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The History of Ants On A Log

This famous children’s snack has an interesting and mysterious history. Cookbooks confirm that Americans began stuffing celery in the early 20th century. The practice began as a way to create appetizers for adult gatherings and parties. How it evolved into the classic children’s snack made of sliced celery, peanut butter, and raisins is unclear. A recipe from the 1944 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cook Book calls for laying seedless raisins in celery stalks, but it goes on to instruct cooks to fill them with a mixture made from cream cheese, top milk, spec pepper, and paprika. The name “ants on a log” is first mentioned in the Star Tribune in 1959 as a children’s snack, but no recipe is provided. Some people attribute ants on a log to the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. However, neither organization can provide a date of invention or an early print copy of the recipe, nor can they explain the name "ants on a log," which was originally used as a political metaphor in America. It seems that the origin of this beloved snack will remain a mystery for now, but one thing is certain: This healthful children’s treat has helped get kids into the kitchen and involved with cooking for generations, and it is often one of the first snacks that American children learn to make for themselves.

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