Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mouries' Margarine

Oleo : Margarine on spoon Stock Photo
Photo of margarine on a spoon, where it should stay, courtesy

On this day in 1869 French chemist Hippolyte Mege Mouries (1817-1880) was granted a patent for margarine.  He developed this substitute for butter for a contest sponsored by Napoleon III.  Mouries coined the word margarine from the Greek word marganon, which means pearl, because in his experiments he isolated a substance that looked like pearls.

During the Industrial Revolution people migrated from farms to cities to work, which produced a shortage of butter in France.  So Napolean III sponsored the contest for producing a butter substitute, which Mouries won.

Margarine is vegetable oil or meat fats mixed with milk and salt, and dye to give it the yellow color.  Some people say margarine is better for you than butter.  Some people say butter is better for you than margarine.  I just say, "Please pass the butter."

For more information click here.  What did you learn today?

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