A Quest for the Perfect Cracker

Kari Moore’s fondness for cheese and crackers started when she was very young. “There are family pictures where I am lounging on a picnic blanket enjoying cheese and crackers,” she says.

Many years later, not much has changed. Cheese and crackers are still her snack of choice. A supporter and enthusiast of the local food movement for more than 15 years, Kari has met all kinds of artisan food producers while running her business, FarmShare. She realized there weren’t any locally made artisan crackers to accompany the quality cheeses she was selling.

“After searching for the right cracker, I realized I was just going to seek out local ingredients and make it myself,” she says.

Kari connected with local grain growers and millers and started experimenting with many types of grains including wheat, spelt, and rye, and devised her own wild yeast sourdough starter. The delicious result—FarmCrisp Crackers—is the perfect accompaniment to cheese, jam, or spreads.

Instead of the perfectly formed, mass-produced boxed variety, Kari’s handmade crackers are kind of like snowflakes; each is unique in shape and there are some variances between batches.

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“The marketplace doesn’t need any more boring, perfectly square crackers,” she says.

Kari explains that crackers seem simple, but like most artisan products (beer, coffee, bread), they are actually quite complicated. There are a lot of variables that add to the challenge of cracker-making. When the grain is milled, the water and the weather can affect the dough and the outcome of a batch.

Adding to that challenge, Kari is dedicated to showcasing different grains and local growers and millers. “What I want is for people to taste the beauty of the grain, the complexity of the wild yeast and fermentation, and the wholesomeness of grain from the Great Lakes region,” she says.

Kari offers three varieties: whole wheat sourdough and sea salt, whole spelt sourdough and sea salt, and golden rye and caraway, and she will offer two seasonal flavors in cocoa and maple and anise.

“At this point, I literally touch and see every cracker. My crackers are made like good bread, and that’s an art and a labor of love that takes time,” she says.

FarmCrisp Crackers are currently for sale at Luna Bakery and you can order them on a cheese plate at Vero Pizza. Kari also bakes to order and sells custom gift boxes and baskets containing her crackers and Ohio artisan cheeses through her website, FarmShareOhio.com.