Snack Facts: The Incredible History Behind Some of Your Favorite Foods

Quick … what's your favorite snack?

If you answered OREOS® with milk, or RITZ® Crackers and cheese, or
maybe even a MOON PIE®, then you just named a snack enjoyed by
millions of people the world over. But do you know how some of these
popular snack foods got their start? Many of these tasty tidbits have an
awesome history. Check out the following incredible snack facts:

THE INVENTION OF THE MOON PIE®

Bet you didn't know the genuine MOON PIE® is produced exclusively by
the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee. But no one knows for sure how
MOON PIES® were invented. Supposedly, back in the early 1900's, a
man named Earl Mitchell, Sr. (a salesman for the bakery) was visiting
one of the company stores that catered to coal miners. Mr. Mitchell
asked the miners what they would like for a new snack. They told him
they wanted something for their lunch pails – something solid that would
fill them up. When Mr. Mitchell asked the miners what size they wanted
this snack to be, one miner saw the moon rising. He put his hands up
and framed the moon. Then he said, "just this size."

Mr. Mitchell went back to the bakery. He saw workers there coating
graham cookies with marshmallow, then putting them on the window sill
to harden. Mr. Mitchell asked them to put two of these cookies together
and coat them with chocolate, and that's how the MOON PIE® was
invented! By the late 1950s, the MOON PIE® was so popular it was all
the bakery had money to produce.

HOW FIG NEWTONS® COOKIES GOT THEIR START

The main ingredient for this famous snack is figs, of course, since FIG
NEWTONS® cookies are soft, cake-like cookies filled with a chewy fig
jam. But, the creation of these delicious sweets wasn't possible until
1891, when a special apparatus was invented just to make them. Until
then there was no way to get the fig jam into the cake or the cake around
the jam. James Henry Mitchell invented this special funnel within a
funnel. The inside funnel supplies a stream of jam. The outer funnel
produces a tube-like stream of dough, creating an endless rope of
yummy, fig-filled cookies we know as FIG NEWTONS®.

RITZ® CRACKERS ARRIVE ON THE SNACK SCENE

Times were tough for Americans during the Great Depression. Few
people could afford luxuries or fancy foods, but everyone wanted a great
cracker. In 1934, the National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco) tried
recipe after recipe before they developed what they knew would be the
finest, tastiest cracker on the market. They named their luxurious, but
affordable, cracker the RITZ® Cracker (probably because anything
glamorous, classy, ​​or fancy was called "ritzy" back then). It was popular
everywhere – from the most modest home to the elegant Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel, where it's still a regular feature on the menu.

THE BIRTH OF THE OREO® COOKIE

The OREO® cookie was born in 1912, but no one seems to know for
sure where the name came from. Since then over 362 billion of these
cream-filled chocolate wonders have been eaten, making them the
world's most famous cookie. If all 362 billion OREO® cookies were
stacked on top of each other the pile would reach the moon and back
more than five times. Now that's a lot of cookies!

KOOL-AID® FIRST QUENCHES AMERICA'S THIRST

Did you know KOOL-AID® is the official soft drink of Nebraska? KOOL-
AID® was invented in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1927, by a chemist named
Edwin Perkins. As a child, Perkins developed many flavoring extracts
and perfumes. This led to his own mail-order company, which eventually
resulted in modern-day KOOL-AID®. Nowadays KOOL-AID® is an all
American favorite. And, more KOOL-AID® is sold the week right before
and the week after the 4th of July than at any other period during the
year.

The next time someone asks you, "Quick … what's your favorite snack,"
when you give them your answer, you might also share some of these
incredible snack facts.