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Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food [Kindle Edition]

Louis Hatchett , Michael Stern
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Duncan Hines (1880--1959) may be best known for the cake mixes, baked goods, and bread products that bear his name, but most people forget that he was a real person and not just a fictitious figure invented for the brand. America's pioneer restaurant critic, Hines discovered his passion while working as a traveling salesman during the 1920s and 1930s -- a time when food standards were poorly enforced and safety was a constant concern. He traveled across America discovering restaurants and offering his recommendations to readers in his best-selling compilation Adventures in Good Eating (1935). The success of this work and of his subsequent publications led Hines to manufacture the extremely popular food products that we still enjoy today.

In Duncan Hines, author Louis Hatchett explores the story of the man, from his humble beginnings in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to his lucrative licensing deal with Proctor & Gamble. Following the successful debut of his restaurant guide, Hines published his first cookbook, Adventures in Good Cooking (1939), at the age of 59 and followed it with The Dessert Book (1955). These culinary classics included recipes from many of the establishments he visited on his travels, favorites handed down through his family for generations, and new dishes that contained unusual ingredients for the era. Many of the recipes served as inspiration for mixes that eventually became available under the Duncan Hines brand.

This authoritative biography is a comprehensive account of the life and legacy of a savvy businessman, American icon, and an often-overlooked culinary pioneer whose love of good food led to his name becoming a grocery shelf favorite. Hatchett offers insightful commentary into the man behind the cake mix boxes and how he paved the way for many others like him.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1240 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (May 8, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K6RV2RW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Author Louis Hatchett reminds us Duncan Hines (1880-1959) was a real person with a zest for living well and not a fictitious advertising contrivance like Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben or Captain Crunch to sell the eponymous brand-named line of dependable packaged baking mixes that continues to dominate supermarket aisles decades after their introduction. Bowling Green, KY residents have tangible reminders that he was a native son with an annual festival, the Duncan Hines Scenic Byway, an 82 mile loop past historic homes and sites through Warren and Edmonson Counties, and the Hardy and Son Funeral Home, site of the former Hines residence on Louisville Road. Although his photograph was omitted from product boxes following his death, Duncan Hines face was instantly recognizable in his day and businesses strived to achieve the distinctive accolade “Recommended by Duncan Hines”, an assurance of success.

Hines was a printer’s sales representative during the 1920’s and 1930’s who traveled for business and pleasure thousands of miles primarily by car through small towns and rural communities in the era before interstate highways were built. There were neither chain restaurants nor established, regulated food safety standards, no guidebooks for roadside eateries, restaurant critics outside of major cities or a Food Show Network. In point of fact, dining out in Middle America could be as hazardous to one’s health as consuming snacks from Third World street vendors. In his quest to find consistently reliable, clean, quality places to eat and sleep, Duncan Hines was a revolutionary pioneer who permanently transformed the food service and hospitality industries and laid the foundations for the countless food and restaurant critics, food writers, bloggers and television programs that followed.
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Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this story about someone I didn't even know was an actual person. I'm not young and my Mama laughed when I said I thought he was just a "name". I don't know how I missed this part of history. But it's a book worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. =) March 9, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
I just thought I knew about Duncan Hines. Duncan Hines was more than cake mixes. Definitely an interesting read. =)
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