June 18, 2018
Is it possible to slice into a “Funfetti” cake or see an ice cream cone on a hot, summer day dipped in rainbow sprinkles, and not feel the child within you stir with glee? There is something so innocent and downright happy about sprinkles, that their fervent resurgence into pop, foodie culture – thanks in large part to the visually-driven Instagram and Pinterest generations – comes as no real surprise.
But sprinkles date back to long before social media, and since here at meringueshop we have quite a bit to share about our own approach to these edible decorations, we thought it only made sense to start at the beginning.
Of course, history is often a bit hazy, with healthy doses of folklore and here-say peppered in amongst the facts, and the history of the humble sprinkle is no different. Many of the stories begin in the 1930s, in a Pennsylvania candy company named Just Born (the same company to first produce other cult candy favorites like Peeps, Hot Tamales, and Mike&Ikes). They are then said to have traveled up to Boston by the 1940s, where they were sold as a topping at a local ice cream shop named Brighams – who also has been known to lay claim to the invention of the sprinkle.
In actuality, sprinkles seem to predate both Just Born and Brigham’s, and may in fact come not from America at all, but from the Netherlands, where adding a serious coating of sprinkles (“hagelslag”) to buttered bread has been a popular breakfast staple for decades. It’s no wonder they’re ranked as some of the happiest people on Earth!
What is even more hotly contested than this decorations’ origins, interestingly enough, is the name: sprinkles, non-pareils, jimmies, hagelslag, hundreds and thousands, and the list goes on. Regardless of what phrase you grew up using, though, I think we can all agree on this: sprinkles can transform food with their whimsy, beauty, and spunk. What’s not to love about that?
Well, maybe one thing: the ingredients. At meringueshop, we’ve taken our sprinkle enthusiasm one step further in order to create quality sprinkles that satisfy both your inner child and outward, grown-up sensibility. See, for allergies, there are few store-bought options. Vegans, too, are often left out of the fun due to the addition of shellac (a non-vegan glaze) or egg whites. And all of those bright colors traditionally come from artificial dyes, which have been brought under fire for their potential link to hyperactivity in kids. So we set out to create sprinkles (or jimmies, or hagelslag, or...) that are plant- based, allergy-friendly, and free from artificial ingredients – in short, sprinkles that can bring joy and excitement to as many people as possible, because everyone deserves to feel like a kid now and then!
Guest contributor, Jessica Serdikoff
Jessica has been driven all her life by a passion for food. Getting her informal start in her grandmother’s kitchen many years ago, she took a brief culinary hiatus to become a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Her curiosity and enthusiasm for food, recipe development, and kitchen creativity never left her, though, leading her most recently to graduate from the chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute of NYC. Now she has the know-how to geek out about food and the science behind it!
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