Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a Can: Vintage Ad & Recipe

Dromedary Date Nut Bread (in a can) had a Jingle Contest in 1940 to win nylon hose, and there were winners. Here's both the Advertisement and the Ad with the winners!
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 the more richer marscapone. Date Nut Bread makes fabulous sandwiches. It's also great toasted and smeared with sweet butter. Add some chocolate chips or chunks to the recipe, and it belongs on this blog!

This wonderful advertisement from 1940 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 advertisement 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 Chips. 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 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp 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 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sifted flour, unbleached
1/2 cup dark chopped chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
With fork, mix walnuts, dates, soda and salt in 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 chips.
Do Not Overmix.
Place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or a coffee can or 4 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. 


Mae Travels said...

I wasn't even born when that ad ran, but it looks exactly like the Dromedary Date-Nut Bread cans I remember from years afterwards. It was one of those cans that could wait for the day you didn't get to go to market, but wanted to eat dinner somehow, anyhow. I had no idea of whether it still existed or not. Wouldn't fit my current food prep. style. Maybe that's why it's gone.

You do find amazing retro things!

best... mae at

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Mae. It wasn't at our house..but I did see it at the Acme on the shelves when I was a child. I think the recipe I posted is so much more tasty. :-)

Sandy said...

My Mom used to buy it. Loved that bread. Wish it was still around. 🙁

Bo Drury said...

my mom was always having lady friends over after some social gathering, she would open up a can of Dromedary bread, smooth cream cheese on it, Quarter it and serve with coffee or tea along with rolled tidbits of ham and cheese held together with tooth picks. I loved to hang around for any left-overs!

James Clark said...

I never ate any but in my late teens I remember stocking it on the shelves of a "super market" I worked at in the late fifties and early sixties, in the Hyde Park neighborhood, on the south side of Chicago, my wife was looking for it last year but today we found out it's no longer available at least not by the original name brand "Dromedary" change is inevitable.

Unknown said...

I've been searching for chocolate nut roll in the can by Dromedary.... haven't seen it in years. Why


It is still available..try b&m brown bread, even comes in a can still. Older company same Recipe. Circa 1860s so its a lil older but it's exactly the same

Unknown said...

My mom and I would get together once a month and we would eat a can of Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a can with a 1/4 lb of butter. We would drink hot tea with it. It's a great memory of my mom.

ShadyKay said...

I've tried the B&M Brown Bread, and it is not the same and Dromedary Date Nut Bread - at all. B&M doesn't have dates or nuts, and is not sweet and moist like Dromedary. I am going to try this recipe - without the chocolate chips. I will try to make it in soup cans, though - that was the traditional shape. Then, slice and serve with cream cheese! This could be dangerous!

Unknown said...

I was thinking about buying some of this to slice and serve with cream cheese for Christmas.So sorry to find out its no longer available.Guess I'm going back to my childhood, and missing things I grew up with.

Unknown said...

Of cooking in cans, does it rise. I don't see mention of that specific

Janet Rudolph said...

Yes, it rises in the can..

Anonymous said...

Date Lover in Georgia

I used to buy the Dromedary Date Nut Bread every week during the 70's when my kids were young. This may sound strange to those of you who used it mostly as a snack or part of the meal, but I used the bread in a can as a dessert. Sliced it and poured a generous portion of warm vanilla custard over. It was my kids' favorite dessert!
I'll make it using your recipe and surprise my son with it, he was a total fanatic about that dessert!!

Anonymous said...

My mom always served this as dessert when I was in grade school (60's). I loved it! I'm going to make this recipe...hope it's as good as what I rememberd!

Gloria said...

My Mother would buy it for Christmas, slice it about 1 inch thick, and spread cream cheese over.Wonderful memories

Unknown said...

My mother used to buy this and I finally found this recipe. It was so good I used to sneak at nite to eat more!wish they still sold

Unknown said...

How I loved the Dromedaryy Date Nut Bread. BM is not quite as good, but like it, too
Dromedary plese bring it back for a new generation to love.

Unknown said...

We used to get this in our lunch, especially Friday, when we didn’t eat meat. Sliced with cream cheese- yum! Will try your recipe, minus the chocolate chips. Brings back memories. And the B&M brown bread is definitely different. Raisins but no dates or walnuts.

Anonymous said...

Where can I find your recipe?

Janet Rudolph said...

The recipe is at the bottom of the article. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Hello. I really wish this was still being made. I have fond memories as a child eating this. My mom bought it all the time and we ate it with cream cheese on top. It was delicious.

Anonymous said...

One of our favorite treats growing up. My mother would slice it, mix cream cheese with crushed pineapple and use that as the filling between 2 slices of the date nut roll. I continued to fix it like that every New Year’s Eve until I couldn’t find it anymore.

Unknown said...

Growing up Catholic, this was a staple for Friday lunches-no meat, so we had Date & Nut bread with cream cheese. Ah, memories!

Anonymous said...

I have looked for this in stores for years. My mom always served this as a nice snack after church and it was my Dads favorite. I will enjoy making this and thinking of daddy drooling till mom got it to the table. Thank you