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 — known informally as “Fritz” — 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”).
In 1899, Henry Gottlieb Eckstein developed the “waxed sealed package” for freshness, known then as the “Eckstein Triple Proof Package,” a dust, germ and moisture-proof paper package. In 1902, the company was re-organized as Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein.
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, the song written by lyricist Jack Norworth and set to music by Albert Von Tilzer gave Cracker Jack free publicity when it was released in 1908 with the line “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack!”
Prizes were included in every box of Cracker Jack beginning in 1912.One of the first prizes was in 1914 when they produced the first of two Cracker Jack baseball card issues, which featured players from both major leagues as well as players from the short lived Federal League. 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.
Mascots Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, were introduced in 1918 and registered as a trademark in 1919. Sailor Jack was modeled after Robert Rueckheim, nephew of Frederick and Louis Rueckheim. Robert, the son of a third and eldest Rueckheim brother Edward, died of pneumonia shortly after his image appeared at the age of 8. The sailor boy image acquired such meaning for the founder of Cracker Jack that he had it carved on his tombstone, which can still be seen in St. Henry’s Cemetery, Chicago. Sailor Jack’s dog Bingo was based on a real-life dog named Russell, a stray dog adopted by Henry Eckstein in 1917 who demanded that the dog be used on the packaging. Russell died of old age in 1930.
A RARE ORIGINAL HUNKY DORY BOX which is CHOCOLATE CRACKER JACK from 1910s. This HUNKY DORY UNUSED BOX is made by, RUECKHEIM BROS and ECKSTEIN, the same people who brought to the WORLD the FAMOUS POPCORN CONFECTION, CRACKER JACK, in fact HUNKY DORY is CHOCOLATE COVERED CRACKER JACK! RUECKHEIM BROS and ECKSTEIN attempted to have LIGHTNING STRIKE TWICE with the name HUNKY DORY as they had done with CRACKER JACK but it was a short lived product for them.
Ingredients: Water, sugar, concentrated orange juice, concentrated apple juice, apricot puree, citric acid, prune syrup, orange pulp, modified corn starch, canola oil, flavour, sodium citrate, colour, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid.
”Beep is a very sweet orange drink that was available across Canada and the United States beginning in the 1960′s but gradually dwindled and was only sold in Nova Scotia until about two years ago when it was discontinued altogether. It is being offered for a limited time in Nova Scotia alone.”
Beep. It’s back!
Farmer’s Co-operative Dairy Ltd. in Bedford is bringing back the sugar-charged drink that was the focus of so much fuss among its fans when it was discontinued two years ago. “There’s a real emotional connection with the drink among its fans,” Andrea Hickey, marketing and communications manager with the co-operative, said Wednesday. The co-operative announced the temporary return of Beep on its website and Facebook page this week, creating some buzz within social media circles.
Fans are especially liking and commenting on the retro packaging. “We like to think we’re bringing it back as a nostalgic treat,” said Hickey.
Most of the buzz about the return of Beep occurred through Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday and Wednesday. “You still won’t be able to call it juice, but there’s that slim chance that a nostalgia-based sellout could carry some weight with the company to bring it back for good,” posted Sarah Kramar on her Beep-dedicated website out of Vancouver.
It was this sort of social media chatter since the drink was discontinued that persuaded Farmer’s to go ahead with a limited run. Containers of Beep will appear on retail shelves throughout Nova Scotia beginning Monday. The drink will be available until October, or as long as quantities last, said Hickey. Farmer’s would not release sales figures but said volumes were low when the decision to discontinue the product was made.
The revived Beep will feature the original 1960s packaging and the original recipe. During the 1960s, Beep was available from licensed dairies across Canada and the United States. It is understood Nova Scotia was the last area where the drink was available when it went out of production here in 2010.
Beep will be available only at locations in Nova Scotia serviced by Farmer’s.
According to a Gold Medal Jubilee recipe pamphlet published in 1955, (and noted in “Fashionable Food/Seven Decades of Food Fads” by Sylvia Lovegren) “light and airy chiffon pies were popular under the name of ‘sissy pies’ in the early 1900s. These sissy pies were also called fairy tarts or fluff, sponge or soufflé pies—were based on variously flavored puddings, lightened with beaten egg whites, that were then baked in a pastry crust. They contained no gelatin, the common ingredient of the modern unbaked chiffon pie. Lovegren writes that the first mention she was able to find of a chiffon pie as we know it, made with gelatin and uncooked beaten egg whites, appeared under the name of coffee soufflé pie in Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries from 1922. Writes Lovegren, “Gelatin and egg white-lightened chiffon pies, which were basically old-fashioned gelatin sponges or “snows” served in a crust—became all the rage in the forties. They were so popular that they rated a separate section in the 1943 edition of Joy of Cooking. Virtually any flavor you could come up with went into these confections. Chiffon pie also helped usher in the era of the crumb pie shell based on crushed graham crackers or breakfast cereal…”
Text taken from Joseph Hart’s article “When Harry Met Betty” & article by Sandy Chatter & writer Schmidt.
In an article titled “When Harry Met Betty” author Joseph Hart writes, “One of life’s great truths… is that beneath its surface lies complexity. Our beloved fictions of heroes and villains crumble with scrutiny, leaving only convolution, shifting meanings, and unstable realities. The same is true of things. Even the simplest object has its hidden history of longing, love, and despair. Take, for example, cake. Chiffon cake…”
Hart continues, “Ask someone who lived through the 1950s, to name the icons of that era, and chances are that—along with the ’57 Chevy, Lucy and Ricky, and the cul-de-sac rambler—chiffon cake will make their list. The recipe was introduced by General Mills in 1948 with a major marketing blitz that featured Betty Crocker, another 1950s icon. With Betty’s help, chiffon became a nationwide sensation. Billed as “the first really new cake in a hundred years,” thanks to its “mystery ingredient,” chiffon was light and fluffy like angel food cake, yet also rich and moist like butter cake, and it rapidly became a favorite of housewives from Syracuse to Oceanside.”
The real mystery, says Hart, “Lurking beneath its lemony glaze is not a secret ingredient, but the secret life of its reclusive inventor: the appropriately named Harry Baker…”
Harry Baker arrived in Hollywood in 1923 and began to tinker with cake recipes. Baker worked diligently, creating over 400 variations of an angel food cake, trying to create a moister sweeter angel food cake. Nothing satisfied him until he thought to add some salad oil to his recipe. Years later he would tell a reporter at the Minneapolis Tribune that the addition of the salad oil was “a sixth sense, something cosmic” – at any rate, a new Hollywood star was born.
By what Harry Baker might have described as another cosmic twist, two years later he walked into the Brown Derby with a sample of his cake. It became one of the Derby’s signature dishes and for quite some time it was the ONLY dessert served at the Brown Derby. One of the most popular desserts at the Derby was Harry Baker’s Grapefruit Chiffon Cake. which, according to its creator, he made especially for Hollywood gossip columnist Luella Parsons. “Louella was over weight and she held weekly staff meetings at the Derby,” he explained. “She threatened to move her meeting if they didn’t come up with a less fattening dessert. She told them ‘put grapefruit on something. Everyone knows that grapefruit is less fattening…”
Harry Baker’s fortunes rose with the Derby and he began receiving requests for cakes from famous actresses such as Barbara Stanwyck and Dolores del Rio, to be served at their parties. Throughout the 1930s, Baker’s cake reputation spread far and wide and orders came in faster than he could fill them. He mixed batter for each cake individually and baked them separately using twelve tin hot plate ovens set up in a spare bedroom. Finished cakes cooled on the porch where customers retrieved them leaving $2.00 payment in the mail slot. At the height of his business, Baker produced 42 cakes in an 18 hour day from which he grossed in equivalent, in today’s dollars, about $900.00 (Baker during his Hollywood heyday, shared his apartment “with his aging mother”). Joseph Hart began researching the life of Harry Baker and in 2003 wrote a short article for the Larchmont Chronicle, a newspaper that served the Hollywood neighborhood where Harry Baker had lived.
The sale of the recipe to General Mills took on a new twist in writer Schmidt’s telling: ‘Having been evicted from his apartment, and fearing memory loss, the usually reclusive Baker trekked uninvited to Minneapolis to sell his recipe. After he sold his recipe to General Mills—the exact amount was kept secret—Harry Baker slipped away from public life. There was speculation about his whereabouts; Hart found, however, a death record for September 27, 1974, at the age of 91, Harry Baker suffered heart failure at the California Convalescent Center in Los Angeles. So, perhaps he never ventured very far from the Hollywood that had given him such a good life in return.
READ THE REST OF THE STORY AFTER THE JUMP… and 2 RECIPES TOO!
It’s an eight-inch, hand-crafted chocolate cock (The picture above shows the fresh mint fondant filling with smooth fluid texture), weighing 400 grams. That’s not all: this phallus for foodies comes full of a variety of delicious creamy, alcoholic fondants. For chocoholic girlfriends or gay friends, this could be a very special present. Or it could be an ‘apology gift’ for when you have to, er, stand someone up. It’s reassuringly expensive and beautifully packed in a climate-controlled box, so can be sent anywhere.
Created with the most indecent intentions, our first work invites you to sin exceedingly with the union of two ancestral pleasures: sex and chocolate. For starters, we offer you an exclusive creation, an orgasmic chocolate cock: A large truffle made with Ghanian cocoa filled with soft and perverse fluids that can ooze over anything you like.