Category: Trivia

Who Was Baby Ruth Named After?


Baby Ruth was introduced shortly after oh Henry! Bars, in the early 1920s, by Curtiss Candy Company. And the origin of its name: “The name honors President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland’s daughter, endearingly referred to as ‘Baby Ruth.’ The trademark was patterned exactly after the engraved lettering of the name used on a medallion struck for the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and picturing the President, his wife, and daughter Baby Ruth.”


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The US Food and Drug Administration stipulates only that breads weigh more than one-half pound per unit and that rolls and buns weigh less than one-half pound. All three starches must be yeast-leavened bakery product. But the FDA draws no distinction between buns and rolls. And neither do retail bakeries. One company’s “hamburger buns” is another’s “hamburger rolls.”

Tom Lehmann, a trusty source at the American Institute of Baking, while conceding that there is no clear-cut answer, passed along a short write-up that the Institute prepared: “The term ‘roll’ is generally applied to filled products, especially those that are formed by sheeting and rolling-up or folding the dough, such as cinnamon rolls (which, in many areas, are sold as cinnamon buns) and Danish rolls. There are exceptions to this, however, in that hard-crusted products are also included in the roll category. Products of this type include Kaiser-rolls and French rolls. Buns, on the other hand, are generally more bread-like in shape (round or elongated) and typically do not contain a filling. The one notable exception to this is the Easter favorite, hot-cross buns.”

Simon Jackel, director of Plymouth Technical Services, concurs with the Institute, but argues that it might be more accurate to contrast them by indicating that buns are usually soft, and that rolls can be hard or soft. But ultimately, Jackel muses that pinpointing the answer to this question is “sort of like asking: ‘Is it a hamburger or a chopped-beef patty?’”

(Submitted by Robert Lawler of Ivyland, Pennsylvania)


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Back in the Paleolithic age, canned peaches were sweetened in heavy syrup. Then, in deference to consumer preferences for a less sweet and cloying taste (and fewer calories), light syrup was introduced. But health-conscious customers soon demanded “all-natural” sweeteners, and marketers understood the appeal of being able to trumpet “no sugar added” on labels.

With some fruits, such a pineapple, the natural juice is abundant and an excellent “packaging agent.” But the problems with peach juice are numerous. A peach simply doesn’t yield much juice, according to tom Elliott of the Canned Fruit promotion Service. As a result, peach juice concentrate is both expensive and not readily available, according to a spokesperson for the California Cling Peach Advisory Board. Furthermore, although peach juice is naturally sweet, it doesn’t have much peach flavor.

To the rescue comes pear juice. It is extremely sweet and readily available, and best of all, has a neutral flavor. Elliott mentions that you can use pear juice to pack such disparate fruits as apples, peaches and plums, without worrying about the liquid adding its own strong flavor.

Grape juice is even more plentiful than pear juice as a sweetening agent, and is used to sweeten everything from granola bars to junk food. Roger Coleman, of the National Food Processor Association, says that some marketers are using apple and pineapple juices as well, sometimes blending them, depending upon availability and cost. But Coleman reports that more and more canned peach companies have overcome the technical and economic problems of packing fruits in their own juice. So it is sometimes possible to find canned peaches packed in, of all things, peach juice.


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