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Americans pride themselves in their knack for innovation, and nowhere has America’s can-do attitude been more apparent than at the supermarket.
Need a cheese that is virtually indestructible? Want to find a way to stretch a pound of hamburger into a hearty main course for a family of five? Hard pressed for time to throw together a home-cooked meal? In the early decades of the twentieth century, and from the world wars to the cold wars, food producers and everyday dreamers met these challenges with the same ingenuity and resourcefulness that launched the country to the moon and back, with groundbreaking packaging, new technologies, and improvements on Mother Nature.
Better Than Homemade is food biographer Carolyn Wyman’s freewheeling and entertaining cultural history of the innovative packaged foods that changed the way we eat. With dozens of archival ads and original product shots of Hamburger Helper, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Minute Rice, Coffee-mate, Green Giant Canned Peas, Lipton Cup-a-Soup, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls—and many more revolutionary products—Better Than Homemade highlights the fascinating stories behind the food inventions; the histories behind the brands and icons that have become synonymous with them; the jingles that have made them such a large part of our popular culture; and the recipes that have tutored generations of homemakers and comfort food master chefs.
Carolyn Wyman is the author of Spam: A Biography and Jell-O: A Biography. Her nationally syndicated column, “Supermarket Sampler,” appears in more than one hundred newspapers nationwide. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times. She writes, heats, and eats in Philadelphia.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Homemaker Helpers: Foods that revolutionized the kitchen—freeing Mom from the role of kitchen slave
Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables
On-Cor Family-Size Entrees
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Potato Buds Instant Mashed Potatoes
Shake ’n Bake
Dinty Moore Beef Stew
Powerful Packages: Foods with innovative product delivery systems
Pillsbury Poppin’ Fresh Dough
Easy Cheese Aerosol (a.k.a. Snack Mate)
Jiffy Pop Popcorn
Pringles Potato Chips
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Spray
Triumphs of Technology: Foods that improve on Mother Nature
Coffee-mate Non-Dairy Creamer
Sweet ’N Low
Minute Maid Orange Juice
Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Carnation Instant Breakfast
Indestructibles and Recyclables: Foods for the long haul—plus recycled food-factory
Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
Mrs.Paul’s Fish Sticks
Ore-Ida Tater Tots
Marketing Marvels: Advertising has made these must-eats
Little Debbie Snack Cakes
Green Giant Canned Peas
Swanson TV Dinners
Permissions and Trademarks
Table of Equivalents
Buy Better Than Homemade by Carolyn Wyman from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781931686426 & 1931686424 upc: 082345364245
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