27 May 2012

Delrich Margarine

Last summer, I wanted to go to the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, but it was mostly open while I was at work. This year, since I work part-time, I get Fridays off, so I went there after a disastrous interview (I made so many mistakes that I can't choose the worst one). Although the whole exhibit was interesting (and I would definitely visit again, as it is free and informative), my favourite part was the little exhibit about food additives. I do wish that there was a whole museum dedicated to food additives or something! The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University is the closest I've gone, and possibly my favourite museum ever.
(Click the image to get the full size and to read all the fine print).
This is a photo of the one advertisement that intrigued me, about Delrich Margarine. Of course, it seemed a little crazy to me when I first saw it, but nowadays, we have similar weird food items. For instance: squeeze-to-create icing, simultaneously microwavable one tray main course + veggies + dessert, and coloured, sweet (aspartame, sucralose, etc.) powder that you pour into water. So I guess having a colour-able margarine isn't that silly.
Back then, apparently you couldn't sell margarine pre-dyed (because that would be fraud! --yet today this kinda thing is so prominent today). Because margarine was cheaper than butter, to feign high status, many women (yes, women) would throw the white margarine into a bowl and add yellow food colouring, and then package up the yellow margarine. To end this tedious task, Delrich added a yellow pellet into the margarine packet, so then the margarine would be white, but you could easily squish it around to make it yellow. This product was discontinued because the dye was deemed unsafe, at some point.

When I was young, we always bought margarine in Australia, which is a little weird because butter probably wasn't even that expensive (lots of cows there). I recall all the margarine I've ever had to be yellow. Either way, I have stayed away from margarine since moving to the U.S, although I'm not really sure why.

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