The Golden-Brown Age of Toast
A 6000-year history

Nothing MoreThan Fillings
The true story of Pop Tarts

Mutant Spawns of Pop Tarts
Strange and failed toaster foods

Who Stole the Pop Tarts?

Hot Slots
Recipes for your toaster

Plugged-in Toasters
Links to other toaster-related sites

Best Thing since Sliced Bread
Eggos; Lenders' Bagels;
Thomas' English Muffins

 Best Thing since Sliced Bread Part I

“Hey, leggo my Eggo!” The name alone is a tip-off that the brand has been around a lot longer than most people suspect--the corporate fad of putting an -O at the end of a brain name peaked at a time that brought us Jell-o, Grain-o, Zippo, Drano, Cheerio, Harpo, Groucho, Chico and sometimes even Zeppo.

The name came from the Dorsa brothers (not to be confused with the Dorsey Brothers, whose musical harmony and personal disharmony was legendary during the Big Band era). In Depression-era 1935, Frank, Tony and Sam Dorsa had borrowed $35 to buy a waffle iron. Their idea was to build a better batter, which they’d sell premixed to restaurants. Their batter hit a homerun in early marketing; all they needed was a name. A fourth brother, George, piped up with a suggestion: It’s got a lot of eggs in it, why not call it “Eggo”?

Eggos started selling like hotcakes, and in 1937 the company went public. In 1937 he brothers opened a huge factory in San Jose, pumping out waffle batter for a breakfast-hungry nation.

Bred to Be Toasted
Eggos: From Good to Waffle

After World War II, when America went crazy for giant-size refrigerators and frozen foods, the brothers took a huge risk: They bet everything on the idea that Americans would buy frozen waffles. Striking while the iron was hot, they abandoned their batter business and switched over to ready-made waffles. Within a year, they were pouring out 10,000 waffles an hour, but still couldn’t keep up with the demand.

In 1968, the brothers sold out to Kellogg’s, which used the “Leggo my Eggo” slogan to raise waffle-consciousness in a hungry nation. Today, the brand is responsible for about 60% of the $500 million annual frozen waffle market.


Could it be that we are entering a new golden-brown age of toaster foods? Gardenburgers are those vegetarian patties that are actually good enough that even non-vegetarians can get them down with relish (or at least condiments).


Lately, Gardenburger packages have begun featuring -- along with the usual directions for conventional oven, grill, microwave oven and toaster oven--instructions for preparing them in toasters.

O brave new world, O brave little toaster!

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