For over 150 years, OTC® Oyster Crackers have been delighting generations
of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey diners.
The oyster crackers were introduced in Trenton, NJ in 1847 by an English
immigrant, Adam Exton. Exton conceived the idea of baking a cracker
to be used in oyster stews. In those days, oysters were as popular as
shrimp today. As the saying went: "Six oysters a day will help
keep the doctor away."
1848, one year after the Exton crackers arrived on the Trenton scene,
Ezekiel Pullen began baking an "Original Trenton Cracker"
in the kitchen of his home. He sold his crackers from the back of his
wagon as he made his way along Trenton streets. Both businesses grew
as a craze for oysters developed in the 1860's and 1870's. OTC's ®
became available from wooden barrels in neighborhood stores and in seafood
restaurants. During the Civil War, the Exton company supplied its crackers
to the Union army.
In 1887 Christopher Cartlidge bought the Pullen Cracker Co and renamed
it Original Trenton Cracker Company. In 1962, after 115 years of rivalry,
the Cartlidge family bought the Exton company, making it at last the
one and only "Original Trenton Cracker." Specialty Brands
of America owns the OTC® brand since 1993.
What sets apart O.T.C's ® from any other oyster cracker is their
firm texture. The secret of O.T.C's ® lies in the time consuming
preparation and baking. The dough is given hours to rise naturally.
Then it is kneaded and layered over and over. The crackers are stamped
in rounded form and baked very slowly. So you get crackers that are
crisp and crunchy all the way through.
OTC's ® are traditionally served with oyster stews and soups where
they remain crisp to the last spoonful. They are perfect partners to
seafood and salads. They are also popular as a snack, either alone or
with a dab of horseradish or cocktail sauce to add a bit of zip.
Click below for more on O.T.C.