16
Jun
09

A great day for sticky food

Apparently there’s something about the middle of June that brings out the creativity in people who love food.

According to legend, on this day in 1893, R. W. Rueckheim invented the forerunner of the snack with a prize (but an ever-declining number of peanuts) in every box, Cracker Jack. His company, F.W. Rueckheim and Brother, introduced the mixture of caramel coated popcorn, peanuts and molasses at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago’s first World’s Fair.

According to the Cracker Jack website, it took a few more years (three, to be exact) before Louis Rueckheim (R. W.’s brother) figured out how to prevent everything from sticking together. An unnamed salesman gave the treat its name when he tried the concoction and exclaimed (in the appropriately melodramatic language of the day), “That’s crackerjack!”

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