Monday, April 09, 2007

Why do they all use Spry?


"It's marvelous. It creams so easily."

"Foods fried in Spry are as digestible as if baked or boiled."

"Spry is so white. I just know it's purer."

Valued readers like Dino, aka Katy, want to know about miracle product Spry Pure Vegetable Shortening. So, putting aside the fact that I get oddly and inappropriately excited when talking about fat and deep frying, here it is, in all its white whipped oleaginous glory.

Back at Thanksgiving we visited a few antique shops in Marion, Iowa, and I picked up a few old cookbooks. Not regular cookbooks, the little pamphlets put together by food companies, books like Medley of Meat Recipes from the American Meat Institute. Lucky me--I buy a few old pamphlets, and then, a few weeks later, I get some neat presents from my mother-in-law: some modern home magazines from the 50's and 60's, and a guide to building the "modern vacation home" from Popular Science. Anyway, one of the pamphlets I got was from Spry. Imagine a 48 page cookbook in which every single recipe calls for vegetable shortening. I love it.

Spry was a vegetable shortening (like Crisco) made by Lever Brothers. They had a spokeswoman known as Aunt Jenny, who hawked the product from the 1930's through the 1950's. You can see for yourself why Spry is the superior shortening here and here.

There are plenty of good recipes in here, but my real find was the newspaper clipping hidden inside. Click here for this delicious recipe for pineapple and carrot salad, circa 1940.

F*ck you Rachel Ray.


Dino aka Katy said...

uhh thank you for clearing this up. See we didn't use shortening in East Germany but we use Speckfett a lot (its fatback cut in small cubes, fried in a pan until crisp, add diced onions (apples and Majoran if I make it) pour it in a container and let cool.) We use it to fry things in it, or just as a spread on bread.

kim said...

My father made bird feeder food, with suet and peanut butter. Imagine my surprise when I opened the container in the freezer thinking it was ice cream.

Mmmmm, thanks daddy, that was yummy.

Grant Miller said...

I applaud your brave stance against Rachel Ray.

lulu said...

you do read James Liliks's website, don't you?

Bubs said...

Lulu, I love Lileks unfortunate food website. I wish I had a collection like that, and could write like that.

G.M., she's a dangerous bobblehead and must be stopped.

Kim, ugh. How many bites did you get? Just one, hopefully, and a small bite at that.

Katy, now I'm hungry

Melinda June said...

I bet that makes a heavenly pie crust.

lulu said...

If all you have read is the food stuff, you need to branch out, he's chockful-o-genius.

I have his book, as well as several other similar ones, and a pamphlet from the Daughters of Sweden, which includes a recipe for Headcheese that starts with instructions to brush the head's teeth.

Coaster Punchman said...

You made me nervous with that jello recipe - I was afraid it was going to call for a cup of Spry.

Tenacious S said...

My family has attempted to feed me that exact jello salad on multiple occasions.

Bubs said...

Ten, I grew up on that salad. It's still being served across the south and midwest, and at multiple church luncheons.

Coaster, you can easily substitute Spry for the salad dressing for a richer snack.

Lulu, I'll look up the rest of his stuff later today.

MJ...mmmmm. pie.