When it comes to food mascots - those iconic faces and names that we've heard so often over the years they are part of the fabric of our American life - it can be difficult to discern the fact from the fiction.
I learned this recently when a friend commented that she was surprised when I printed in an article that Betty Crocker wasn't a real person. She never knew.
That's exactly what the folks at the Washburn Crosby Co. of Minneapolis (which later became part of General Mills) were hoping for back in 1921, when they created the persona of the perfect American housewife named Betty Crocker.
According to research by the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University in Virginia, the company received thousands of letters each year with baking questions. Company managers decided that it would be more intimate to sign the responses personally, so they combined the last name of a retired company executive, William Crocker, with the