Yes, MORE about baking powder. It’s so much a staple of our kitchens, it’s unavoidable as a recurring theme. Late 19th and early 20th century warring baking powder companies aside, Famous Southern Baking Recipes for Better Baking (1929) introduces us to Snow King.
Snow King Baking Powder was based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Like many of the smaller companies from the late 19th century, it didn’t survive into the modern era. In 1937, Snow King was bought out by General Foods Corporation.
Although the recipes in this publication don’t stand out much in any particular way, there are a few interesting elements. First, there is an abundance of full color illustrations. Almost every other page is laden with depictions of cakes, biscuits, muffins, pies, and other goodies. And in a time period when the color of color illustrations was often less-than-authentic, Snow King has done a decent job of portraying reality. And they seem to have gone out of their way to create texture.
Second, it’s a compiled cookbook. We’ve seen this in the past on the blog, and I promise, we’ll see them again in the future. A detailed explanation on the inside explains that the recipes were collected through an advertisement in southern agriculture magazines with a $10 prize. Like some others, Famous Southern Baking Recipes for Better Baking includes the creator/submitter and their location. But Snow King goes a step forward and, in many cases, has smiling pictures of contributors! I’m not sure if this is meant to encourage us to trust these ladies more or to suggest they are, in fact, real, but it is a relatively uncommon feature of a cookbook.
Finally, Snow King Baking Powder has something in common with Charles B. Knox Gelatin Company–both companies were run for a significant period of time by women.
Mrs. L. P. Lillard, daughter of the founder, dictates all the company’s policies and sets all of the standards…Like other baking powders, Snow King is laboratory tested, but everybody in the company knows that the real test comes when Mrs. Lillard bakes real Southern biscuits.
Not many companies, large or small, could boast a female president in the 1920s or 1930s. However, corporations designing food products for a largely female audience might have a slight advantage here. Laboratory testing may be important, but so is knowing the person running the company uses the product in their own kitchen and knows HOW to use that product successfully. Which is a little gender food for thought.
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