Earlier this year, Slate HQ was riven by a profound ideological divide—but not over the journalistic value of covering Trump’s tweets or whether The Shape of Water is in fact the most forgettable film ever made. No, this split was about crackers: Specifically, does the sweet snap of the Wheat Thin or the hearty weave of the Triscuit reign supreme?
The intensity of this debate—and the fervor with which it spread on social media, far beyond the confines of our company Slack—felt like evidence of the intense passions so many feel about snacks, those little bouquets of calories and joy that brighten the dreary time between “proper” meals. While an afternoon candy bar or a secret desk stash of salty delights may seem like relatively trivial subjects, they are freighted with all sorts of personal and cultural meaning. And snacking is not only a small, accessible pleasure. It’s also a massive, growing industry: By one estimate, the global market for snack food is expected to reach $639 billion by 2023. It’s a hotbed of innovation and marketing schemes—just look at the profusion of new Doritos flavors or the newfangled vending-machine technology engineered to make between-meal nibbling easier than ever. There’s a lot more to snacking in 2018 than a simple case of the munchies.
So we’re excited to welcome you to Nosh, a pop-up blog about snacks. For the rest of April, we’ll bring you a smorgasbord of pieces about the way we snack now, from odes to specific treats to coverage of the economic, cultural, and philosophical questions surrounding all of this. We hope you enjoy having a little nosh with us—and it won’t ruin your dinner, we promise.