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A History of Betty Crocker – The Home Cook Who Never Was

Well, how about that? Nobody ever named Betty Crocker, unlike Aunt Jemima, who was a real person. A former slave, evidently.

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

Did you know, one of our most beloved kitchen personalities, Betty Crocker, was a woman who never existed?  The name was first developed in 1921 as a way to give a personalized response to consumer product questions. The name Betty was selected because it was viewed as a cheery, all-American name. It was paired with the last name Crocker, in honor of William Crocker, a Washburn Crosby Company director.  There are also a number of Betty Crocker-branded products, such as hand mixers, which support General Mills product line of foodstuffs.

  • In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Betty Crocker was used by General Mills to symbolize the ideal female American cook.  In that time, she became one of the most well-known figures in American culture.
  • The first “portrait” of Betty Crocker appeared in 1936. It has subtly changed over the years, but has always accommodated General Mills’ cultural perception of the American…

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Writer, Walker, Entrepreneur, baby-boomer

One thought on “A History of Betty Crocker – The Home Cook Who Never Was

  1. It doesn’t surprise me, really. I think that an image, at this scale, tends to work much better. Remember all the brouhahaha about Martha Stewart? About how some apparently thought she was the perfect wife and homemaker– and then it was revealed she wasn’t, but she *was* a very savvy businesswoman?

    I’m biased, I’m sure. Thinking on my own family’s dysfunctionality, I tend to think that this is a statement on life. Images and symbols may be strong and endure past flaws and shortcomings of real, regular people.

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