Le Cracker Lunch: Rye, Cream Cheese, Kraut

I've been baking crackers for years now and believe it or not, crackers are still my go-to lunch, snack and appetizer more often than not.  I guess we can call it true love.

My Le Cracker lunches require no (or very little) preparation. They're hearty without being heavy as well as crunchy, salty and satisfying — all desirable qualities around noon when your oatmeal wears off.

So, starting today, I'll be sharing some of my winning Le Cracker combos. Cheese is certainly easy so I’ll frequently feature a favorite local fromage. But there’s plenty more to love on your Le Cracker than just cheese so I’ll be sure to share some of my other favorite local foods as well.

Today is the first official day of spring which always makes me crave something bright, fresh and green. But the reality here in Cleveland, Ohio is that snow still carpets the ground. So, lunch today is definitely involving a cup of hot soup. But alongside, I’m enjoying a few rye crackers with a shmear of the tastiest  and purest cream cheese in the land made by Lake Erie Creamery. Did you even know that they made cream cheese? Well, now you do. And it's worth seeking out for it’s pure flavor, honest ingredients and creaminess. It’s made without the thickening agents and other additives so common in commercial cream cheeses. And as spring approaches and those pasture-raised Jersey cows start grazing on fresh green Ohio grasses, this high butterfat, high protein cream cheese gains a bright golden hue. 

Topping off my crackers today, is a a forkful of Ruby RĂ¼ben, beautifully alive, naturally-fermented sauerkraut made by Wake Robin Foods. Local cabbage and beets fermented with apples and turnips, spiked with juniper berries and black pepper -- this might be my favorite kraut yet. I’ve been piling it on sandwiches for the past few weeks. It’s the perfect accompaniment alongside a grilled sausage and of course on a ruben or grilled cheese sandwich. Just remember your napkin, because that gorgeous fushia-hued juice will leave its mark. 

You could get all fancy and finish this little Le Cracker creation off with a sprig of fresh dill or fennel. Or you could just dig in. 

It’s lunchtime after all. Enjoy!