When, therefore, Crisco was perfected, and it was shown that here finally was an altogether new and better fat, cookery experts were quick to show their appreciation.
In reading the following pages, think of Crisco as a primary cooking fat or shortening with even more individuality (because it does greater things), than all others.
No other food supplies our bodies with the drive, the vigor, which fat gives. No other food has been given so little study in proportion to its importance.
Here are interesting facts, yet few housewives are acquainted with them:
Fat contains more than twice the amount of energy-yielding power or calorific value of proteids or carbohydrates. One half our physical energy is from the fat we eat in different forms. The excellent book, “Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent,” by Fannie Merritt Farmer, states, “In the diet of children at least, a deficiency of fat cannot be replaced by an excess of carbohydrates; and that fat seems to play some part in the formation of young tissues which cannot be undertaken by any other constituent of food....”
The book entitled “The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning,” by the two authorities, Ellen H. Richards and S. Maria Elliott, states that the diet of school children should be regulated carefully with the fat supply in view. Girls, especially, show at times a dislike for fat. It therefore is necessary that the fat which supplies their growing bodies with energy should be in the purest and most inviting form and should be one that their digestions welcome, rather than repel.
The first step in the digestion of fat is its melting. Crisco melts at a lower degree of heat than body temperature. Because of its low melting point, thus allowing the digestive juices to mix with it, and because of its vegetable origin and its purity, Crisco is the easiest of all cooking fats to digest.
When a fat smokes in frying, it “breaks down,” that is, its chemical composition is changed; part of its altered composition becomes a non-digestible and irritating substance. The best fat for digestion is one which does not decompose or break down at frying temperature. Crisco does not break down until a degree of heat is reached above the frying point. In other words, Crisco does not break down at all in normal frying, because it is not necessary to have it “smoking hot” for frying. No part of it, therefore, has been transformed in cooking into an irritant. That is one reason why the stomach welcomes Crisco and carries forward its digestion with ease.
A part of the preliminary work done in connection with the development of Crisco, described in these pages, consisted of the study of the older cooking fats. The objectionable features of each were considered. The good was weighed against the bad. The strength and weakness of each was determined. Thus was found what the ideal fat should possess, and what it should not possess. It must have every good quality and no bad one.