Goldfish are, objectively, a perfect food. Tiny little cheesy crackers shaped like adorable fish? What’s not to love? When I was a nanny in my early 20s, I ate handfuls of the crackers pilfered from my charges and developed a deep nostalgic love for the snack that sustained me while I took care of other people’s kids. But the brand’s newest innovation, Goldfish crackers sprinkled with beloved East Coast seasoning blend Old Bay, are a revelation.
Unlike the Goldfish cracker that most of us recognize, these Goldfish aren’t cheesy. The crackers begin as the brand’s “original” flavor, then are seasoned heavily with the familiar, celery-y, slightly spicy flavors of Old Bay. When I cracked open the packaging, which looks a whole lot like a yellow tin of Old Bay, I was instantly transported back to the last time I sat on the shores of the Atlantic, scarfing steamed crab.
They’re certainly better than the classic “original” Goldfish, in which the main flavor note is mostly just salt, and arguably better than the beloved cheddar flavor, at least for adults, thanks to the light spiciness that lingers in the background after you shovel a handful into your face. The crackers are also supremely versatile, both an excellent drinking snack, pairing perfectly with a light beer, and a killer substitute for oyster crackers on top of a bowl of clam chowder.
Even though these crackers don’t exactly recall the oceanic salinity of shrimp or crab boiled in tons of Old Bay, they’re like a snack-sized reminder of your favorite low-country boil, and that’s perfect for those times when you’ve got neither the time or inclination to boil up a mess of seafood. They’re also orders of magnitude cheaper than a platter of crab legs, and that’s essential in this era of outrageous inflation.
Old Bay Goldfish sold out almost immediately after they were introduced this week, but parent company McCormick says that it is currently in the process of shipping bags of the perfectly spiced crackers to grocery stores across the country. Sadly, they’re still billed as a limited-time offering, which means that I’ll probably be spending some time cruising around local grocery stores to build up a stash big enough to last at least a few months.