Food & dining

Short Orders

Homemade crackers from an old southern Italian recipe

Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

Irene Costello (left) and Joan MacIsaac are the owners of Effie’s Homemade, of Hyde Park.


Many who taste Effie’s Homemade Oatcakes fall in love with the slightly sweet, buttery, and nutty cracker-cookie. The same goes for crunchy corncakes, made with masa and cornmeal, subtly flavored with anise. Owners and longtime pals Irene Costello and Joan MacIsaac started the Hyde Park company five years ago. Last year, they added a crispy, pecan nutcake with a caramelized flavor, perfect as a tea biscuit. Now, the Effie’s ladies have rolled out a line of rustic crackers made with Turkish coarse semolina. Fine semolina is used to make pasta; the coarser wheat gives the crisps their grainy texture. “They’re like a Sardinian flatbread,’’ says MacIssac. The duo got the idea from an old southern Italian recipe. Effie’s Homemade Semolina Crackers ($5.99 for a 6-ounce bag), made with olive oil, come in roasted garlic and coriander, sunflower and sesame, and sea salt with lavender. All are dusted with coarse salt, and are a delicious accompaniment to cheeses and dips. The entrepreneurs seem to hit a bull’s eye with each new product. Available at DeLuca’s Market, 239 Newbury St., 617-262-5990; City Feed and Supply, 672 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1700; Pemberton Farms, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 800-551-7327; Wagon Wheel Nursery & Farmstand, 927 Waltham St, Lexington, 781-862-2112, Shubie’s, 16 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, 781-631-0149, or go to

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