Blue Raspberry

At the confluence of food safety and marketing, blue raspberry was born.

In the natural world, no raspberry is anywhere close to the electric blue shade of “blue raspberry.” Most raspberries are red but there are some blue-ish raspberries. The white bark raspberry, native to western North America, is a very dark shade of blue, nearly black. So why do we have the flavor and color of blue raspberry?

Red Number 2

In the 1950s there was a growing movement in the U.S. to ensure the safety of food and food additives. There was increasing doubt over the safety of the food dye Red No 2 (which at the time was made from coal tar). Food companies could capitalize off of this concern if another color was used.

It was during this time that the Gold Medal company of Cincinnati introduced a new flavor of blue raspberry cotton candy. Blue raspberry’s popularity grew but things really took off when Icee introduced their blue raspberry flavored frozen drink in the early ‘70s. The competition between blue raspberry and red flavored candies/drinks was taken to a new level in 1976 when Red No 2 was banned in the United States because it was potentially carcinogenic. Simple put, at the time, Blue No 1 was safer to consume than Red No 2.

Marketing

To mimic real life, food companies then and now use the color red for lots of flavors: cherry, apple, cinnamon, watermelon, cranberry, etc. It’s a crowded space. However, there are not many foods that are naturally blue, which as a marketing opportunity was very attractive. Blue was a way to set raspberry apart from the other flavors. This is similar to why pink lemonade exists: lemonade isn’t pink, but it’s a bright color that stands out from the crowd. Blue raspberry had the color all to itself for a long time which was marketing gold.

Elvis’s Fool’s Gold

One of Elvis’s favorite sandwiches was the 8,000 calorie Fool’s Gold Loaf.

On the evening of February 1st, 1976 Elvis and his buddies were in Memphis talking about this sandwich they loved from a restaurant called the Colorado Mine Company in Denver. Right there and then Elvis decided “we’re going”, had his jet readied, and the group flew from Memphis to Denver on a midnight run for sandwiches.

The sandwich is called the Fool’s Gold Loaf, it’s 8,000 calories, and if you would like to make your own you will need:

  • 1 hollowed-out loaf of French bread
  • 1 entire jar of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 entire jar of grape jelly
  • 1 pound of bacon

Elvis purchased 22 Fool’s Gold sandwiches for himself and his buddies, and the husband & wife owners of the Colorado Mine Company met them at the airport hanger with the sandwiches as well as Perrier and champagne.

Colonel Sanders … Not A Military Colonel

Colonel Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel, not a military one.

Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was not actually a military colonel (he never served in the military). Rather, he was given the honorary title of Colonel as part of the Kentucky Colonel program.

The governor of Kentucky bestows the title on individuals “… with strength of character, leadership and dedication to the welfare of others.”