Once upon a time, there were no brownies in the world. It was a very sad thing and is known by paleoculinaryhistorians as The Time of No Brownies. Then in what can only be described as a dessert-type miracle, the brownie was born.
It seems that in 1893, Mrs. Palmer (of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago) got a hankering for brownies. She didn’t know that of course, since they hadn’t been invented yet. But hanker she did. So she asked her chef (whose name is lost in the sands of culinary time) to make a special dessert for her friends attending the Columbian Exposition. According to my friend, the internet, the new dessert was to be “smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches”.
The Chef created the word’s first brownie, and everyone was happy. Especially Mrs. P who was able to satisfy the world’s first brownie craving.
If you go to the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago you can still order a brownie made from the original recipe.
The chef’s creation (in addition to being delicious) sparked the Great Six Question Brownie Debate:
- Nuts or no nuts?
- Fudgey or cakey?
- Edges or inside pieces?
- Frosted or unfrosted?
- Warm or room temperature?
- Plain or with ice cream?
Today, there are all sorts of variations on brownies. Some brownies don’t contain chocolate (and are therefore imho not brownies at all). Some brownies contain vegetables (yes, chocolate is a vegetable—just ask Grandma—but that’s not what I’m talking about). Some contain pieces of candy (unnecessary but not sacrilegious). And some contain a variety of substances which may or may not be legal depending on where in These Here Now United States you live (avoid the illegal—even in brownies).
Everyone has their own opinion on such things. Many of those brownie opinions are just plain wrong. And with so many combinations and permutations, there are a lot of unfortunately made brownies in the world. We can only feel sorry for them and the people eating them. Sometimes one has to reach deep and eat an imperfect confection. We do it for the betterment of the world and because who can pass up even an imperfect brownie?
Enjoy the brownies,
What’s your “perfect” way to eat a brownie? Leave a comment below. Then feel free to Like us on Facebook.