kultur

who eats what when where with whom why?

Mitarbeiter von eßkultur Berlin

Anja - ready-mix

Anja's mother was a modern woman. For birthday there was ready-mix cake, always. It's quick and the result reliable.

Henry Jones, a baker from Bristol, deserves credit for the fact that part-time confectioners today need not be afraid of their own daring. Before Mr. Jones's invention, to over- or to underdose your raising agent meant to spoil a birthday cake. In 1845, Henry Jones added baking powder to flour, in the correct dosage, and sold it ready-mixed.

His "self-raising flour" found happy customers in England and the U.S. And soon there was not only flour-with-baking-powder, but many kinds of ready-mixes: dry goods like flour, sugar and cocoa were put into the mixture, and only milk, eggs or butter had to be added at home. Into the oven with it, and there's your Ginger Cake, your Marble Cake or whatever – depending on where on the planet you bake your ready-mix.

When sales dropped in the U.S., Japanese housewives were targeted. But in Japan ovens are a very rare item of kitchen equipment, people use rice cookers instead. So ready-mixes drove Japanese housewives crazy: what to do with the rice that used to remain in the cooker between breakfast and lunch? Sales remained low, and Japanese birthday cakes were sold somewhere else.

Anja was more lucky: she got a modern birthday cake from her modern mother every year, from 1972 with candles. Hers was a happy childhood.