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When Napoleon III held a contest to invent a cheap butter substitute for his army, navy, and the poor, an inventor named Mege-Mouries buttered his bread with the prize he won. He made a pearly-white product from the fat of animal kidneys and named his invention margarine. When margarine reached the United States in 1873, manufacturers could not add any coloring to it. The laws were set to prevent customers from confusing margarine with butter. To get around these laws, manufacturers included a packet of yellow food coloring that consumers could mix into the pearly-white spread to give it a buttery appearance. Today, those laws have been repealed and we can buy our margarine pre-dyed.

This Margarine recipe is from the Food Facts and History Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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