While the arrival of Winter Storm Jonas in the Eastern United States this past week may have prompted some serious cheese hoarding, a perhaps far more devastating shortage is set to strike the pantry shelves of cheese-lovers everywhere: The Telegraph reports that Carr’s, makers of the ubiquitous water crackers, is suspending production of its signature wafers—at least for the time being.
Early last month, Storm Desmond tore across Ireland, Northern England, and parts of Scotland, bringing severe rain and flooding. Among the victims was the factory in Carlisle, Cumbria, Carr’s had been using since 1837. Up to five feet of water overran the facility, seriously damaging the brick ovens they use to bake their savory treats. Hopes for a resumption of production elsewhere were dashed when no alternatives could be found, and the water cracker company was forced to concede they could make no new crackers for at least the next two months.
Being the genteel cracker-kings we assume them to be, the folks over at Carr’s posted the following ad in The Times:
Duly noting the irony of a water cracker factory succumbing to too much water, Carr’s brings up the grave reality of the shortage: “Unfortunately . . . our water biscuits will be missing from dinner parties and absent from your cheese boards.”
Now, don’t panic—while it can be hard to think of a different slightly tasteless grain to serve as the foundation for all of the cheese, there’s actually quite a few homegrown American makers with some seriously good product (Effie’s, Z Crackers, or Simple & Crisp, to name a few). Or, better yet, you can make your own!