Here are today’s five food things to know about baking powder:

Baking soda is a white crystalline powder (NaHCO3).

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It’s also known as sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, sodium hydrogen carbonate, or sodium acid carbonate.

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 The acid in a baking powder can be either fast-acting or slow-acting.

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 Alfred Bird discovered modern baking  powder in 1843.

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During World War II, American inventor Byron H. Smith created a substitute for baking powder that american households could use during war food shortages.

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Today’s Food History

  • 1795 Josiah Wedgwood died. English inventor, artist and world renowned pottery designer and manufacturer. His daughter, Susannah, was the mother of Charles Darwin.
  • 1871 Oleomargarine was patented by Henry Bradley of Binghamton, New York. Hippolyte Mege-Mouries developed margarine in France in 1869, and received a U.S. patent in 1873 for margarine. There were many patents granted for various formulas and manufacturing techniques for margarine in the U.S. beginning in 1871. I can remember, as a kid, kneading a plastic pouch of margarine, with a red dot of food coloring, to distribute the color throughout the margarine. The dairy industry was able to have laws passed that prevented manufacturers from coloring the margarine. (The natural color of margarine is white).
  • 1888 The first patent for wax coated paper drinking straws (made by a spiral winding process) was issued to Marvin C. Stone of Washington, D.C.
  • 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkein was born. Author of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Food and hospitality play important roles in both.
  • 1921 Studebaker announced that it would stop making farm wagons. Studebaker began making horse drawn wagons in 1852, and started experimenting with the new ‘horseless carriage’ in 1897.
  • 1979 Conrad Nicholson Hilton died. Founder of one of the most well known and largest hotel chains. It all began when he and his father turned their large New Mexico house into an inn for traveling salesmen.
  • 1980 Joy Adamson died. Naturalist and author of ‘Born Free’ about Elsa, a lion cub. She had also researched culinary and medicinal uses of various plants in Kenya.
  • 2000 Charles Schulz created his last ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.
  • 2002 Alfred Heineken died. Grandson of Gerard Adriaan Heineken, the founder of Heineken Brewery. Alfred was president of the company from 1964 to 1989.