This is a hard review to write without making a comparison to the Cracker Jacks of my childhood. I should just get a few things off my chest, and then attempt to write an unbiased review. So why aren't Cracker Jacks as good as they were when I was a kid? The first thing you'll notice is the lack of box. I know that you can still get Cracker Jacks in boxes, but for the most part you see them in bags today. While this doesn't affect the flavour at all, it does ruin the fun of eating them. The second thing that's changed that happened since I was a kid is the quality of the prizes. Today you're basically getting some kind of sticker, and that's about it. When I was a kid you'd often find some kind of 3 dimensional prize, like a whistle, or some kind of plastic army man. While both of these don't really affect the taste, they do leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Flavour wise I don't think Cracker Jacks have changed much, and that's a good thing. There's something about the caramel coating on Cracker Jacks that I really love. It's a very strong slightly burnt flavour that works really well with the popcorn and peanuts. The peanuts while tasting fine, are really the only complaint I have about the food itself. Once again I have to go back to my childhood where I remember the peanuts being stuck to the popcorn with the caramel. The peanuts in this bag of Cracker Jacks were completely loose, and since they're heavier than the popcorn, they all sunk to the bottom of the bag. It took some clever scooping to get a nice mix with all of the ingredients.
Texture wise Cracker Jacks work really well, as long as you get a nice balance of peanuts and popcorn. The peanuts are fine on their own, as is the popcorn, but together, with the caramel, it’s that much better. There's something about the caramel coating that adds just the perfect candy crunch to everything. The popcorn is fairly evenly coated, and this helps a lot with the texture as well.
I don't think that Cracker Jacks are as good as they where when I was a kid. However, the popcorn and peanuts are still pretty tasty. While I'm happy the taste hasn’t changed much, I was really hoping to get a whistle.