Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dromedary Date Nut Bread w/Chocolate Chunks: Vintage Ad & Recipe

Today is Date Nut Bread Day. Has this wonderful quick bread fallen out of favor? I think not. It's a great bread to smother with cream cheese.. or more upscale marscapone. Date Nut Bread makes fabulous sandwiches, and it's also great toasted and smeared with butter. Add some chocolate chunks to the recipe, and it belongs on this blog!

This wonderful advertisement from 1941 not only reflects the popularity of this quick bread in the U.S., but it's an historical testament to nylon hose and prepared foods at that time. Want to sell a product in the 1940s? Appeal to women. To win a pair of nylons, all you needed to do was finish the jingle. 1000 lucky women won nylons. In 1939  DuPont introduced nylon stockings at the New York World's Fair, whose theme was the "World of Tomorrow." DuPont then went into full scale production, and "by May 1940, nylon hose was a huge success and women lined up at stores across the county to obtain the precious goods."  Just an FYI, nylon went to war in 1942  to be used  as parachutes and tents (as silk had been before nylon) and became in short supply.

Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a Can is no longer in production, but isn't the concept and ad fabulous. I used to bake a lot of quick breads in a can, but they didn't come already baked in a can, right on the shelves. FYI: Dromedary Date-Nut Bread in a can did not contain chocolate.

Dromedary Dates, which were also sold at the market, had a recipe on the back of the package for Date-Nut Bread. Here's a recipe that's pretty close to the original Dromedary Date-Nut Bread Recipe -- with the addition of Chocolate Chunks. If you want your finished Date-Nut Bread to look similar to the ad above, bake the date-nut breads in 4 soup cans!


3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pitted dates (Dromedary chopped dates from the original recipe- one package-8 ounces-equals 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tbsp oil  (or 3 tbsp melted butter-original recipe mentions margarine, but I don't use margarine)
3/4 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sifted flour, unbleached
1/2 cup dark chopped chocolate chunks

Preheat Oven to 350.
With fork, mix walnuts, dates, soda + salt in a bowl. Add oil and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes. With fork, beat eggs slightly, add vanilla. Stir in sugar and sifted flour. Mix in date mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Do Not Overmix. Place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or a coffee can or soup cans). Bake at 350 for 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Move to wire rack to finish cooling.

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