Monday, November 23, 2009

Cookie People

I once met Famous Amos. He was at a store in downtown Ann Arbor called Jacobsons’. It’s been out of business for ages, but that’s not important now. He was a hip black guy who had just started a business baking home-style chocolate chip cookies and was trying to find an upscale market for them. Jacobsons’ housewares and china department offered a few gourmet items. SO much was different in those days I don’t even want to try to describe it. Anyway it wasn’t long until Famous Amos sold his little start-up to a mass market baking company that’s now no doubt a food conglomerate. And now he doesn’t seem to be an actual person any more than the Keebler Elf does. (I remember asking him why he was famous, and I think he answered "because I say so.")

Fig Newmans are named after Paul Newman, and he’s a real person who just died recently. (Fig Newtons most probably are named for a town in Massachusetts, not a person, but if they were named for a person it might be Sir Isaac.) Paul Newman’s unusual food company, which started with Newman’s own salad dressing and spaghetti sauce, has gone far. The company also makes sandwich cookies – sort of a better Oreo. I wonder if he was still alive when Newmans Own began to also sell cat food. That startled me when I saw it for the first time yesterday. But it’s probably an old old product. I digress from cookies.

Just one more name: Lorna Doone. A fictional person from a novel by R.D. Blackmore. According to my search of miscellaneous google links, Nabisco execs don’t have any record of the reason for naming this cookie, first produced in 1912.

No comments: