Friday, July 4, 2008

Vitos Muffins - 1899

Pillsbury's Vitos. Ever since I found this ad for the product in the December 1899 issue of Woman's Home Companion, I have been extremely curious as to what the product actually was. The box pictured in this lovely ad simply says "wheat food", which was not enough information for me. So I googled it but can't seem to find much more information. I did find another 1899 ad that says Vitos are a better covering for chicken or fish than bread crumbs are, because it does not get mushy or greasy. And still another ad from this time period suggested using Vitos to make mush.

So from what I can tell, Vitos may be some type of wheat cereal, possibly tiny little kernels like Grape Nuts. If anyone has any idea, I would love to hear. This recipe is one I would love to experiment with and try, and I think I am going to do so although I'll probably need several attempts with several different possible substitutes for the Vitos.

Finally, I was also intrigued when I saw that this is a Fannie Farmer recipe, since her cookbooks are well known to almost anyone with a love of cooking, even today. At the time it seems she was the principal of the Boston Cooking School, and according to Wikipedia, this ad appeared just 3 years after her most well-known work (The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook) was published.

1899 - Vitos Muffins

Mix one cup flour, one-half cup VITOS, two tablespoonfuls sugar, three and one-half teaspoonfuls baking powder, and one-quarter teaspoonful salt. Add one egg well beaten, three-fourths cup of milk, and two tablespoonfuls melted butter. Bake in buttered gem pans twenty to twenty-five minutes.

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