Appreciating all that makes America special

Kid Stuff: Cracker Jack

Cracker Jack packaging from 1923, not long after Take Me Out to the Ball Game had made it a household name. Uploaded by lib.uchicago.edu.

My first question – how is that all the peanuts always fall to the bottom? They’re my favorite part of Cracker Jack, and it would be nice to have some with the caramel popcorn, and not have them all at once. I don’t know what it is about them (they were originally coated with molasses, but I don’t think they are anymore), but they’re distinctive. Don’t know any other nuts that taste like them.

Shoeless Joe Jackson Cracker Jack baseball card. Uploaded by collect-antiques.net.

The product goes all the way back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, though the Cracker Jack name didn’t get attached to it until 1896. The song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” released in 1908 created a link to baseball that exists to this day. Oh, speaking of baseball – you know those trinket toys that have been associated with Cracker Jack forever? In 1915 and 1916, the company put a series of baseball cards in their packages. If you wanted a “Shoeless” Joe Jackson card from that set, be prepared to shell out $10,000-$20,000.

They’re crisper than Crunch ‘n Munch, more piquant than Poppycock, and finer than Fiddle Faddle. They’re one of a kind. They’re not just good; they’re Cracker Jack!

Harry Caray sang about Cracker Jack at every Cubs home game, but apparently he had his heart broken by them as a kid:

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One Comment

  1. I could use some Cracker Jacks right about now but I’m stuck at home with my craving. ¬†Thanks a LOT. ¬†;-)