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~ G. Washington's Instant Seasoning & Broth History ~

IMG_4808This granulated gluten-free, meat-free instant seasoning has been around for generations, and, interestingly, it's used as an ingredient in a surprising number of savory, vintage recipe.  It was a staple in my grandmother's pantry and my mother's pantry, and, for the love of making their recipes, it is a staple in mine too.  It's recognized as the very first seasoning and broth.  The brand has a strong loyalty amongst its users, but, because it contains MSG, it is not everyones cup-of-tea.  That said, if you've ever tasted anything made using it, you'd immediately recognize how special it truly is.  Easy to find?  It's readily available in most grocery stores and on-line too.

Washington_Coffee_New_York_Times_bIn 1908, Mr. George Washington, coincidentally a distant relative of General George Washington, established the G. Washington Coffee Refining Company, in Morris Plains, New Jersey -- he and his company were the pioneer of instant coffee.  Having successfully marketed his instant coffee, the company became interested in developing additional products.  In 1937, headquarter staff member, Paul J. Campbell, was served an exceptionally delicious dish while visiting friends.  Impressed with the flavor, he complimented the hostess, who was more than happy to him the seasonings she had used in its preparation.  He went right to work. 

Mr. Campbell almost immediately discovered these seasonings, when mixed with water, produced a pleasant meaty taste.  His idea was to add dehydrated onion, celery and other vegetables to the mix in the hopes of creating an instant broth that could be sold as a companion to instant coffee.

Working late night hours and having tried numerous failed experiments with the list of ingredients, Mr. Campbell awoke one night (morning) at 3 AM,  having had a dream in which he made certain changes that produced a successful formula.  Going to his kitchen, he recalled the changes made in his dream thus creating today's recipe for the broth.  One year later, in 1938, G. Washington's Seasoning & Broth was originally marketed as "Broth". It was distinctly packaged in tin foil packets called "Aces" with fifty Aces to a box.  Advertising via various mediums, including via the radio, made G. Washington's Seasoning & Broth a success right from the very beginning.

Initial distribution was in the New York City area.  This changed after the product was featured at the New York World's Fair of 1939 as the "Soup of Tomorrow".  During World War II, G. Washington's Seasoning and Broth was packed in "K" rations  for the troops, replacing bouillon paste.  As mentioned earlier, today it is recognized as the first of the "Instant Seasoning and Broths".  In 1945, American Home Foods acquired the G. Washington Coffee Refining Company. Under American Home Foods, packaging was improved and the product name changed from G. Washington's Broth to "G. Washington's Seasoning and Broth". This classification change added versatility and has contributed greatly to the product's success.  International Home Foods, purchased the brand from American Hot Foods and then sold it to ConAgra in August of 2000.  In October 2001, Homestat Farm, Ltd. purchased the brand from ConAgra.  In April, 2014, Homestat Farm was purchased from William Statlander vis family-owned Camden Holdings. 

Try it in My Mom's Old-Fashioned All-Beef Meatloaf:

6a0120a8551282970b026bdefb190d200cOr in My Mom's Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Holubki):

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4820d41200dOr, in My Deconstructed Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage:

6a0120a8551282970b0240a482096f200dAnd, at Thanksgiving in My Mom's Bundt-Pan Cracker Stuffing:

6a0120a8551282970b022ad3a1d75e200d"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


Hi Lillian -- I use mine enough that I have never thought about an expiration date, but, truth told, I wouldn't worry about it as there are no herbs in it. It should be fine for a very long time!

I have unopened packets of seasoning in my pantry and wondered how long I can keep them. There is no expiration date on the box.

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