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.
Contributions by Malkmut, 18.104.22.168, and Baseball Bugs.