FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)
 

Food Articles, News & Features Section

Home       Food Articles       Food Trivia       Today in Food History       Recipes       Cooking Tips       Videos       Food Quotes       Who's Who       Food Trivia Quizzes       Crosswords       Food Poems       Cookbooks       Food Posters       Recipe Contests       Culinary Schools       Gourmet Tours       Food Festivals & Shows

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesFood History 'A' to 'C' >  Animal Crackers

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS &
COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training
Over 1,000 schools & classes listed for U.S., Online & Worldwide

Culinary Posters and Food Art

ANIMAL CRACKERS

 

The product we know today as Animal Crackers came into being in 1902, but it they had existed in similar forms for generations. In the late 1800s, ‘Animals’ (animal shaped fancy cookies) were imported from England. Many of the small, local bakeries in America made different versions called 'Animals' or 'Circus Crackers'. Bakeries began to unite into larger companies with regional and eventual national distribution at the end of the 19th century. One of these was the National Biscuit Company. Packaging became an important factor in marketing on a national scale. Their ‘Animal Biscuits’ were officially renamed 'Barnum's Animals' in 1902. During the Christmas season, the package was redesigned as a circus wagon with a string attached to it, so it could be hung as a Christmas tree ornament. They sold for 5 cents, and they were an immediate hit.

In total there have been 37 different varieties of animal crackers since 1902.  The current 17 varieties of crackers are  tigers, cougars, camels, rhinoceros, kangaroos, hippopotami, bison, lions, hyenas, zebras, elephants, sheep, bears, gorillas, monkeys, seals, and giraffes. There are 22 crackers per box.

More than 40 million packages of these are sold each year, and they are exported to 17 countries. They are turned out at the rate of 12,000 per minute, and nearly 6,000 miles of string are used on the packages. Christopher Morley wrote a poem named for them.

    Animal Crackers
    by Christopher Morley.

    “Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
    That is the finest of suppers I think;
    When I'm grown up and can have what I please
    I think I shall always insist upon these.
    What do YOU choose when you're offered a treat?
    When Mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
    Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
    It's cocoa and animals that I love most!

    The kitchen's the cosiest place that I know;
    The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
    And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
    The cocoa and animals waiting for me.

    Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
    With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
    But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
    Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
    And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
    Having cocoa and animals once more for tea!”


But the most famous reference to Animal Crackers is most likely in the Shirley Temple film 'Curleytop', in which she sang "Animal crackers in my soup, Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop, Gosh, oh, gee, but I have fun! "
 

TOP 

RELATED ARTICLES

1871 Paris Siege Menu in French       1871 Paris Siege Menu in English       A la mode       A Matter of Taste: Unfamiliar Foods       Animal Crackers       Apalachicola       Apples: A Short History       Apple Brown Betty       Arpicots, The Precocious Fruit       Bacon, Bringing it Home       Bain Marie       Baked Alaska       Balsamic Vinegar       Banana Bread       Bavarian Cream       Beans: History & Nutrition       Beef Wellington       Biscuits: A Short History       Blueberry History       Breakfast Cereal & The Kelloggs       Caesar Salad Origin       Canning: A History of Canned Foods       Cantaloupe (The Seeds Of Columbus)       Cans, Extreme Shelf Life       Celery, A History       Chateaubriand       Cheddar Cheese Origins       Cherries, History of Cherries       Chicken a la King       Chuckwagon History       Chutney Origins       Cocoa and Chocolate History       Corn: The History of Corn       Creme Bavaroise Origin       Crepes Suzette       Cucumber History & Use

 

   Home        About Us & Contact Us        Cooking Contests        Free Magazines        Food Links  
Copyright notice

 

 

 

POPULAR PAGES

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals