There are a good number of things in this world that go together. Examples are bagels and cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly, chips and dip and in a non-food way, a good book and a blanket. Bagels were an eastern European staple brought to the new world by the Jewish settlers in New York. After opening bakeries and delis they found it needed something extra. An American product developed from a progression of English recipes was cream cheese. A crafty marketer even called it Philadelphia Cream Cheese because the best cheeses were said to come from there. It did not matter that the product was made in New York. When bagels went nationwide, so did the cream cheese. Next comes peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter was invented in 1880 by Dr. Ambrose W. Straub as a food for his patients with bad teeth. In 1904 it was taken to the World’s fair and was an instant hit. Every sample sold out at a huge profit. Large wooden tubs began showing up in grocery stores to satisfy consumer’s demands. In the 1920s and 30s the national brands you know today were launched. It wasn’t until World War 2 that invention took over once again. Soldiers were given rations of peanut butter as a cheap, easily transportable high protein source. They were also given rations of jelly for their sweet tooth. It didn’t take long for imaginative G.I.s to put the two together to make the peanut butter more palatable. When they came home from the war, they brought their new creation back to the American public and the rest is history. Then there was the case of the chip and dip. It took a long time for these two partners to come together. Potato chips were invented in 1853 but didn’t gain much traction in the market until the 1920s when mechanical peeling machines made the product economically viable. They were introduced in the Deep South by Herman Lay who had tremendous success. Around the same time a young Texan named Elmer Doolin had bought the rights to fried tortilla strips and added an s to the Spanish word for fried to create Fritos. He sold franchises after the war and in 1961 the two companies merged into Frito-Lay. Now for the dip part of the story. Lipton had taken the instant soup business as far as they could. If they were to remain profitable, they would need a new outlet for their products. They came up with the idea of adding their dry packaged soup to sour crème and making a product to put your chip in. The trend was an overnight success and soon dip was made commercially. Even I remember mixing French onion soup mix with sour cream to make dip. It was a perfect marriage. As hungry as that makes me, nothing compares to having nothing to do, maybe some rain or snow outside and curling up with a book and a blanket. I am afraid I have no history on that as I am sure it has gone on since the written word existed. It is a comfort and escape you can’t find anywhere else. So next time you think of things that go together, sit down with a good book and a blanket. They go together like the song says, ‘like a wink and a smile.’
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...