Historic (rec.food.historic) Discussing and discovering how food was made and prepared way back when--From ancient times down until (& possibly including or even going slightly beyond) the times when industrial revolution began to change our lives.

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Old 30-08-2007, 06:31 PM posted to rec.food.historic
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Default root beer and black cows

Just decided to post an interesting thing I have run into. I
have an old (undated sniff) Hires booklet, and it contains a
recipe for Black Cows. It is NOT what we think of when we
hear that name. Rather it is 1 tsp of Hires root beer extract
and 2 Tbsps sugar, which are mixed and then added to 1 quart
of milk.

I was going to say that I couldn't tell whether this was a
powdered extract or a liquid one, but one illustration, and
the history I have written, point to the latter.

Now I am wondering whether one can even find this in local (in
my case, Boston-area) stores any more. There are some other
interesting-sounding recipes in this booklet.
--
Jean B.

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Old 30-08-2007, 10:23 PM posted to rec.food.historic
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Default root beer and black cows

TMOliver wrote:
"Jean B." wrote in message
...
Just decided to post an interesting thing I have run into. I have an old
(undated sniff) Hires booklet, and it contains a recipe for Black Cows.
It is NOT what we think of when we hear that name. Rather it is 1 tsp of
Hires root beer extract and 2 Tbsps sugar, which are mixed and then added
to 1 quart of milk.

I was going to say that I couldn't tell whether this was a powdered
extract or a liquid one, but one illustration, and the history I have
written, point to the latter.

Now I am wondering whether one can even find this in local (in my case,
Boston-area) stores any more. There are some other interesting-sounding
recipes in this booklet.


I recall the syrup/milk mixture as a "Brown Cow", with a "Black Cow" being a
mug of "draught" root beer with a dip of vanilla ice cream.


Went back and checked, and the booklet says "Black Cow". I
wonder when this changed?

Root beer syrup and the root beer extract you describe were once commonly
available from dozens of small "flavor" makers which supplied small
independent bottlers (and from the "names" in the root beer trade, Hires,
Triple X, A&W and more.

The extract, cheaper and more economical was mixed with simple syrup (made
on site) to put in the root beer spot in the glistening row of syrup pumps
lined up behind the counter in a good soda fountain. Some ice, a squirt and
fill with carbonated water from the counter top pair (carb. and "flat"
water) and there was a root beer. The fountain at which I started in the
Summer of '52 (at 12) had two counter top special beverage servers, a big
red one from which Coca Cola emerged and the 10, 2 and 4 labeled server for
Dr. Pepper, invented locally here in Waco (and still the site of the Dr.
pepper Museum in the original bottling plant.

In Waco, the "flavor" company was Perfection, which made all sorts of
flavorings including an artificial Grenadine for cheap saloons. It gave
birth to a brand of soda pop still bottled and sold all over Texas and a
couple of US markets, "Big Red".


It's great to have all of these first-hand memories from you.
I am 57, and all I can say that I personally remember is
root beer made from the syrup and soda water at the town drug
store, which was conveniently situated between school and
home. They had a much mellower flavor than what I find bottled.

Gee, after all this, I think I'll forget dinner and have a...
root beer float.... :-) I have the root beer but may need
to run out and get some ice cream....

--
Jean B.
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Old 30-08-2007, 10:45 PM posted to rec.food.historic
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Default floats (was, root beer and black cows)

"Jean B." writes, from a "Boston-area" location:

It's great to have all of these first-hand memories from you.
I am 57, and all I can say that I personally remember is
root beer made from the syrup and soda water at the town drug
store, which was conveniently situated between school and
home. They had a much mellower flavor than what I find bottled.

Gee, after all this, I think I'll forget dinner and have a...
root beer float.... :-) I have the root beer but may need
to run out and get some ice cream....


I'm a few years older than you, and though I now live in
southeastern Massachusetts, when I was a teenager in Cleveland
a standard item was a so-called "Boston cooler". As far as
I could ever tell, it was the same as what you're calling
(and what I would probably now call) a "float". Tom, et al.--
was the "Boston cooler" isogloss a tight little band around
Cleveland, or do others know this name? (Does it still exist?
Was/is it different from a "float" in some way?)

Lee Rudolph
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Old 31-08-2007, 12:11 PM posted to rec.food.historic
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Default floats (was, root beer and black cows)

Lee Rudolph wrote:
I'm a few years older than you, and though I now live in
southeastern Massachusetts, when I was a teenager in Cleveland
a standard item was a so-called "Boston cooler". As far as
I could ever tell, it was the same as what you're calling
(and what I would probably now call) a "float". Tom, et al.--
was the "Boston cooler" isogloss a tight little band around
Cleveland, or do others know this name? (Does it still exist?
Was/is it different from a "float" in some way?)

Lee Rudolph


That sure didn't ring even a faint bell! I had to do a
search, and while I don't like relying on Wikipedia, I don't
have much time right now, and the article there seemed
somewhat interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_cooler

and another article, which I had even less time to examine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_beer_float

Last night I ran across another Black Cow, this one in a dated
(1931) booklet put out by Pet Milk, which combined root beer
and their evaporated milk. The Hires booklet was older though....

--
Jean B.
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Old 31-08-2007, 04:11 PM posted to rec.food.historic
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Default California Cheeseburgers (was, floats (was, root beer and black cows))

Jenn Ridley writes:

(Lee Rudolph) wrote:

I'm a few years older than you, and though I now live in
southeastern Massachusetts, when I was a teenager in Cleveland
a standard item was a so-called "Boston cooler". As far as
I could ever tell, it was the same as what you're calling
(and what I would probably now call) a "float".


I grew up in the Detroit area, and a "boston cooler" was a float made
with Vernor's Ginger Ale (and stroh's ice cream). (OK, when -I- was
growing up, it was something that parents remembered from their youth.
Although, IIRC, there were still a few places where you could order a
Black Cow or a Boston Cooler and not have the staff look at you
oddly.)


Definitely Vernor's Ginger Ale. I don't remember Stroh's ice cream,
or any other brand (except for Producer's Dairy, which may or may
not at the time I am speaking of still have had many really local
"producers", but which definitely did have at least one horse-drawn
milk cart as of 1956 or so, covering a route on the West Side that
went from at least the dairy on State Road--or was it Pearl Road?--
north to Krather Ave., uphill from the Cleveland Zoo; not that
the milk cart delivered ice cream, I'm merely rambling).

Since I've opened the "foodstuffs with exotic names" can of worms,
who knows what about the distribution of the phrase "California
cheeseburger" (i.e., cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato), which
I *think* was current in Cleveland c. 1965, and was certainly
current in New Jersey c. 1966? How far West, and how early, was
the phrase current? Surely it no longer is used anywhere; when
did it die out? Do Detroit parents wax nostalgic about them?

Lee Rudolph


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