1940s Archive

Food Flashes

Originally Published March 1947

Cold winds blow, snow swirls, frost etches window panes. Draw the curtains close, pile logs to fire, bring on the soup. But good soup, mind you—good! Choose soups to cast a magic spell, imbued with subtlety, soups to thaw the bones and fortify against the cold. We mean the Crosse and Blackwell sextette.

First try the vegetable brew, a zestful combination of stimulants. It holds the joy of adventure. Dip in the spoon. Here are numerous vegetable oddments of tomatoes, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, string beans, lima beans, cabbage, celery, onions, red peppers, turnips. In the broth are alphabet noodles and rice and a variety of spices. To give a meat taste to the meatless broth our ol friend the vegetable protein derivative has been added. The vegetables are in big pieces and of natural garden color.

Sample the chicken noodle soup, a clear husky broth, thick with noodles and nice sized pieces of chicken. One taste and you know chicken has been in the soup pot.

One of the best creamy mushroom soups we have ever eaten is the Crosse and Blackwell. It has the typical color of a mushroom soup, a distinct mushroom flavor and fragrance to tease the nose, and biggish pieces of mushroom to indulge the teeth

Whiff the celery soup, doesn't that have just the right celery fragrance? The flavor is there, too. Our compliments to the black bean soup with its ham undertone. This needs a good swig of sherry, two teaspoons at least to give the proper lift. Float on its dark surface thin slices of lemon and of hard-cooke egg. The soup has the rich mahogany color of the black bean and is thick as a medium purée, the texture slightly granular.

The clam chowder is Manhattan style, which means tomato in its mixture. Lots of clam bits are there and cubes of potatoes. It has an honest clam taste an gives solid stomach comfort, so sturdy, so refreshing, one forgets fatigue an the room's shivery corners—or maybe your landlord gives you plenty of heat.

The Crosse and Blackwell line is in numerous stores in numerous cities throughout the country, the price aroun 21 cents for the pound can.

In New York City the complete soup set shows up at Gimbel Brothers, 33r Street and Broadway.

March is avocado's peak month. Then the California crop takes over in the markets, then prices drop to middle-purse levels.

Avocado was the table aristocrat of the twenties, exotic, expensive. Once a single fruit cost a dollar and over. Once it was eaten only in salad or au naturel. Now it fits obligingly into any part of the menu from soup to ice cream.

It was the avocado growers who taught cooks in the States to use this fruit of the strange meaty flavor, the day-by-day food in countries south of the border.

Fruits of the first commercial groves in California and Florida went only to tables in top-flight hotels. In the retail markets the avocado made a slow start. To speed matters the growers trained a crew of “avocado preachers” to teach the public what to do with those crazy-looking things called “alligator pears.” So the avocado got going. Statistics tell the story. In 1925 but 200,000 pounds of the fruit were sold in this country. In 1946 sales passed the 20,000,000-poun mark. This year the avocado crop is expected to hang up a new record.

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