TECO Brand Foods
Here is a pancake flour that has the added value of malted buttermilk mixed in with it to give necessary punch to the flour to produce delicious food. The buttermilk is reduced to a powder and mixed right in with the flour and say, old-timer, if you want to make the old homey kind of pancakes with the milky flavor, you can do it without toting any milk along if you use TECO.
This buttermilk, besides making the pancakes easily digestible adds to their nutritive value, fact is, it produces a cake that is deliciously different. They have a taste that won’t come off.
The Story of TECO Pancake Flour
Here is the story of the origin of TECO Pancake Flour and TECO Buckwheat Flour, and of how, starting out as a byproduct, they grew in importance until from a sales viewpoint they now have the center of the Ekenberg Company’s stage.
Of course, genuine goodness, real old-fashioned flavor and the appeal to the time-honored Yankee taste for real pancakes had a great deal to do with it, but the interesting part of this commercial romance lies in the fact that the Ekenberg Company was forced to find a market for a byproduct—and found it.
For years, the Ekenberg Company, located at Cortland, up in the beautiful Tioughnioga Valley of New York state, was engaged in the manufacture of powdered milk.
This product is nothing more or less than good, healthy cow’s milk from which the water is removed without changing the chemical composition in the least.
This latter point is very important, and to produce the proper results the milk must not be subjected to high temperature in the process of dehydrating.
For various reasons—the principal one being that powdered milk is used chiefly for cooking—the demand is for a powdered skimmed milk rather than a powdered milk containing the normal amount of butter fat.
This necessitated a separating plant at the Ekenberg creamery to produce the skimmed milk, and it is at this point that our real story begins.
From the cream that was produced in the separating process, butter was made which in turn produced a byproduct, buttermilk—which byproduct is the real mother of Teco Pancake Flour.
For a long time, this buttermilk was a waste product until the company conceived the idea of dehydrating it—reducing it to a powdered form—by the same process that was used in the manufacture of the powdered sweet skimmed milk.
After much experimenting a perfect buttermilk in powdered form was produced.
The next process was to malt it in much the same manner as sweet milk is malted into “malted milk.” The byproduct, the former waste product, was now ready for experimenting to find itself a real market.
It did not take a great deal of time, in running down a list of foods in which buttermilk played an important part, to make a selection of one that was destined to meet with popular demand, for what could tickle the American palate to a greater extent than a truly American dish—real old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes—the sort that bore the hallowed “mother’s touch” and with which we would establish an eating record one morning only to break our own record the following morning?
This decided, then began the months of laboratory tests and experiments in the blending of flours, leavening, and salt to produce a flour that in pancake form would take us back through the years to our childhood tastes and appetite.
Naturally, the best ingredients obtainable were used in the blending, for that had been the Ekenberg policy from the company’s start, but even good ingredients improperly blended make a poor finished product, so the work was slow, for TECO had but one object ahead—that of producing real buttermilk pancakes.
The result was a buttermilk pancake flour to which the mere addition of water would produce a real old-fashioned pancake batter that rivaled mother’s, for by adding the required amount of water the buttermilk was reinstated in its former and natural state.
It was but a step from the regular buttermilk pancakes to the equally popular, but strictly winter breakfast dish—buckwheat cakes. And here let it be added that TECO Buckwheat Flour is real buckwheat pancake flour, made with real buckwheat. the flours were first offered to the critical American taste in 1911, and they met with instant and complete approval.
Each year the territory has been broadened and more brokers, jobbers and retail dealers have sold these two products. The result to date is a distribution from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.
Three years ago the company began the use of large space in the national magazines. This year a poster campaign was added to localize this national advertising, using as poster number one the design reproduced in miniature to accompany this article.
Each year since TECO made its initial bow to the public favor the sales have doubled, and some years have trebled. If poster advertising docs for TECO what it has done for numberless other food products—and we see no reason why it should not—we are frank to say we are too modest to even guess what story the sales record will tell.
H.,R. Doughty, “Posters Add Fame to TECO Flours,” in The Poster, Vol. X, No. 3, March 1919, p. 33-34.