The First Ingredient In Goldfish Isn't What You Think

We might think otherwise, but our favorite Goldfish crackers aren't unique to the United States — in fact, they weren't even born here. Our favorite cheesy snack was born in Switzerland back in 1958 and they were known as Goldfischli, a birthday gift from snack maker Oscar Kambly to his wife, who was born as a Pisces (via Kambly). 

Goldfish wouldn't have emigrated to America without the help of Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin, who had made a name for herself in the 1930s and 1940s by making natural, stone-ground whole wheat bread that was packed with nutrients. She was known for traveling to Europe and bringing back the rights to make regional treats in the U.S., including the iconic Milano cookie. 

This partly explains how, by 1961, she had 58 products and sales volumes of $32 million. It was then Rudkin decided to sell her company to Campbell Soup and became the first woman on its board. But she didn't stop traveling, and in 1962, Rudkin discovered Goldfischli, which she decided to bring back to the U.S. before she retired in 1966 (via Fast Company). 

The first Goldfish crackers were sold in four flavors: Cheese, Smoky BBQ, Pizza, and Lightly Salted (via What's In My Food).

Goldfish are loved by kids and adults alike

Goldfish had fans in high places. Famed TV chef Julia Child was said to have used to put Goldfish crackers out as appetizers to those who were invited to her home. In 1988, the iconic snack for the junior after-school set also became known as the space snack when the crew decided to take Goldfish on a 1.7 million mile journey on the Space Shuttle Discovery. And in 1997, Goldfish crackers were allowed to crack their first smiles when they were given faces (via MeTV).

The iconic cracker today is not made with any artificial flavors and preservatives; even dyed crackers are colored by vegetable juice. "I love the idea of snacks nutritionally, as it helps curb cravings and keeps kids full and satisfied with consistent energy throughout the day," nutritionist Beth Warren says. "I advocate having one 'healthy snack' such as a fruit and veggie, and one 'munchie' snack per day, so kids can feel a part of the group at school, which is important for their emotional well-being."

Goldfish are known for being made with real cheese, natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives, and 0 grams of trans fat, with added nutrients, including vitamins B1, B2, folic acid, calcium, and iron. But the first listed ingredient of all bags of Goldfish is "Smiles" — because 40 percent of the fish found in every bag of Goldfish has a grin.