Crown Pilot Crackers
Crown Pilot was a brand of cracker
Cracker (food)
A cracker is a baked good commonly made from grain flour dough and typically made in quantity in various hand-sized or smaller shapes. Flavorings or seasonings, such as salt, herbs, seeds, and/or cheese, may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top before baking...

 popular in much of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

. It was manufactured by Nabisco
Nabisco is an American brand of cookies and snacks. Headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey, the company is a subsidiary of Illinois-based Kraft Foods. Nabisco's plant in Chicago, a production facility at 7300 S...

 (a subsidiary of Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

 as of 2000) until it was discontinued in the first quarter of 2008. The cracker was unsalted, and closely related to the food "hardtack
Hardtack is a simple type of cracker or biscuit, made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. Inexpensive and long-lasting, it was and is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages and military campaigns. The name derives from the British sailor slang...

". The crackers were an important ingredient in historical recipes of clam chowder
Clam chowder
Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might...



The Crown Pilot cracker is Nabisco's oldest recipe, which was acquired with their purchase of a bakery in Newburyport, Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

. Prior to this, the recipe was created by John Pearson of Newburyport in 1792 for producing sea-going biscuits.

The cracker was discontinued once before in 1996 by Nabisco. This sparked the publicized protests of Donna Damon on Chebeague Island and Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 humorist Tim Sample
Tim Sample
New England humorist Tim Sample , famous both for his presentation and his Maine accent, has sold well over a million copies of his books, albums, and videos . In the summer of 1993, Tim was recruited by Charles Kuralt as a correspondent for the Emmy Award winning TV Show CBS News Sunday Morning...

, which eventually led to an episode of CBS News Sunday Morning
CBS News Sunday Morning
CBS News Sunday Morning is an American television news magazine program created by Robert Northshield and original host Charles Kuralt. The program has aired continuously since January 28, 1979 on the CBS Television Network, airing in the Eastern US on Sunday from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m...

 with Charles Osgood
Charles Osgood
Charles Osgood is a radio and television commentator in the United States. His daily program, The Osgood File, has been broadcast on the CBS Radio Network since 1971. He is also known for being the voice of the narrator of Horton Hears a Who!, an animated film released in 2008, based on the book...

 covering the events. Shortly after this, the company resumed production in 1997 after complaints.

Production of Crown Pilot crackers was ended again by Kraft in 2008, reportedly due to drops in the sales of the product since the 1990s. According to the Kraft spokeswoman, Laurie Guzzinati, demand for the crackers was half of what it was 12 years ago, with about 241,000 pounds sold in 1996.

The crackers are an important ingredient in many New England recipes for seafood stuffing
In cooking, stuffing or filling is an edible substance or mixture, often a starch, used to fill a cavity in another food item...

s, chowders, and soups.
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