they look somewhat similar to them. These crackers are dry and square-shaped crunchy biscuits. They are a little bigger in size but a bit thicker than saltine. They are not salty and less crispy due to their thickness. Cream crackers are mild in flavour and made with yeast and white flour. People love to eat them with butter and cheese. They are also served with savoury toppings.

Table water cracker

Table water crackers are crispy, thin and dry crackers that are popular in the UK. They are made from water, white flour, and little or no salt. They have bland flavour and can be a great accompaniment for cheesy and meaty toppings. You can find them in gourmet food stores.

Oyster crackers 

Oyster crackers are also a promising candidate for the substitute to saltine crackers because they both share similar flavours. However, they contain less salt, unlike saltines. They also feature docking holes. Oysters can be bland or a little bit buttery in taste. You can serve them with soups.

Where to buy?

As you know, saltines are not commonly used in the UK, but if you want to add a satisfying crunch to your salads or soups, you can try them in big Tesco stores. Saltine crackers can be found in the US section of Tesco. You can also get them from Amazon UK or Asian/ smaller middle eastern stores. Furthermore, saltines are also available in various online stores like American sweets, Partridges Melbury and Appleton.

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!