Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18: National Animal Crackers Day

Oh, animal crackers.  To many, myself included, they are a fond part of childhood.  Maybe you only got them at the circus, to match the packaging.  Maybe you have fond memories of using the box as a Christmas decoration.  Or maybe, like me, you eat the plain cookies and, for no particular reason at all, experience a general feeling of a happy childhood. 

When I think of animal crackers, I think of one brand: Barnum's Animal Crackers.  With the signature box packaging and the circus theme, those are the iconic animal crackers. For those of you who read the label, a standard box is 240 calories and the cookies don't appear to have any animal byproducts so I believe they are vegan,  but they do have HFCS.  So if HFCS is a concern for you, you'll want to avoid those cookies.  You can always try making your own. 

I'm not the only one that loves animal crackers - there's a tumblr tag for them and there are quite a few posts about animal crackers.  Be sure to check out 15 facts about animal crackers.  Or check out a comprehensive history of animal crackers.  Apparently, Barnum's Animal Crackers are only made in one place - Fair Lawn, NJ.  I can't find anything official about touring he Fair Lawn, NJ, bakery but reports online are that the factory gives tours and at the end of the tou, you get a box of animal crackers.  I will check this out if I'm ever in NJ.

There's always one that's broken, no matter how carefully you open the box.
And if you use your imagination, you can guess what the animals are.

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