Michigan State University

Introductory Essay

Chocolate And Cocoa Recipes by Miss Parloa, And Home Made Candy Recipes By Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill.
Dorchester, Mass., W. Baker & Co., Ltd., c1909.

This advertising pamphlet was selected to represent millions of such items published in America in the period under consideration.

The Walter Baker Chocolate Company of Dorchester, Massachusetts is one of America's oldest food companies. Along with many other companies of this era, they spared no expense in creating and distributing handsome and practical consumer items to push the use of their product. Often, as is the case here, some of the most famous names in the food world were asked to "sponsor" the product and produce recipes to use it.

Miss Parloa and Mrs. Hill are good examples. Miss Parloa was a renowned culinary author and cooking teacher, affiliated with her own cooking school, the Boston Cooking School and others. Mrs. Hill was the longtime editor of American Cookery/The Boston Cooking School Magazine. They both earned a living in the food world, an uncommon event in their day.

Ofttime, famous artists were hired to illustrate these ephemeral items. In fact, in my opinion, both the artwork and the recipes for some early items, such as this one, have arguably not been surpassed in the century since then.