Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oat Cuisine

Oat Cuisine
When an innovative and enterprising immigrant Ohio miller named Ferdinand Schumacher began promoting his new steel-cut as a nutritious cereal in the 1860s, editorial writers and cartoonists of the day scoffed, insinuating that oats-eaters robbed horses and would develop the whinnies.

The Scots, whose taste for oats was already known, were dismissed as being too cheap or too poor to consume anything else.

Nevertheless, Schumacher’s steel-cut oats, his even more convenient rolled oats began catching on as breakfast fare, probably because they were economical and satisfying as well as relatively easy to prepare.

(Schumacher eventually became one of the founders of what is now the Quaker Oats Company.)

By 1881, oats had also made their way into baked goods: a book of recipes for commercial bakers called The Complete Bread, Cake and Cracker Baker contained recipe for oats meal muffins, puffs and rolls and a rolled oatmeal-molasses cookie called “oatmeal Snacks” or “Scotch Perkins.”
Presumably Scottish in origin - ginger bread cookies called “parkins” do turn up in old British cookbooks - these snaps may well have been the first oatmeal cookies baked in America.

Only eight years later rolled oatmeal cookies called “Oatmeal Biscuits” debuted in a work for home cooks, Mrs. Clarke’s Cookery Book.

The earliest oatmeal-raisin drip cookie I’ve come across appeared in the Capital City Cook Book, a Madison, Wisconsin, church cookbook published in 1906.

Sometime after 1910, oatmeal cookies edged further into America mainstream when Quaker Oats first put an oatmeal cookie recipe on its box.

While no one paid particular attention then, the public did notice - and vigorously complained - when the company stopped putting oatmeal cookie recipes on its containers in the early 1950s.

The recipes immediate were reinstated, an various oatmeal cookies have been featured in Quaker Oats boxes ever since.

Now, the oatmeal cookie is second in popularity in America only to the chocolate chip.
Oat Cuisine