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Little Known Cooking Secret

Updated on June 10, 2015

There's a little known cooking secret that you'll find yourself using in the bottom of your pots and pans. When these pans and pots start warming up is when the magic starts taking place from this little cooking secret. The actual name of this substance that is used in baking, cooking, and frying isn't by any means a secret, but the original origin of it definitely isn't very well known to most people out there in the world. For over a hundred years chefs and cooks have been using this product when they are preparing, cooking, and baking their meals, however believe it or not this product was actually invented for an entirely different purpose other than cooking.

Back in 1901 the German government contracted with German scientists to develop a lubricant for their submarine fleet. They did so at the German government's request, but since there were only about one hundred submarines at the time back then, there wasn't very much money or profit to be made by their hard work. So they took their invention, and went out in the world trying to attract other buyers who would be interested in this new product.

Their invention caught the eye of Procter and Gamble, and they hit the jackpot when P&G showed some interest in this new innovation. Procter and Gamble purchased this invention, and after much consideration marketed it and sold it as an all-vegetable shortening, so that they could start recouping their initial investment. The company introduced this special kind of shortening to the market place in 1911. Something to take special note of is this may have been something fairly new to folks back in those times. After all most people in the era were still making their very own soap at home. P&G even got the stamp of approval from the American Heart Association after paying them around 1.7 million dollars. However back in those times not all that many people were aware of or even knew about the American Heart Association. This was probably a big boost to both Procter and Gamble as well as the American Heart Association.

If you haven't figured it out by now what the name of this dual purpose product is, then in the spirit of the great Paul Harvey I'll now give you the rest of the story. By now most all of you have both heard of and used Proctor and Gamble's all-vegetable shortening called Crisco. That's right people, you heard it, good old Crisco once started out a long time ago as a submarine lubricant. Today Crisco is manufactured by the J.M. Smucker Company out of Orrville, and comes in a variety of different tubs. You probably didn't have any idea back when you were younger that when you were digging a finger full of Crisco out of that cardboard tub and putting it into your your mouth, that you were really eating pure submarine lubricant. Along with hearing the rest of the story here, now you've heard TheHoleStory about a little known cooking secret.

Have you ever eaten pure Crisco off of your finger right out of the tub?

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Did you know that Crisco was originally developed as a submarine lubricant?

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Did you just learn something new here?

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    • profile image

      Debbie Moorefield 6 months ago

      Your writing has a very natural tone to it, which made even more enjoyable an interesting topic. I liked the way you revealed the 'secret', and kept me reading to find out what it was. There are a few minor grammatical errors such as the need to add a comma following the word 'however', but nothing that cannot be easily fixed. The opening sentences contains the words 'cooking secret' twice, which is redundant. Consider dropping 'from this little cooking secret' after '...the magic starts taking place'. Overall it was a great read, well laid out with interesting facts from a fun-loving voice.

    • annejantz profile image

      Anne Crary Jantz 20 months ago from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, U.S.A.

      A very cool article! I believe you should learn something new every day or not bother to get out of bed. My getting out of bed has been justified for today!!! I agree with a lot of commenters that Crisco is great for pie crust, but I do use butter, olive oil or coconut oil for most everything else.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting little-known cooking secret, which is all good for people that know what crisco is, must be a fat.

      I have never heard of it, still using dripping which is rendered down fat from livestock, have been using it all my life, my husband and I are very healthy and fit in our late seventies, not over the normal weight and still farming over 100 beef stock.

      I look at animal fat as a healthy food, that was what our parents used there was no such thing as artificial grease.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Fascinating! I never had a clue, but it sure makes me look at pie crust differently, to which I have made plenty!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 2 years ago from New York

      It is a shortening in solid form

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      No it is submarine lubricant!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Not even sure what crisco is? Probably margarine?

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 2 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Fun little hub.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 2 years ago from New York

      Since I seldom use Crisco I was wondering what is the secret ingredient? I cook with butter and olive oil and can't imagine using Crisco in a saucepan. The only thing I still use it for is with butter in a pie crust pastry. I don't even fry with it anymore. Great article. You certainly had me fooled.

    • miriamyentraccm profile image

      Miriam Parker 2 years ago from Ontario, CA. 91761

      Interesting article! Good work!

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      A military lubricant as vegetable shortener? Not the first time I've heard of military inventions going to civilians, but certainly the most amusing. Crisco is great!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I have used Crisco all my life without giving any thought to it's origin. That was an interesting bit of information. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and interesting.

      Blessings to you.

    • Lovely  C profile image

      lavenderLove 2 years ago from Philippines


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Now I will never look at Crisco in exactly the same way as before. Trust me.

    • ktnptl profile image

      ktnptl 2 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      very interesting and informative.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      A lot of fun facts here.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 2 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Well I never knew! Now I do. Thanks to you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Fun and interesting hub.....

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      A clever approach to a Hub and another piece of miscellaneous useless knowledge to add to my portfolio. That is unless of course I ever have a submarine I need to lubricate! Interesting Hub, just had to vote it up.

    • Beaddoodler profile image

      Jennie Hennesay 2 years ago from Lubbock TX

      Very interesting!

    • eugbug profile image

      Eugene Brennan 2 years ago from Ireland

      Brilliant, I had to read "TheHoleStory" before I learned what the secret was! - Tweeted and voted up!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      This is such an interesting way of writing a hub. :)