December 03, 2006

Staley's Approved Recipes

The A. E. Staley Company, which started out at the turn of the 20th century selling corn starch, went on to expand their product line into other corn products such as salad oil and syrup and then into soybeans and soybean products.

In the recipe booklet Staley's Approved Recipes (not dated, 32 pp) the company is promoting their syrups and introducing Staley's Salad and Cooking Oil to consumers.

This particular booklet was most likely published in the mid-1920s as reference is made to the fact that the company had been in business for 25 years. There is also at least one other booklet published with the same title, and with a different cover, with a copyright date of 1928. One day I will have to dig out that booklet and compare the two.

Grace Viall Gray, at the time at a noted writer and lecturer on cooking subjects, is used as a spokesperson and gives her thumbs up for the new cooking oil at the beginning of the booklet. A black and white cameo photograph of Gray is also shown.

The booklet contains 65 recipes that are illustrated with the lovely colorful drawings (as shown on the front cover) that were so popular in cookbooks and recipe booklets of that decade.

Most of the recipes call for either Staley's Salad and Cooking Oil or one of the many Staley's Sryups as an ingredient, but there is one instance that requires their Cream Corn Starch. Some of the recipes for salads and croquettes do not actually use the oil in the recipe but use the salad dressings and sauces that are made with the oil.

In reference to using their new salad oil for deep frying, the company makes the claim that Staley's Salad and Cooking Oil can be used almost indefinitely by never heating it to a temperature over 420 degrees Fahrenheit and by straining the used oil through a muslin or folded cheese cloth after each use.

There are many recipes for cakes and candies as well as four preserving recipes. A corn bread recipe calls for Staley's Golden Table Syrup as the sweetener as does the one for Staley's Caramels.

The center of the booklet is a two-page spread that shows illustrations and highlights the qualities of their salad oils and syrups. In case you were wondering about the differences between the syrups, Staley's describe them as follows:
  • Staley's Crystal White Syrup (red label) - Owing to it's clarity, uniformity and greater degree of sweetness, Crystal White Syrup in actual tests has proven to be superior for cooking, baking and preserving.
  • Staley's Golden Table Syrup (blue label) - A mixture for table use, consisting of pure Corn Syrup with jsut enough choice refiner's syrup added to give it that delightful cane syrup flavor.
  • Staley's Maple Flavored Syrup (green label) - This syrup is made for those who like that piquant flavor of genuine Canadian maple flavored syrup. It is a blend of pure corn syrup and Canadian maple sugar syrup.
  • Staley's Sorghum Flavored Syrup (brown label) - A savory mixture of pure corn syrup and country sorghum, appealing particularly to the taste of those who like the aroma and sugary flavor of old fashioned sorghum.
These syrups are all pictured as being packaged in small cans while the Salad and Cooking Oil is shown in a red-striped one gallon can and a smaller size.

The founder of the A.E. Staley Company, A. E. Staley Sr., died in 1940. The company was purchased in 1988 by Tate & Lyle.


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