September 22, 2008

Corn Maiden Logo

I started my semiannual stint as an antiques salesperson at the Round Top-Warrenton antique show yesterday. This means that for thirteen straight days I won't be having a lot of time to look at cookbooks or do much of anything else except drive there and back and peddle somebody else's antiques in between. If I want to finish my fall planting in the garden, I'm going to have to do it with a flashlight.

The closest I'll be to an internet connection during daylight hours is a neighboring vendor's Blackberry which he uses to repeatedly check on the weather for signs of impending rainstorms or high winds.

I had thought to write up a few posts in advance that I could post every few days right before I left in the morning. Seems a simple enough plan but it never works out that way. So here I am trying to get at least one post done before I head out this morning. Perhaps tonight I'll have time to catch up on all my blog reading. I'm way behind!

As often happens when I randomly pull out the cookbooks to write about, I always choose the ones that have a number of interesting facets. It will take a couple of days for this one.

The top of the stack is the Corn Products Cook Book (not dated, 40 pages) which promotes Karo Syrup, Kingsford's Corn Starch and Mazola Oil, all brands of the Corn Products Refining Company.

There are a couple of clues that we can use to date the booklet, the first one being that Mazola was not introduced to the market until 1911. Mazola was the first salad and cooking oil made from corn.

The cover of the booklet shows a lovely color rendition of the Corn Maiden, who appeared as part of the company logo in several different variations over the years.

She also appeared on packages of Argo Corn Starch, another of the company's brands, although Argo doesn't show up in this particular cookbook.

This variation is used on the foodservice packaging of Argo Corn Starch.

This one is used on the regular retail packages. She got a new look in 1992.

The last page of the booklet is an ad for the new Mazola product. No sign of the Corn Maiden on these cans. Also no sign of Mazola in the recipes which call for either butter or lard when a fat is needed.

Mazola is a pure, wholesome, vegetable oil refined especially for cooking purposes and for use in Salad Dressings and sauces. It is made wholly from Indian corn by a process that was successfully perfected after years of persistent work.

Mazola meets the demand among careful housewives for a vegetable fat to take the place of animal fats in the preparation of dishes for the family table.

Mazola is superior to butter or lard for frying. It stand the higher temperatures required for frying without burning, and is far more economical.

She does show up on the Mazola can shown in this 1925 magazine advertisement.

You can see the corn maiden (or corn woman) on the company's stock certificates in 1910 and 1956.

A most interesting use of the Corn Maiden is in this corporate party cake.


At 4:20 AM CDT, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

You sent me running to the pantry to check my box of corn starch. There, of course, is the corn maiden. You can look at something for years, and sometimes never realize what you're looking at!

At 7:34 PM CDT, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

Hi Kathy,
I too would much rather be at an antique show then "work" one. I appreciate you sharing your Corn Products book. My son and I were just discussing the Corn Refiner's new commercial. I had forgotten I even had a few variations of this book which, if I remember correctly, actually has quite a few good recipes. Boy, I wish I could bake a cake that looks like that corporate cake. Thanks for sharing...

At 4:11 AM CDT, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

I hadn't realized that the Mazola brand had been around for so long. That cake is amazing. I bet it must get awfully hot at that show.


Post a Comment

<< Home