Friday, September 01, 2006

Animal Crackers

"Animal crackers in my soup
Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop
Gosh oh gee but I have fun
Swallowing animals one by one"

A great song originally sung by Shirley Temple, and my favorite childhood version by Anne Murray, among others. Animal crackers are actually an English invention from the late 1800's, originally called animals. After coming to the United States, P.T. Barnum used to sell these circus crackers to promote the circus. The string on the box was not originally put on as a handle, but it was to hang the boxes as ornamental presents at Christmas for children.

They are not just a snack. The name has been used as a Broadway play, a comic strip, several films and songs. And there is the age-old philosophical debate Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

There have been 54 different animals throughout the years in that colorful circus box. Currently there are 18 types of crackers? How many can you name? And in 2002, the one hundredth year of the Barnum's Animal Crackers, a new animal was voted on and added - Bonus points if you can name that critter. (Click on comments to see the answer)

You have permission to play with your food!


Chef Jen said...

They are two bears (one sitting, one standing), a bison, a camel, a cougar, an elephant, a giraffe, a gorilla, a hippopotamus, a pyena, a kangaroo, a lion, a monkey, a fhinoceros, a seal, a sheep, a tiger and a zebra. Bonus points for the newest addition, a koala bear.

How did you do?

Chef Jen said...

sorry, didn't read before I posted, that should be a hyena, not a pyena

BlueGirlinRedState said...

I have to admit, the bison and the cougar are my favorite circus animals.