Animal Crackers History | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Animal Crackers History | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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PRODUCT: Pepperidge Farm Vanilla Grahams Goldfish For National Animal Crackers Day

April 18th is National Animal Crackers Day.

Animal crackers originated in England in the late 1800s, as animal biscuits. When, in 1889, P.T. Barnum decided to tour England with his circus, several manufacturers took advantage of a marketing opportunity and called the biscuits “Barnum’s.”

The animal biscuits were exported to America, inspiring local bakeries to make their own. The National Biscuit Co. (today, Nabisco), introduced them 1902 as “Barnum’s Animals”; they added the word “Crackers” in 1948.

The “circus car” box with the string handle was introduced later in the year, as a Christmas tree ornament for Christmas 1902. (Neither P.T. Barnum nor the Barnum & Bailey Circus ever got a cent in licensing fees from any “Barnum’s” crackers or biscuits!)

Other companies continue to make animal crackers. But perhaps the biggest unsung producer is Pepperidge Farm, manufacturers of Goldfish snack crackers. Fish are animals, too! They’re just aquatic animals covered with scales, instead of land animals covered with fur.

Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin discovered the snack cheese cracker on a trip to Switzerland and returned with the recipe. Goldfish were launched in 1962.
Today, Goldfish are made in 10 savory flavors and, with the launch of new Vanilla Grahams, five sweet flavors as well (the others are Chocolate Grahams, Cinnamon Grahams, Honey Grahams and S’mores Adventures).

Unfortunately, the new small fry are just as addictive as all of the other flavors. How did that 6.6-ounce bag end up empty so quickly?

  • To avoid Entire Bag Consumption Disorder, pour your allotment into a ramekin and enjoy it plain or with the beverage of your choice (sweet Goldfish are absolutely perfect with hot chocolate).
  • In addition to snacking, sprinkle your favorite flavor of sweet Goldfish onto ice cream (great crunch!).
  • Let us know if you have a favorite alternative use for sweet Goldfish.
  •   pkg-with-loose-fish2

    Barnum's Animals Box
    [1] New Vanilla Grahams Goldfish (photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE). [2] The original inspiration (photo courtesy Nabisco).

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