Let’s settle a very North Carolina argument:
Okay! Here’s what we’re gonna do. Without Googling or making any reference any any official history or source whatsoever, please leave your detailed personal definition of “Nabs” in the discussion below without reading any other comments. You are also free to describe what do not qualify as nabs. Go with your heart here, not your brain. Then—only after you have given your definition—do you have the right to angrily and bitterly tell everyone else how wrong they are about theirs. I grant you permission to die on this hill.
In the interest of transparency, here's the definition I gave Owen and his brother: My Going-With-My-Gut-and-not-Google answer here is that "Nabs" are 6-packs of Lance or Lance-adjacent crackers you carry around in your pocket and bust out at a weird time because you're hungry at a weird time, but this is the sort of thing that Our State would think about HARD.
Nabs are savory (never sweet) orange-colored, peanut butter crackers that come 4 or 6 to a pack. They are found primarily in Sunday-purses and the glove boxes of trucks. They are best enjoyed with either a Sundrop or R(o)C. Lance makes the best - all others are kindly pitiful.
Nabs are a packet of square cheese crackers with either peanut butter or cheese filling. They're made by Lance, but they're called Nabs because the Nabisco company made the first version of them. They're meant to be a portable, quick snack or small lunch, usually when working an hourly job or when you're doing an activity like fishing, when taking a break would be difficult.
Nabs are in the pure sense LANCE cheese crackers with PB. They may include other flavor combos or off brands, but the further away from the original company and flavor combo the less likely they are “Nabs.”
I think they need to be either Lance crackers, or (OR!) clearly some other brand's knock-off attempt at manufacturing a product which *is* a Lance cracker. i.e. Anybody's orange-crackers-with-peanut-butter can be Nabs, because Lance makes that too, but if you're selling, like, rosemary-crackers-with-pickle-relish, 1. Please stop before a cruel god judges us all; and 2. That's not Nabs
Nabs are Lance, and only Lance, cheese crackers with peanut butter filling. Along with a drink (not a cocktail; in my little corner of northwestern NC, "drink" was what we called all sodas) part of my college breakfast routine too many times to count.
Growing up in Portsmouth, VA we called the standard Lance crackers “Nabs”, whether they were the orange crackers, the round peanut butter crackers, the yellow crackers with cheese, etc. only the Lance brand. Any others were considered knock-offs and substandard. I often guessed that “Nabs” was derived from Nabisco somehow, but never saw Nabisco brand crackers until later. Always the Lance brand, the others were crap!
Orange Lance crackers. No doubt about it. And I’m from Charlotte (trying to keep Charlotte from being kicked out of NC)
Pack a’ Nabs: crunchy, peanut-buttery, unnaturally, orange-colored, palm-sized, plastic-wrapped package of familiar, satisfying snack. Pairs naturally with a bottle of Coke and sometimes a chaw of tobacco. Erupts in showers of crumbs. Occurs naturally at gas stations, unless North Carolina gets too fancy.
Appropriately reading this thread while stopped at Wilber's BBQ to pick up lunch
Nabs are small crackers or cookies (about 2" x 2" in size) that come in a package of 6 typically and each nab (singular) is 2 crackers/cookies with some sort filling between two. The classic nabs: 1) Square, cheese-flavored crackers with peanut butter filling; 2) Square, cheese-flavored crackers with cheese filling; and 3) Round, crackers that taste and look like Ritz crackers with peanut butter filling.
Nabs are meant to hold you over between meals so you don't starve to death. They are available by the single pack in convenience stores and more recently can be bought at grocery stores with multiple packages to a box. They are usually one of the more economically priced snacks to go with your Diet Pepsi.
Nabs come in packs. You can only get a pack o’ nabs. Nabs usually have peanut butter or are a pack of salted peanuts. Nabs are usually (but not always) salty. Nabs are not chips. Nabs make a complete meal when paired with a soda (Pepsi, Coke, Cheerwine or Sundrop). Nabs are best when bought from a small convenience store that also sells bait and fishing licenses. Grandpas on the porch shooting the breeze eating nabs is a perfecto.
The Lance Orange crackers with Peanut Butter are the only one I ever specifically referred to as Nabs. My Driver's Ed teacher made us stop at the same convenience store in Grimesland, NC and always asked us if we wanted a Pepsi or a pack of Nabs when he wandered into the store. None of us ever took him up on the offer.
Not much I can add here. We all know it's gotta be Lance. I will tell you "Nabs" are in danger. I walked into a Quicky Mart, another NC term, not long ago and asked the young girl working there "where are the Nabs". She looked at me like I had 3 heads and said "what?" I had to explain.
I am curious where "Nabs" came from.
Nabs are not just ANY Lance product. They must be orange and they must have peanut butter. No cheese. No sour cream and chives. They're best served with a Dr. Pepper.
Nabs are a pack of crackers (but, really, they need to be made by Lance) that can be eaten with a Sun-Drop. That's the Gaston County definition. Unofficial, obviously.
Nabs, as in “pack of nabs”, are the delicious orange sandwich crackers with peanut butter made by Lance. Accept no substitute!
-any variety/combo of cracker and filling
-not cookies, but Nekots DO count
Nabs are Lance crackers - orange (cheese? cheez?) crackers with peanut butter inside. This is the only correct answer. What even is the discussion.
Writing this before I dive into the comments....
Nabs are Lance snack crackers. Traditional Nabs have cheese crackers and peanut butter filling. I will accept other flavors of cracker with a peanut butter or cheese filling as Nabs, but they must be disclosed as non-traditional.
I do not accept sweet fillings (i.e. the lemon creme) as Nabs, though they are delicious.
Lance crackers, any flavor. In my mind they are really only nabs when purchased from a vending machine and washed down with a Diet Pepsi (and a cigarette tbh) instead of a proper lunch. Eastern NC native here!
Crackers! (Can be cookies, I guess.) But the ones that you get in convenience stores, packaged in packs of six. Good enough for a snack. As in: "Want anything from the convenience store? Coke, gum, pack of Nabs?" Can be any brand. The Nabisco folks just need to face that Nabs are to packaged crackers/cookies what Kleenex is to "facial tissue."
Lance Toastchee crackers, easy.
Definitely nabs are the orange peanut butter crackers made by Lance. No generics allowed. I grew up in Mecklenburg county (Charlotte “countryside”). We had 2 old bachelor neighbors that worked for Lance cracker company and they would sometimes gift us with nabs.
Additional info: as I was laughing at reading the other remarks, my 89-yr-old mother chimed in. "The square, orange crackers with peanut butter are called Nabs, no matter who makes them." She grew up in Fuquay-Varina and always called them that. She moved to Greenville as a college student and stayed, and didn't know them by any other name.
Peanut butter or cheese filled crackers sold in packages of 6 or 8 crackers. Called NABS cause they were made by Nabisco. Lance also makes them but I still call them NABS.
Lance Crackers. Anything from Toastchee to Captains Wafers but not the round ones. All squares.
P.S. I only like the Lance brand of nabs. The "Tom's" brand or any other off brand will only do in an emergency situation.
If someone offered me a pack of “nabs”, I’d expect orange crackers filled with peanut butter. Pack of 6. I’d also expect them to be a Lance product. I’d probably choose the round ones with peanut butter. Or, controversially, Nekot. I wouldn’t even consider non-Lance offerings of this genre.
Looking back on it, I think North Carolina common law defined any orange cracker as a "Nab". At my grandfather's gas station in Randolph County in the 1950s, "Nabs" were little hexagonal orange crackers called Goldie Cheez, or something. No peanut butter, just salty crackers the size of a quarter, and they came in a bag. I haven't seen them in years. Cheezits are the same now, except square, and come in a box. The Lance Man also delivered salted peanuts in a little cellophane bag, and the approved way to eat them was to dump the bag down the neck of your Coke bottle, and then drink them. "Nabs" could also be the peanut butter crackers, but we usually just called them "peanut butter crackers."
Bright orange Lance crackers only. Nothing else.
From my high school days at the turn of the '70s...at the Cadet Exchange (kind of an internal convenience store) at Oak Ridge Military Institute (now Academy), they sold cheese Nabs in a stack of 4 or 5 (not the 6-pack layout of today). Yes, they were Lance. And on the end of the cube where the plastic was sealed, they were stamped with a blue star. They were known to the students as "four-point, blue-star, square Nabs." So by definition the round peanut butter crackers were excluded. And they were best paired with an RC Cola, known to us as "R-O-T-C Co-cola." The fact that I remember those details after 55 years reflects what a transcendent snack they were. Good times!
Only toast-chee or toast-chee knock-offs. We also used to make our own by making little sammies with Cheez-its and peanut butter. The cheese cracker is what makes it a nab.
Nabs (as I learned to call them from my grandmother who was born in 1929 and ate them daily as long as I knew her) were individually packaged snack crackers -usually 6 to a package, sometimes 4. Lance was popular around here (Charlotte) but can’t say for sure what brand she ate in Virginia. Peanut butter filled (including the slightly sweeter Nekot crackers) counted, as did the cheese filled. Not sure if the Oreo knock-offs fell under Nab category, or if they were considered more of a dessert cookie. Looking forward to reading what the fuss is all about.
Lived in Charlotte since 1992 (aside from 4 yrs in Chapel Hill) and I have no idea what you are talking about.
Lance Toast-Chee six pack. The others are pretenders. Keeblers can never be Nabs.