The History of Canned Milk

An article by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone posted on The SpruceThe History of Canned Milk

Depending on your age and perhaps gender, you may have never partaken of evaporated or condensed milk, at least not knowingly. Chances are your grandmother or great-grandmother made at least one The History of Canned Milkheirloom comfort food using one or the other. In the early part of the 1900s, both were used more than fresh milk because they were more shelf-stable and posed less of a health risk than fresh milk. Of course, this was before the government had laws in effect to insure the safety of fresh milk, not to mention refrigerators as standard equipment in every kitchen.

Those in the armed forces are familiar with both of these milk staples. Today, low-fat, skim and non-fat versions are available with recipe applications not limited to sweets and desserts. Learn more about evaporated and condensed milk before trying the canned milk recipes.

Canned milk history

Prior to the nineteenth century, drinking milk was an iffy situation with regard to health risks. Milk straight from the cow was loaded with bacteria. Milk not consumed within a matter of hours in summer soon spoiled in the heat. Illness allegedly derived from contaminated milk consumption was referred to as “the milksick,” “milk poison,” “the slows,” “the trembles,” and “the milk evil.” Granted some of these illnesses (considering modern-day knowledge of lactose intolerance) The History of Canned Milkwere probably not due to the milk or milk alone, but the stigma persisted. The idea for a portable canned milk product that would not spoil came to Gail Borden during a transatlantic trip on board a ship in 1852.

The cows in the hold became too seasick to be milked during the long trip, and an immigrant infant died from lack of milk. Borden realized his goal in 1854. His first condensed milk product lasted three days without souring. He first thought the condensing process of the milk made it more stable but later on realized it was the heating process that killed the bacteria and microorganisms that cause spoilage.

Borden was granted a patent for sweetened condensed milk in 1856. The sugar was added to inhibit bacterial growth. Skim milk devoid of all fat was used. Use of this early version lacking in nutrients as a mainstay for young working-class children has been blamed for contributing to a rash of rickets cases in 1905. The Borden Company issued this press release in 1924, extolling the virtues of its product “in relief work among war refugees and in the treatment of public school children of New York”.

Early canned milk was spurned

The History of Canned MilkBorden’s new condensed milk product was not well-received in its early days. In those days, customers were used to watered-down milk, with chalk added to make it white and molasses added for creaminess. Borden had begun commercial production in 1857 in Burrville, Connecticut. When the dubious practice of feeding New York cows on distillery mash by competing fresh milk suppliers was exposed by The History of Canned MilkLeslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Borden’s condensed milk business greatly benefited. In 1861, the Union Army purchased Borden’s condensed milk for use in field rations, further bolstering its success.
It was John Baptist Meyenberg who first suggested canned evaporated milk to his employers at the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co.

in Switzerland in 1866. Since the company was already so successful producing sweetened condensed milk, the idea was rejected. Meyenberg emigrated to the United States and began his own company, Helvetia Milk Condensing Co. (Pet Milk), eventually marketing unsweetened condensed milk in 1890.

The History of Canned MilkAlthough Borden received his patent in 1854, unsweetened condensed milk was not successfully canned until 1885 by competitor John Meyenberg. Borden added evaporated milk to the product line in 1892. In 1899, Elbridge Amos Stuart came up with a new process for canned, sterilized, evaporated milk. With help from evaporated milk pioneer Meyenberg, Stuart began successful mass production of canned evaporated milk. Evaporated milk manufacturers pioneered the use of homogenization (redistribution of fat globules so they are imperceptibly distributed), but dairies producing fresh milk were slow to follow the homogenization trail.

With all the talk these days of irradiating foods to eliminate microorganisms that cause foodborne illness, you may think it a relatively new procedure. Not at all. In 1934, Pet Milk Co. introduced the first evaporated milk products to be fortified with vitamin D via irradiation processing. Nowadays, less than two percent of the United States milk production is evaporated or condensed.

Breakfast in a Roll / Frokost i et Rundstykke

A campfire breakfast recipe found at blog.koa.comBreakfast in a Roll / Frokost i et Rundstykke

The ingredients for this breakfast can be prepared ahead, packed in plastic bokses and easily assembled at your campsite.

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Sausage with Curried Apples / Pølse med Karriepler

A quick and simple lunch recipe found in “Mini Kokebok – Pølser” (Mini Cook Book – Sausages) a free booklet
published by the Norwegian information Office for Meat

Sausage with Curried Apples / Pølse med Karriepler

This simple dish based on only 5 ingredients; Sausages, cheddar, apples, leeks and curry are made in no time and looks as
delicious as it tastes.

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The Farmer’s Apple Cake / Bondens Eplekake

A juicy apple cake recipe found in “Mett På En
Litt Sunnere Måte” (Full a slightly healthier way)
a free e-booklet publshed by tine.no

The Farmer’s Apple Cake / Bondens Eplekake

This cake is based on cottage cheese, which gives it a slightly acidic flavor that will go great with the sauteed apples wedges.

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Bean Soup Jókai Style / Bønnesuppe Jókai Style

A soup recipe found in “Flavours of Hungary Recipes”
a free E-book publiched by the Hungarian
Agricultural Marketing Centre in 2009Bean Soup Jókai Style / Bønnesuppe Jókai Style

Proper ingredients are necessary but not sufficient for full success. The Hungarian “art de la table” does not only cover the ingredients but also the method of preparation. The special flavours of the traditional Hungarian cuisine are produced by the combination of tasty ingredients of excellent quality with their specific mode of preparation.

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Pan-Fried Shrimp Royal / Pannestekt Shrimp Royal

A seafood recipe found in “The Skillet Cook Book”
published by Wesson Oil & Snowdrift Sales Co in 1958

Pan-Fried Shrimp Royal / Pannestekt Shrimp Royal

Pretty pink shrimp are tempting and pretty in this quick dish.

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Cafe Royal

A downright decadent hot drink recipe found in
“Whitman’s Chocolate Cookbook” published by
Whitman’s Chocolates Division, Pet Inc in 1987

Cafe Royal

When the list of ingredients for making this hot chocolate drink runs
down to 11 items one quickly realize that here we’re not talking about
a couple of spoons instant cocoa tirred into hot milk – Ted

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"A Bachelor’s Cupboard" from 1906 in PDF

"A Bachelor's Cupboard" from 1906 in PDF

It is not often one gets a chance to laugh out loud when reading a cook book, but this book provides that chance in rich amount. “A Bachelor’s Cupboard” with the undertitle “Containing crumbs Culled from the Cupboards of the Great Unwedded” written in 1906 by  A Lyman Phillips is greatly entertining.

From the book intro:

“Being a bachelor is easy. Staying a bachelor—ah! there’s the hitch! But that’s another story. Yes, it’s easy to be a bachelor, but to be a thoroughbred, unless it is inbred and the single man is ” to the manner born,” is more difficult. It requires unlimited time, patience and education as well as a store of myriad bits of information on a multitude of subjects.

The “correct” bachelor must not only know how, but he must know why. He must be a woman’s man and a man’s man, an all-round ” good fellow.” He must “fit” everywhere and adapt himself to all sorts of society under all sorts of circumstances. Good breeding and kindliness of heart are the essentials. These, above everything, he must have; and given them, the other attributes may be easily acquired by study and observation.”

The book’s Chapters runs like this:

On Being a Bachelor
The Impecunious Bachelor
Stocking the Cupboard
Bachelor Etiquette
Around the Camp Fire
Carving and Game
Snacks of Sea Food
A Chat on Cheese
Devils and Grills
Mexican and Creole Cooking
Bachelor Bonnes Bouchees
Concerning Condiments
Variations with Vegetables
A Dissertation on Drinks
What to Pay for Wines
Correct Wines for all Occasions
Temperance Drinks
Correct Clothes
How a Man May Valet Himself
How to Cleanse Clothes


Bachelors out there should not miss out on the chance of downloading this exceedingly helpful publication. It provides hints and suggestions on a lot more than mere cooking. Unwed young women should grab  the chance too, so they can learn what they should expect from the unwed young men out there.

As usual, you can download the book in pdf format
by clicking the icon below

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Grilled Salmon Slices / Grillstekte Lakseskiver

A summer dinner recipe found in “Sommermat”
(Summer Food) Published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in
1979
Grilled Salmon Slices / Grillstekte Lakseskiver

This tour of citrus flavoured Scandinavian summer dinners is
rounded off by an outdoor grill in Norway where not surprisingly
salmon is cooked – Ted

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Grilled Smoked Pork with Sauce / Grillkasseler med Sås

A quick dinner recipe found in “God Mat på en Halv
Timme” (Nice Food in Half an Hour) published by 
Alt om Mat in 1974Grilled Smoked Pork with Sauce / Grillkasseler med Sås

Smoked pork is delicious and often used summer food in Scandinavia.
This little recipe has been simplified, but it is undoubtedly an advantage
if the meat can stay a while in the “marinade” to pick up flavour.

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Veal Stew with Oranges / Kalvegryde med Appelsin

A dinner recipe from “Mine 100 Bedste Opskrifter Fra Fad
Og Fryser” (My 100 Best Recipes from Pots and Freezer) by Mona Giersing published by Lademann in 1982

Veal Stew with Oranges / Kalvegryde med Appelsin

It’s not very often you see Scandinavian dinner recipes using fruit to the to the extent that Mona Giersing is using here. It almost gives this veal stew a touch of the Caribbean and that certainly works for me – Ted

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More Than Chicken Soup: Food Remedies

An article by Stephanie Butler posted in
Hungry History at history.com June 2015

It’s likely you’ve heard the adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and everyone knows about the reputed healing powers of a More Than Chicken Soup: Food Remediessteaming bowl of chicken soup. But would you think to place potato slices on a fever-stricken patient’s forehead? Or shampoo with mayonnaise to give your mane that healthy shine? Foods have been used as medicine since our Neolithic ancestors ate mosses with antibiotic properties to help heal wounds. It’s a long road from healing mosses to zinc lozenges, so let’s take a look at the world of food remedies.

More Than Chicken Soup: Food RemediesSeveral hundred years before Alexander Fleming discovered the benefits of penicillin, European housewives kept moldy loaves of bread hidden in their kitchen cabinets. When a family member got a cut or scrape, they would break off bits of the moldy bread, mix it with water to form a paste and paint it over wounds. This method was hardly a cure-all, since it depended on the natural presence of penicillium or other antiseptic molds to be beneficial. But when it did work, the bread treatment must have seemed like a godsend in a world lacking even a basic understanding of how diseases spread.

These medical dark ages lasted far too long for many patients. From the medieval era all the way up through World War I, wartime was especially harrowing for patients and doctors. During the Civil War, for More Than Chicken Soup: Food Remediesinstance, more men died from disease than on the battlefield. People resorted to food- and plant-based remedies because demand for more scientific medicines far outstripped supply. For example, both Northern and Southern troops placed poultices of cooked onions and garlic on their chests to combat croup and congestion. In 1863, Alabama’s Mobile Register gave a delicious-sounding recipe for blackberry cordial that promised to “alleviate the suffering and perhaps save the lives of many of our soldiers” who were sickened by drinking typhus-contaminated water. Baking soda was administered to treat upset stomachs, and sprained limbs were often soaked in salt solutions, a practice that continues today. For amputations, unlucky soldiers were often given wooden spoons—not to cook with, of course, but to clench in their teeth.

More Than Chicken Soup: Food Remedies

At the same time, an ocean away, England was experiencing a true golden age of food remedies. Modern medical breakthroughs like pasteurization (in 1862) and the stethoscope (in 1852) were finally More Than Chicken Soup: Food Remediesbeginning to catch up with kitchen cures, creating a uniquely British blend of folk wisdom and scientific method—the apothecary shop. Modern treatments like morphine, laudanum and chloroform found places on apothecary shelves right next to rosemary tinctures and essence of sage. Receipt books from the period show a real appreciation for the healing powers of lard, which could soothe chapped hands, ease inflammations and help repair burns. Herbs were used liberally in the Victorian home: Dill water could calm a colicky baby, lovage and peppermint were brewed into teas to cure upset stomachs and rosemary-infused alcohol was used for pain. Looking through Victorian medical books, we can see many treatments still familiar to us today. Add two handfuls of oats into a warm bath, for instance, and eczema and chickenpox sufferers would itch no more.

More Than Chicken Soup: Food RemediesBut what about the proverbial apples and chicken soup? Do they really work as well as folk wisdom seems to dictate? While an apple a day certainly won’t guarantee perfect health, apple extract has been shown to decrease cancer cell growth dramatically. Just don’t forget to eat the peel—that’s where most of the beneficial nutrients are found. And a 2000 study demonstrated that chicken soup does indeed have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce cold symptoms. As for lard salve and onion poultices, however, the jury’s still out.

High-Protein Dinner in a Salad Bowl / En høyproteinmiddag i en Salatbolle

A salad dinner recipe from an ad published in
LIFE magazine June 23 1961
High-Protein Dinner in a Salad Bowl / En høyproteinmiddag i en Salatbolle

Star-Kist Tuna advertised heavily in LIFE magazine all through the 1960s. Here’s a post based on one of these ads – Ted

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Trout Vincellér Style / Ørret Vincellérstyle

A dinner recipe found in “Flavours of Hungary Recipes”
a free E-book publiched by the Hungarian
Agricultural Marketing Centre in 2009
 
Trout Vincellér Style / Ørret Vincellérstyle

From the book intro: The world-famous Hungarian gastronomy relies on its savoury, high-quality Hungarian food. There is no need to prove how tasty Hungarian food is.

Everyone who has tasted real Hungarian tomatoes or peppers knows that they taste better than their foreign counterparts. Hungarian salami made according to the ancient tradition is known and sought after world-wide. The origin protection of “pálinka”, the Hungarian fruit brandy is now guaranteed under EU law.

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Pork Tenderloin Medallions / Indrefiletmedaljonger av Svin

A dinner recipe found in “Edelmiddag”
en gratis E-booklet published by Gilde.no

Pork Tenderloin Medallions / Indrefiletmedaljonger av Svin

The plates on the pictures in this booklet are divided into two.
The top section shows various juicy and tasty dishes made with pork. The bottom part shows various types of exciting accessories
that taste very well with the pork.

Top: Pork Tenderloin Medallions
Bottom: Couscous Salad

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