Marvelous Margarine

Mealtime Marvels with Margarine coverMealtime Marvels with Margarine
National Cotton Council
1950 (est)

Margarine! It’s just like butter! When you want to serve your family the best, think margarine. (It’s FORTIFIED!)

I love this little cookbook! The entire theme is how margarine is fancier and better than plain old butter. I actually did a bit of searching since I know nothing about margarine other than I would prefer butter. I did ran across this  older Mental Floss article about crazy history of margarine, which is actually pretty interesting. Who knew?

Now everyone run into the kitchen and glorify those plain old meals with some sexy margarine.


Glorify Your Meals

Hollandaise sauce

EGgplant Casserole

Scientific info about margarine


  1. Here in Norway margarin, and butter-margarin mixes are quite common. Plant oils are healthier than dairy fat, and margarins can be made in any number of way, using almost every possible mix of useful stuff, like fish liver oil (super healthy oil,brimming over with vitamins and omega3 and 6 and whatnot). Mixed with just enough butter to keep it yummy, but easy spred on the bread, and okay for frying and baking. Although for cakes and cookies and fancy foods – like in this cook book – pure butter is strongly preferred…

    1. margarine is NOT a healthy food! it’s one molecule away from plastic! it’s not something you could replicate at home (like butter) unless you had an industrial chemistry set. trust a cow not food science.

      1. The whole “one molecule away from plastic” thing gets tossed around a lot but even if it were true (I’ve never seen any evidence of it) it’s more or less meaningless if you know anything about chemistry. Even the slightest change in the composition of a substance can make a huge difference in terms of its nature and properties. After all, even one atom (remember, a molecule is made up of multiple atoms) can make a big difference like the difference between water (H2O) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

        As for “not something you could replicate at home”, try searching Google for “homemade margarine”. There are plenty of recipes out there (many on vegan or dairy-free websites) and they don’t require any equipment more “industrial” than a blender.

  2. I remember a book I read as a child that was set during World War II about a family. I don’t remember it having much of a plot – it was more just about their daily life. One thing that always stuck with me was that one of the younger girl’s chores was to mix the hard, lumpy margarine with yellow food coloring to make it look more appetizing. That, and she had chilblains. Both of those things baffled me as a child in the early 70s. Thanks to the Mental Floss article, the food coloring in the margarine mystery is solved!

    1. Krista, that book was one of the marvelous “Moffat” books by Eleanor Estes. I don’t remember specifically which title that was in, but now I want to read them all again!

      1. Thanks for the author! I loved that book as a kid and read it over and over again. I’ll have to track it down and read it again.

  3. Interesting that this was this published by the National Cotton Council… though apparently margarine can be made from cottonseed oil.

  4. I use margarine all the time. Butter tend to make me ill. When I was younger, we called margarine “butter”. I didn’t know the difference for a long time, until I finally realized that the stuff we had at Grandma’s house at Thanksgiving wasn’t the same “butter” we had at home. My husband, on the other hand, hates margarine and only uses butter. It’s what he was raised with.

    1. We always called it butter at home, too, but it was really margarine. When we stayed at Grandma’s house, she always asked, “Do you want butter or oleo on your toast?” I had no idea what oleo was so I always chose butter, then wondered why it didn’t spread like at home. I didn’t figure out that oleo and margarine were the same for a long time.

      1. Me too! It took me years to figure out why the butter at my cousins’ house tasted different from the “butter” at mine.

        I usually bake with butter, but I have one oatmeal cookie recipe that tastes better when made with margarine.

  5. I first read the title as “Mealtime Marvels with Meringue”. Margarine makes a lot more sense.

    Is it just me or does the chef on the cover look kind of creepy? I think it’s how big he’s smiling and the way the shadows fall on his face. Lighting, people!

  6. Def agree with Dan. The cook looks like his faking a smile… badly. Books ARE judged by their covers, publishers!

  7. i can remember when margarine came in plastic bags and was white, it had a bubble of yellow food coloring that one popped, then squeezed into the margarine to turn it yellow. we use margarine interchangeably with butter. maybe Canadian margarine tastes better. LOL

    1. If Canadian margarine tastes better, I shudder to think what the inferior stuff tastes like. We had both in the house when I was a kid, but now it just tastes weird and “chemically” to me. Yuck.

  8. Sorry, I cannot face margarine. But what is wrong with olive oil on your bread if you don’t want to eat dairy products? That’s yummy. (So why don’t they make margarine out of olive oil?)

    1. Isn’t there a Becel product made of olive oil? I could be making that up though–I use butter.

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