Cracker Barrel is a walk down memory lane

October 9, 2013

Moon pieFew things are so perfectly evocative as an Old Time Cracker Barrel restaurant. Since my husband and I began our first married life together in the South, I was shocked that he’d never been to one, and then, delighted to find a Cracker Barrel just about a mile from our Alburqurque hotel.

Off we went. At the time, we knew nothing about the history of  homophobic management. A friend has since informed me. I did some internet research–very quickly–and found just a few mentions. But before I give them my patronage again, I’ll look further into it. For now, though,  let’s talk culture.

We lived in Tallahassee, Fla. in the 1970s, a small city that had more in common with south Georgia than with any city in Florida. And that included its habits and its cuisine.

If you lived in the South, too, you remember Moon Pies, and the preferred beverage to accompany a Moon Pie was this:

RC colaUnfortunately, no RC cola to be had, and we resisted the purchase of a box of Moon Pies. It was enough to look and remember our youth. Besides, if we ate that stuff now, it would probably kill us.

soft drinksHowever, there were many other old-timey sodas on offer. I don’t remember them all, but it certainly looks like an authentic collection, all for sale at the Cracker Barrel in Albuquerque.

pecan rollRemember these? If your parents ever drove you down the eastern seaboard, the brand you saw on every billboard was Stuckey’s.  Boy, were they disgusting! I’m sure these, made for Cracker Barrel, are just as super-sweet. Sickly-sweet.

gogooProduct names of old were definitely more interesting back in the day. Goo-Goo Clusters. That says it all.

jawbrekrRemember jawbreakers? How can you forget?

candy sticksOr those glass jars full of stick candy, especially “horehound?” These go back more than a century.

neccoWe decided not to resist Necco wafers. We bought a few rolls to bring home.  Yes, I know they’re pretty tasteless, but such good memories come with them that we hardly notice. Well, I just realized what they taste like.  They taste like childhood.

coke cakeWe did sit down for lunch. I had a delicious lemon-pepper trout and M. had chicken fried steak, along with the most delicious mashed potatoes ever We really wanted this chocolate Coca Cola cake, but were way too full.

Did these photos invoke any memories of your own you’d like to share?

12 comments on “Cracker Barrel is a walk down memory lane
  1. I remember a lot of those things. Especially the jawbreakers. lol

  2. Horehound drops! My grandmother always had them around and the first time I saw them as an adult was at a Cracker Barrel. My sons, in their pre-teen days, loved going to Cracker Barrel when we were traveling from Alabama to Virginia to visit grandparents. There, they could order a big ‘manly’ meal…and wipe the plate clean. I had never seen this chain until I moved to the Deep South in 1986!
    Thanks for that memory.

    • admin says:

      Horehound was what caught my eye in that display. But there’s another memory, too. My ex and I drove from Fla. to Rochester NY the month before my mom died and in a Cracker Barrel I bought all sorts of Christmas stuff to decorate her hospital room. I’ll always remember that.

  3. Oh darn, Now I am hungry and I want to go.

  4. I still live in the south and will occasionally go to Cracker Barrel (didn’t know about the homophobic story). I’ll generally get a vegetable plate with corn bread. This is not to be confused with a vegetarian plate because all their vegetable have hunks of ham or a slab of bacon in them! YUMM, I lie to myself and say I’m eating healthy because it’s vegetables.

  5. Ruth Curran says:

    OMG…I can smell, taste, and feel the silky yet gritty black licorice Neco wafers just like it was yesterday…. I am not sure I want to know what is them but I sure remember how it felt to eat them :)!

  6. Maryn says:

    I could not resist reading this post and going down memory lane. As a southerner myself, I not only remember these sugary treats, I am still surrounded by them. Cracker Barrel has their home office nearby as does GooGoo Clusters. Did you know that Googoo got its name from the Grand Ole Opry not the fact that it is gooey gooey good? My favorite thing to take away from a Cracker Barrel is either the Necco wafer or the King Leo peppermints. Mmm good.

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