Published September 04, 2013
| The Daily Meal
Famous fake food figureheads
Famous fake food figureheads
Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, and other brand namesakes that exist only in our imagination.
If Mrs. Butterworth ever existed, it was in the form of a talking syrup bottle, because that’s all she is. Owned by Pinnacle Foods, the animated syrup bottle, which is decked out in a full maid’s outfit (idealized domesticity!), first made her appearance in television commercials in 1961, and for a time was voiced by Mary Kay Bergman, who also voiced many of the female characters on South Park. Mrs. Butterworth still appears in commercials for the product today, and it was recently revealed that her first name was Joy.
While Francesco Rinaldi might sound like the name of a great Italian chef, his name is no more real than Mickey Mouse's. The Francesco Rinaldi brand, best known for jarred pasta sauces, was handed down from original owner Edward P. Salzano to Cantisano Foods when they joined forces in 1982, and then to current parent company LiDiestri Foods in 2002. Its website is very coy about who this Francesco Rinaldi was, or if he ever existed to begin with, so to put our suspicions to rest, we gave LiDiestri a call. A rep gave us an answer that demonstrated a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the brand and its history: "He never existed. It’s a brand that was created by… somebody," she said.
And there you have it.
This Nabisco-produced shortbread cookie first rolled off the production line in 1912, and was most likely named after the main character in R.D. Blackmore’s 1869 novel Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, about rival clans in 17th-century Scotland. While it’s loosely based on actual historical events, Blackmore apparently invented the name Lorna. No word as to why this particular name was chosen by Nabisco brass, but seeing as we haven’t read the book, we’re not sure if she has any particular fondness for shortbread cookies.
While there might have been several Dr. Peppers throughout history, none of them invented any popular sodas, including the one that was devised by pharmacist Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas, in the early 1880s and soon took the name Dr. Pepper. No one can say for sure how the name came about, but there are a few theories: Some contend that it got its name because it contained pepsin (similar to how Pepsi got its name); others argue that its initial use as a tonic was intended to "pep" you up. There's a popular myth that the drink was named after one Dr. Charles T. Pepper, who supposedly granted Wade Morrison, the owner of the drug store where Alderton worked, permission to marry his daughter or offered him his first job. They lived nowhere near each other, though, and Pepper's daughter would have been only 8 years old at the time. So while Morrison very well might have been acquainted with a doctor by the last name of Pepper (he apparently also lived near one for a time, according to census records, and may have even had a thing for his daughter), the good doctor most likely had nothing to do with the naming of his soda.
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