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Weird Facts about Crisco®
All-Vegetable Shortening

  • The two suggested names for the vegetable shortening—Krispo (the word crisp combined with the then popular suffix -o) and Cryst (an onomatopoeia for the hissing and crackling sound foods make while being fried)—were combined to form the unique hybrid Crisco.
  • In 1837, candlemaker William Procter and soapmaker James Gamble merged their small Cincinnati businesses, creating Procter & Gamble. By 1859, Procter & Gamble had become one of the largest companies in Cincinnati, with sales of $1 million. In 1879, the company introduced Ivory, a floating soap. Procter & Gamble introduced Crisco, the first mass-marketed, one hundred percent vegetable shortening, in 1911.
  • The first cans of Crisco came with an eight-page circular cookbook cut to fit the lid. Starting in 1913, Procter & Gamble sent six home economists across the country to give week-long demonstrations (advertised as "cooking schools") to show homemakers how to get better results by using Crisco in their cooking. After the demonstrations, the home economists would hand out souvenir baskets of various food samples, a one-and-a-half pound can of Crisco, and a special Crisco cookbook to the eager audiences.
  • The first Crisco cookbook, printed in 1911 and titled "Tested Crisco Recipes," has been followed through the years by more than sixty Crisco cookbooks.
  • Cooking experts from the Ladies' Home Journal and other women's magazines worked out Crisco's early cookbooks and tested the recipes in their magazines' kitchens. In 1923, Procter & Gamble set up its own kitchen in Cincinnati to create and test recipes.
  • Procter & Gamble's first three radio network programs in 1923 consisted entirely of cake and cookie recipes for Crisco.
  • Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening will easily glide out of a bowl or measuring cup that was previously used to beat or measure eggs.
  • Procter & Gamble advertising innovations included sponsorship of daytime dramas, the first being The Puddle Family, a 1932 radio show.
  • Although Crisco appears solid, it actually contains over 80 percent liquid oil. The oil is suspended in the lattice of fat solids much like honey is held in a honeycomb.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Crisco" is a registered trademark of the J.M. Smucker Company.
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