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Cracker Jack

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Cracker Jack is a U.S. brand of snack consisting of strong molasses flavored candy-coated popcorn and peanuts, well known for being packaged with a prize of nominal value inside. Some food historians consider it the first junk food. Cracker Jack is also famous for its connection to Baseball lore. Frederick William Rueckheim and his brother Louis mass-produced an early version of Cracker Jack and sold it at the first Chicago World's Fair in 1893. At the time, it was a mixture of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts and was called "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts".

Rueckheim devised a way to keep the popcorn kernels separate in 1896. As each batch was mixed in a cement-mixer-like drum, a small quantity of oil was added — a closely-guarded trade secret. Before this change, the mixture had been difficult to handle as it stuck together in chunks. In 1896, the first lot of Cracker Jack was produced. It was named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked, "That's crackerjack!" (a colloquialism meaning "of excellent quality").

Prizes were included in every box of Cracker Jack beginning in 1912. The prizes attained pop-culture status with the term "came in a Cracker Jack box," referring to an object of limited value. In recent years, the toy and trinket prizes have been replaced with paper prizes displaying riddles and jokes.

Cracker Jack is very popular during baseball games. It is also served as a snack or finger food. They are easy to prepare and can be often made at home. The preparation of this snack calls for mixing the peanuts and popcorn with homemade caramel, after what let the caramel dry for several minutes. Once dry and cooled, they are ready to be served.


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References

Cracker Jack, en.wikipedia.org

Take Me Out to the Ball Game With Homemade Cracker Jacks, www.yumsugar.com

Oh Cracker Jacks! Recipe for Caramel Popcorn, savorysweetlife.com