Here at Pigtails & Crewcuts, we love our animal crackers. We hand them out freely, because they make kids happy, and that makes moms happy and all of the above makes us happy.
Plus, they’re a tasty snack that’s not loaded with sugar, and who doesn’t love to nibble off an ear or two? Animal crackers encourage you to play with your food!
April 18 is National Animal Cracker Day, so we thought we’d do some detective work and learn about the history of the animal cracker. Here’s what we found:
- Barnum’s Animals, which later became Barnum’s Animal Crackers, were created by Nabisco in 1902. They were inspired by a British recipe and named after P.T. Barnum, founder of “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
- The nostalgic-looking Barnum’s Animal Crackers box, which was designed to resemble a circus wagon, doubled as a Christmas ornament during the holidays, hence, the string handle.
- 54 different animals have been featured as crackers in an array of different brands. Barnum’s Animals have included 37 different species.
- They’re famous! Shirley Temple sang “Animal Crackers in My Soup” in the 1937 film, Curly Top.
- 2002 was the 100th anniversary of Barnum’s Animals, and in honor of the occasion, Nabisco introduced a koala bear into the mix. That koala was voted in by fans, defeating its cobra, penguin and walrus challengers.
- You can make your own! Here’s a popular recipe for Animal Crackers from AllRecipes.com. Nabisco also offers a number of recipes that incorporate the crackers, including this adorable merry-go-round cake.
- More than 40 million packages are sold each year, and the U.S. exports them to 17 countries.