cracker-barrel \KRAK-er-bair-ul\ adjective : suggestive of the friendly homespun character of a country store
In the days before pre-packaged food and huge supermarkets, a trip to the nearest store was more than just an errand; it was also a chance to socialize and keep up with goings-on. The country store of yesteryear was the focal point of many rural communities, and the heart of the country store was the cracker barrel. Literally a barrel containing crackers, the cracker barrel -- which afforded a seat for at least one person -- was the spot where folks would gather to chat about weather and politics, or to swap stories, jokes, and gossip. Today, cracker barrels are largely a thing of the past, but the flavor of those friendly exchanges lives on in the adjective "cracker-barrel."