Mar 6 - Geezer's Blog - National Frozen Food Day

 Learn something new about frozen food.

The Full Story:

  • Carl Paul Gottfried Linde, an engineer, scientist, and professor at the Technical University of Munich, is basically the father of frozen food. Sort of. Back in the 19thcentury, he helped pioneer industrial cooling, through what’s commonly known as the Hampson-Linde cycle, and used his findings to plan an ice and refrigeration machine back in the nineteenth century.
  • His desire to build such machines was only furthered in 1892, when the Guinness Brewery requested that Linde create a carbon dioxide liquefaction plant for them, pushing him still further into the arena of low temperature refrigeration and the liquefaction of air. Thanks, beer!
  • Ever wonder about the namesake of Birds Eye Frozen Foods? It came straight from the company’s founder, Clarence Birdseye, who introduced the concept of flash freezing to the world. It was actually the first frozen food sold commercially in the United States. The fun began on March 6, 1930 when Birds Eye frozen foods were put on sale at Davidson’s Market in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • As for the first “complete” frozen meal, it had nothing to do with the TV. Those first meals arrived in 1945 when Maxson Food Systems, Inc. started producing their so-called “Strato-Plates,” meals that were created specifically for consumption on airplanes (both by military and civilian passengers). Each frozen meal included a meat, a vegetable, and a potato.
  • In the 1950’s, a milestone industry step was taken with the introduction of the TV dinner. This development not only capitalized on the growing American fascination with television, but introduced the convenience of the complete meal in a quick and easy to prepare frozen form.
  • The first TV dinner introduced by C.A. Swanson & Son was roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and peas. It sold for 98-cents and came in an aluminum tray, so you could just open the box and heat the dinner in the oven. (Remember, no microwave ovens existed back then). They were an immediate success, and Turkey dinners are still the most popular Swanson frozen dinner. Swanson stopped calling them TV dinners in 1962.

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