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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Pumpkins

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Pumpkins


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There is a lot more to pumpkins than pumpkin spice lattes

istockphoto.com

Pumpkins haven’t always been as popular as they are today. In fact, pumpkins were hardly eaten by people for a considerable part of the 19th century. Hard to believe considering pumpkin spice seems take over our taste buds every fall season. No food is above a little help from pumpkin spice: Pumpkin flavored yogurt, coffee, candies, and even English muffins are cropping up on our supermarket shelves.

This fall season while you snack on your artisanal pumpkin [insert food here]; consider the facts about this versatile, tasty treat to discover how pumpkins went from the bottom to the food chain to the top of fall food trends over the past several hundred years.

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Pumpkins

istockphoto.com

Pumpkins haven’t always been as popular as they are today. No food is above a little help from pumpkin spice: Pumpkin flavored yogurt, coffee, candies, and even English muffins are cropping up on our supermarket shelves.

This fall season while you snack on your artisanal pumpkin [insert food here]; consider the facts about this versatile, tasty treat to discover how pumpkins went from the bottom to the food chain to the top of fall food trends over the past several hundred years.

45 Different Varieties of Pumpkins

istockphoto.com

While the round orange pumpkin is the most recognizable pumpkin, pumpkins come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some of the cleverly named pumpkin varietals include, Halloween in Paris from France, Cinderella (the varietal cultivated by the Pilgrims), and Wee-Be-Little a miniature pumpkin varietal.

For a pumpkin recipe that celebrates the diverse varietals of this gourd try this Apple Pumpkin Soup recipe.

Irish Jack-O-Lanterns

The tradition of carving pumpkins originated in Ireland. The Irish would carve jack-o-lanterns out of turnips to scare away evil spirits during the Celtic holiday Samhain, the night when spirits of the dead would walk the earth.

Looking for something to do with the leftover pulp from your jack-o-lantern? Try this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread recipe.

October = Pumpkin Month

80 percent of the pumpkin crop in the U.S. is available during October. That is roughly 800 million pumpkins out of the 1 billion pumpkins grown in the U.S. each year.

To celebrate the peak of pumpkin harvest season, try this tasty fall Pumpkin Seed Brittle recipe.

“Pumpkin Capital” of the World

Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world. Illinois is one of the largest producers of pumpkin in the United States with 90 to 95 percent of its crop being used for processed pumpkin foods.

For a simple pumpkin recipe, try this Pumpkin Pancakes recipe that uses canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain more protein than peanuts and are a wonderful roasted with spices or salt. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of salads or eat as a snack on their own.

Save the seeds of your pumpkin for a healthy snack, like this recipe for Wasabi Soy Pumpkin Seeds.

Pumpkins are 90 Percent Water

Admittedly, this is less of a surprising fact when you consider that pumpkins come from the same family as the watermelon and cucumber.

Try one of these pumpkin flavored cocktail recipes that are anything but watery.

Pumpkins are a Fruit

Pumpkins are a squash and a member of the gourd family, the same family as melons, cucumbers, and zucchini. While technically a fruit, pumpkins are generally treated as a vegetable in most recipes.

Try this simple Pumpkin Gratine recipe, which celebrates the savory qualities of this most unconventional fruit.

Pumpkins are Grown on 6 of the 7 Continents

Pumpkins are native to Mexico, but are grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Americans love pumpkin, but so do the people on the other 6 continents that choose to grow pumpkins. In celebration of the pumpkin’s multicultural popularity try this Italian-inspired Pumpkin Lasagna with Rosemary Ricotta recipe.

Survival Food

Colonial Americans relied on the hearty pumpkin crop for nourishment, and used it as a replacement food for European staples that were not readily available in their new home. Once trade and shipping with Europe was well-established and reliable in the 19th century, the pumpkin nearly disappeared from the American diet. Instead, the pumpkin was used to feed livestock.

The early American settlers from England used this crop as a grain substitute often pairing pumpkin with corn. Try this Quinoa-Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin recipe, which pairs hearty grains with rich pumpkin for a healthy meal.

The First Pumpkin Pie

Thinkstock / tvirbickis

While you can’t say pumpkin pie without thinking about Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie probably wasn’t even on the pilgrims menu. The early settlers tended to use pumpkin in savory dishes as a grain substitute. Pumpkin pie was derived from the popular dish which involved removing the seeds of the pumpkin and filling the whole pumpkin with spices, milk, and honey before cooking the pumpkin directly on the hot ashes of a fire.

Try this Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie recipe at Thanksgiving.

The Literary Pumpkin

Of course, Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage comes to mind when you think of this gourds appearance in your favorite stories, but pumpkins also appear in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow” and Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor.”

Try this Savory Pumpkin Toaster Pastry, which calls for either fairytale or Cinderella pumpkin.

World’s Heaviest Pumpkin

According to the Genius World Records, Beni Meier of Ludwigsburg, Germany set the record in 2014 for growing the heaviest pumpkin, which weighed 2323 pounds.

What would you make with all that pumpkin? Try on of these 10 Great Pumpkin Recipes.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.


12 Things You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel

We recommend pondering these fun facts over a Chicken n' Dumplins platter.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, we're willing to bet at least a few of these tidbits will surprise you.

The first Cracker Barrel location was opened off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969 by a man named Dan Evins. Back then, even the cornbread was made from scratch, a practice that is still going strong today. (Unrelated fun fact: Lebanon is also where we hold the Country Living Fair in Tennessee!)

When Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel, he was working for his grandfather's gasoline business. Back in the late '60s, the interstate road system was still in its nascent stages, and Evins wanted to find a way to better service the needs of drivers, while also expanding his family's oil business. He thought a down-home country store inspired by the ones he'd visited as a boy in Tennessee would be more enticing to homesick travelers than fast-food restaurants.

More Cracker Barrel locations were opened throughout the early '70s, all of which included gas pumps, but when the oil embargo of the mid-seventies hit, new locations were built without pumps. These days, Cracker Barrel is no longer in the fuel game&mdashhowever, 32 current stores do have electric vehicle charging stations.

All of those tools, signs, photographs and toys that decorate the walls of your local Cracker Barrel? They're all authentic vintage items&mdashno reproductions allowed. Back when the first Cracker Barrel opened, founder Dan Evins asked Don and Kathleen Singleton, a couple who ran a local antiques store, to help him decorate the space in the style of an old country store. Today, the couple's son, Larry Singleton, is still in charge of finding unique regional artifacts for new restaurant locations. In fact, Larry runs an entire decor warehouse filled with over 90,000 artifacts at the company's headquarters in Tennessee, where his team restores and archives every fabulous antique item that he purchases.

In the early years, Don and Kathleen would store their vintage finds in Larry's grandparents' bedroom. Now, Larry says he loves visiting the old Cracker Barrel stores that his parents decorated, like Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville. Today, he gets a lot of calls from dealers asking to buy various antiques from the stores, but he always says no.

Each restaurant features unique local finds that reflect the community's history, every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has an ox yoke and a horseshoe hanging over the front door, a traffic light over the restrooms, a deer head over the mantel, and a cookstove used as a display in the retail sections. (CB currently owns 783 cookstoves!)

To keep up with the dusting, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are staffed around the clock. When the store closes, a staff comes in to clean and dust everything.

Cracker Barrel restaurants also serve 151 million eggs, 121 million slice of bacon, 56 million pancakes, 37 million portion of grits, 13 million pounds of chicken tenders, and over 4 million Moon Pies annually.

American country stores in the late 19th century stocked barrels of soda crackers, which customers would often gather around to chat and socialize (think of them as the water coolers of their day). The term "cracker-barrel" eventually came to refer to the simple, rustic informality and straightforwardness that was characteristic of these conversations and the country stores they took place in.

Have you ever wondered if the Cracker Barrel cheese you see at your local grocery store is affiliated with Cracker Barrel restaurants? It's not. In fact, Kraft Foods&mdashwhich has sold cheese under the Cracker Barrel label since 1954&mdashfiled a trademark infringement lawsuit against the restaurant chain in 2013 when it licensed its name to a division of Smithfield Foods for a line of meat products to be sold in grocery stores. While the line did not sell any cheeses, Kraft was concerned that customers would get confused by the two similarly named brands. Today, bacon, hams, deli meats, baking mixes and more are available at grocery stores under the CB Old Country Store&trade brand to avoid confusion.

Cracker Barrel often partners with some of the biggest names in country music to release exclusive albums that can be purchased at its Old Country Stores and on its website. In addition to working with singers like Alabama and Alan Jackson, the chain teamed up with the one-and-only Dolly Parton to release a two-disc album titled An Evening with. Dolly Live in 2012, which went on to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Cracker Barrel also released Dolly's Backwoods Barbie Collector's Edition disc in 2008.

Over 10 million peg games have been made exclusively for Cracker Barrel stores. And everyone who has ever been to a Cracker Barrel knows that playing the peg game found on every table is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to show up. Thanks to this genius tutorial, now you can impress your friends and family by solving the game in three simple moves.