> Bless Their Hearts Mom: History Corner: Baking Powder Wars by LindaCivitello
Thursday, May 4, 2017

History Corner: Baking Powder Wars by LindaCivitello

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from the University of Illinois Press, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.


First patented in 1856, baking powder sparked a classic American struggle for business supremacy. For nearly a century, brands battled to win loyal consumers for the new leavening miracle, transforming American commerce and advertising even as they touched off a chemical revolution in the world's kitchens. Linda Civitello chronicles the titanic struggle that reshaped America's diet and rewrote its recipes. Presidents and robber barons, bare-knuckle litigation and bold-faced bribery, competing formulas and ruthless pricing--Civitello shows how hundreds of companies sought market control, focusing on the big four of Rumford, Calumet, Clabber Girl, and the once-popular brand Royal. She also tells the war's untold stories, from Royal's claims that its competitors sold poison, to the Ku Klux Klan's campaign against Clabber Girl and its German Catholic owners. Exhaustively researched and rich with detail, Baking Powder Wars is the forgotten story of how a dawning industry raised Cain--and cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, donuts, and biscuits.


Who knew the world of BAKING POWDER was SO dramatic? I didn't! Reading this book is really like reading a history or the american life. How products were bought from small stores, and then began to be made in the home, and started the decline of the small stores. It's really a look at how a simple product like baking powder can really illustrate how changes occurred over the past 100 years! It's amazing to me how a simple product that I have always cooked with, literally changed America! Whether you're partial to one brand or another, even if you aren't a history buff, this book is one to really make history come alive for you! It comes out in June, so put it on your MUST read list now!

About the Author:

Linda is the author of “Cuisine and Culture: a History of Food and People,” which is used to teach food history in culinary schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. The first edition won the Gourmand Award for Best Culinary History Book in English (U.S.). Linda developed the curriculum and taught history of food at the Art Institutes in Los Angeles and Orange County, and Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena; she also taught the History of Chocolate at UCLA Extension. Linda has four essays in "Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City," including “Windows on the World,” “The Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station”; and “Movies” (Food, Film, and NYC.) Linda speaks frequently on a wide range of food history topics. She has spoken at Harvard University on the history of baking powder, appeared on television on Bizarre Foods (Halloween, Aphrodisiacs), on NPR, and on the BBC. She is currently writing “Food and Film from Prohibition to James Bond.” Linda has a B.A. from Vassar and a C. Phil. from UCLA. She also cooks professionally.

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