B2 High-Intermediate US 40 Folder Collection
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Bisquick can be a lifesaver when you want pancakes or biscuits, but don't feel like
making them from scratch. Its promise of easy baked goods with no kneading or rolling is
something that many home cooks can get behind. Anyone can add a couple eggs and some milk
and stir, right?
But where did this baking shortcut in a box really come from?
Carl Smith, a sales executive at General Mills, created the recipe for Bisquick in 1930. The
story goes, according to Mental Floss, that he had the idea for it after enjoying some
delicious biscuits on a train ride to San Francisco. Tom Forsythe, General Mills' vice
president of global communications, explained:
"He arrived in the dining car late. It had closed for the evening. But he did order biscuits,
and then very quickly thereafter arrived hot biscuits."
Smith asked the cook how he made them. The cook showed him a pre-mixed blend of flour,
salt, baking powder and lard kept on ice. From there, the wheels started turning.
Smith quickly pitched the idea of a pre-made biscuit mix to General Mills executives, who
decided that their version shouldn't need to be kept in an icebox. The company's head
chemist, Charlie Kress, led the effort to create Bisquick, which hit store shelves in
1931. It was so popular that other companies began creating their own versions, though
Bisquick continued to outsell them.
According to Taste, that chef on the train, who was never named nor given credit for inspiring
Bisquick, was black. And General Mills would continue to cut black people out of its marketing
for years: None appeared in 1933's Betty Crocker's 101 Delicious Bisquick Creations. Then, in
1935, How To Take a Trick a Day With Bisquick portrayed black people only as servants.
By the 1940s, Bisquick began to market itself as a cheap convenience food. The company began
using the slogan, "a world of baking in a box," to demonstrate that the mix could be
used for more than just biscuits. Bisquick began printing recipes for other baked goods,
such as dumplings, muffins, and coffee cake, on its boxes.
"With Bisquick, the seven basic recipes on the box are as easy as 1-2-3. Just mix, spoon,
and bake."
In the late 1960s, General Mills changed the recipe to make the biscuits lighter and fluffier.
The company added buttermilk and more shortening, dubbing the revamped recipe "New Bisquick."
It eventually replaced the original version, soon reverting to its original name.
In the 1970s and '80s, Bisquick turned its focus back to Bisquick's versatility. Betty
Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook, published in 1971, had more than 200 recipes. By 1980,
a fan club called the Bisquick Recipe Club sent cookbooks and a newsletter, "The Bisquick
Banner," to fans.
Bisquick further simplified the baking process in the late '80s with Bisquick Shake 'n Pour,
which cut the milk and eggs, and even any measuring, out of the process. Bakers can
just add water to the container, shake it and pour it.
So the convenience factor is definitely there, but is Bisquick really cheaper than making
batters and doughs yourself? And how does it stack up nutritionally?
HuffPost did the math for the cost of using Bisquick against making pancakes from scratch,
and found that you're definitely paying a little extra for the convenience of the mix.
The publication found that it actually costs 2 cents less per serving if you make your
pancakes from scratch.
It's up to you whether that cost savings is worth the time and effort that goes into making
from-scratch pancakes. If you're making something like 100 servings every day, that definitely
will make more of a difference. If you only make pancakes for yourself once a week or
so, probably not.
"Go to the store to make pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes!"
And though Bisquick may make baking and griddling quicker, it isn't necessarily healthier. The
original mix contains partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, otherwise known
as trans fat. Studies have shown trans fat can have negative health effects such as raising
LDL, the bad cholesterol, and lowering HDL, the good cholesterol.
Medline Plus reports that too much trans fat also increases the risk of heart disease and
stroke. To prevent Bisquick sales from going off a cliff when trans fat became a buzzword
of the worst kind, Betty Crocker introduced Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix,
which contains no trans fats.
The company has also paid attention to the gluten-free trend, introducing a gluten-free
pancake and baking mix which uses rice flour and modified potato starch.
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The Untold Truth Of Bisquick

40 Folder Collection
Seina published on July 10, 2020
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