What to CookSnacksAppetizers

10 Salty, Savory Snacks for Your Pre-Dinner Ritual

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The pre-dinner jelly bean snack has become my new evening ritual (I prefer that term to "bad habit"). But when I munch on a few here and a few more there as I'm cooking, I find I have to flush my system with water (and my teeth with toothpaste) before starting on dinner.

While I'm all about pellets of flavored sugar, I do sometimes wish I had some salty, crunchy snacks around: pretzels! chips! crackers! Or other crunchy, maybe cheesy friends that would look good on an appetizer plate (or just cradled in one hand as I stir a pot—or scramble eggs—with the other).

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These 10 snacks will do for you what jelly beans (often) cannot:

Peter Reinhart's Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers
Peter Reinhart's Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers
How to Make Cheese Straws
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How to Make Cheese Straws
Olive Oil Tortas (Tortas de Aceite)
Olive Oil Tortas (Tortas de Aceite)
Za'atar-Spiced Chickpea Crackers with Maldon Sea Salt
Za'atar-Spiced Chickpea Crackers with Maldon Sea Salt
Laurie Colwin's Rosemary Walnuts
Laurie Colwin's Rosemary Walnuts
Homemade Cheez-Its
Homemade Cheez-Its
Carta Musica (Semolina Crackers)
Carta Musica (Semolina Crackers)
Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix
Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix
Wasabi Pea Snack Mix
Wasabi Pea Snack Mix
Green Tea Walnuts
Green Tea Walnuts

Or you could, you know, buy some...

Pork Rinds Variety Snack Pack (Pack of 6)

Pork Rinds Variety Snack Pack (Pack of 6)

$21
Granola Sampler

Granola Sampler

$36
Seasoned Roasted Chickpeas (Pack of 4)

Seasoned Roasted Chickpeas (Pack of 4)

$16
Vermont Artisan Cheese Crackers

Vermont Artisan Cheese Crackers

$16

What do you snack on when you're cooking dinner? Tell us in the comments below!