Stay up-to-date with all that's new at My-Island-Jamaica, Click Here to subscribe for my updates and don't miss a thing!

Excelsior Water Crackers | Jamaica's Favourite

by Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer



The Jamaica Biscuit Co Ltd (JAMBISCO) was among the first manufacturing companies in Jamaica and was actually the first and largest biscuit company to be established here. JAMBISCO is the home of the brand Excelsior. But just how old is JAMBISCO? It was established in 1911 and has been manufacturing for over 100 years. Firstly from their factory on Church Street, Kingston, and after that and up to present, from 206 Spanish Town Road in Kingston. The company provides original and flavoured water crackers, salty snacks and cream-filled sandwich biscuits. The #1 JAMBISCO product is the Excelsior Water Crackers which is commonly called tuff(tough)/hard crackers. What do you know about Jamaican tuff crackers? Today, I will share some interesting facts and trivia about Excelsior Water Crackers.
  1. Are Excelsior Water Crackers still made like in the old days?
    Answer: No. You will appreciate that 100 years ago manufacturing processes were very manual and tedious. At that time the crackers were baked using brick ovens.

  2. Why were Excelsior Water Crackers made?
    Answer: They were intended to provide long-lasting food for people who travelled long distances.

  3. Who owns JAMBISCO?
    Answer: In 1999, The Bermudez Group bought the company.

  4. Were Excelsior Water Crackers always packaged the way they are now?
    Answer: No. They were initially sold in carton boxes which wholesalers bought and sold to persons who operated shops. Householders could then purchase retail amounts, such as a dozen, in their own receptacles or bags. Nowadays crackers are packaged in beautifully labelled bags are available in two sizes; 143g and 336g.

  5. How much would a dozen Excelsior Water Crackers cost at that time?
    Answer: At that time 6 pence would get you a dozen and if you desired 2 dozen then you would have to fork out a whopping 6 pence.

  6. Has the texture and toughness of the Excelsior Water Crackers changed over time?
    Answer: No. The cracker has maintained its original size and toughness- this is according to my mom.

  7. Where can I get Excelsior Water Crackers to buy?
    Answer: Locally, it is at corner shops and even bars. Internationally, JAMBISCO’s brands are enjoyed in the USA, UK, Canada and Cayman Islands, you can make your purchases online as well.
  8. Do Jamaicans who travel or live in the Diaspora take tuff/hard crackers with them when they travel abroad?

    Answer: Yes! You will definitely find this cracker stashed in the luggage of Jamaicans going to visit relatives abroad or those returning to their migrant homes. Yes, Excelsior Water Crackers is there right alongside bammy, fried fish and roasted breadfruit.

  9. Does JAMBISCO have other factories in Jamaica?
    Answer: No. The company has 3 centralized distribution hubs in Kingston, Montego Bay and Mandeville. From these locations, the product is trucked not only to supermarkets and convenience stores but to small retailers and even individuals.

  10. Does hard crackers come in other flavours?
    Answer Yes. there is an original unflavoured kind and a cinnamon flavour available.
I must be absolutely honest with you, it may be surprising to learn of the various ways Jamaicans use hard crackers. Seriously, I have never seen a cracker work so hard. Here are 9 ways we use the versatile Excelsior Water Crackers:
  1. Go gourmet and place various toppings on the cracker and serve as an Hors d'oeuvre.
  2. Spread peanut butter, jam, marmalade or Solomon Gundy on it for snacking,
  3. Serve it with cheese for lunch on the go,
  4. Dunk it in a hot or cold beverage at breakfast time,
  5. Crush then and serve with milk as a cereal,
  6. Dropping a few in our broth just before turning off the heat to make the broth a bit more filling,
  7. Give to babies as a substitute for teething rings.
  8. But do you know the most loved way to have Excelsior Water crackers is with steamed fish? We have been serving it this way for at least a century and it has never let us down.
  9. Straight from the pack one at a time.
  10. This one's for you. Tell us what you have seen others eat their hard crackers or with or how you choose to have it.

I also recommend you read Foods Eaten In Jamaica The Favorites & The Traditional.

Regards,
KS

References:
  • Excelsior, Grace Foods, https://gracefoods.ca/product/excelsior/
  • Our Companies, Bermudez Group, http://www.bermudezgroupltd.com/about-us/

Editor's Note
Don't hesitate to submit your questions here! With well over 2000 questions already answered, chances are we can assist :-)

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to article_submission.

Sharing IS Caring... Its now YOUR turn to...


If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, My Island Jamaica Digest here. 

It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica!

Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Talk To Me
Was the information helpful? Something needs changing? I welcome
your feedback here.

Read More ...

-

Recommended For You ...


Other Great Articles You Might Have Missed

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

And, one more way to share My-Island-Jamaica.com...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.


About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned this site featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities. Read more about him here.

He invites you to subscribe to this site to stay updated on all the latest and check out his unique Jamaican products on his Etsy store.  

If you are on social media, here are the links to follow his latest posts

You are also invited to join his exclusive JAMHearts community where like-minded Jamaican enthusiasts discuss all things Jamaican. 

copyscape
Back To The Top Of This Page