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Today's Case

Bramson Toast

Subject: Bramson Toast
From: missie
Date: 10/1/2020, 7:59 AM

On 9/30/2020 8:41 PM, missie wrote:

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

Recently I came across a reference to an item called "Bramson Toast" 
listed under Luncheon Dishes in my 1904 cookbook, "Consolidated Library 
of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes" by Christine Terhune Herrick. 
Unfortunately, the cookbook does not include a recipe for said item. 
A Google search yielded only one mention of "Bramson Toast" from 
"The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes" by Lily Haxworth Wallace, 1912. 
Once again though.. no actual recipe.
What do you say? Ever heard of it? Can you help?
Thank you,

Hello Missie,

I spent several hours immersed in this, and I had no more success than you with a recipe or a description. I found nothing at all associating the name "Bramson" with toast or bread or jam or jelly or marmalade or any luncheon dish of any kind.

All I can give you are my thoughts on "Bramson Toast".

It seems odd that two cookbook authors from the same small time period would mention this as a "luncheon dish" but would give no explanation of what it was.  However, if you look closely at "Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes" by Christine Terhune Herrick, you will note that she is the editor, not the author, and she is consolidating text from other cookbooks. The title page of this book says "including a list of contributors", but I was unable to find such a list in any of the five volumes. See: Herrick book

Likewise with "The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes" by Lily Haxworth Wallace. Note that the original copyright date on both books is 1904(1912 is the second copyright date for Wallace's book).  See: Wallace book

So, we may not really be looking at two sources, but only one source that quotes from, or derives from, the other source or even two sources that derive from a single third source. Those two lists of "luncheon dishes" are very similar.

Here are my speculations:

Ms Wallace had recently emigrated from England to the USA. If her reference was the source reference, then perhaps "Bramson Toast" was something particularly British.

I could not find much biographical information about Ms Wallace, but she had strong connections with New Jersey (She was associated with Rumsford Baking Powder), and Ms Herrick resided in New Jersey. Perhaps "Bramson toast" was something particular to New Jersey. Ms Wallace and Ms Herrick might have even been acquaintances.

Perhaps there's no recipe given because there was no recipe? Perhaps "Bramson" refers to a bakery rather than a recipe. Perhaps "Bramson Toast" just refers to toasted "Bramson Bread" - a commercial brand of bread or a bread from "Bramson Bakery". However, I found nothing about a bakery or a commercial bread called "Bramson."

There are a lot of odd things about this.

Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful. I'll post this for reader input.


Subject: Bramson Toast
From: missie
Date: 10/1/2020, 6:24 PM

Wow! That is some serious deep digging! How odd that those books came out the 
same year and seem to be the only reference to Bramson Toast. I had noted that 
in the breakfast listings they mentioned a number of items I had never heard 
of before such as "Force" and "Pettyjohns" which a search revealed were brand 
names of cereals. So I thought perhaps it was the same with Bramson.. maybe it 
was a kind of meat spread or something, but I was unable to come up with anything. 
So, of course, I turned to you.
I never thought to check into biographical information about the two ladies and 
whether there could be a connection. It seems like there must be something there.
Unfortunately, it looks like it will remain a mystery. Alas.
Thank you for your time and effort. It is truly appreciated.
Subject: Bramson Toast
From: Ruth
Date: 10/21/2020, 2:06 PM
Ruth Beaty 

On 10/21/2020 1:07 PM, Ruth wrote:

Dear Uncle Phaedrus, having read the query  from Missie about this item, I had 
a severe attack of curious. After doing some digging I noticed that there were 
quite a few people with the last name of Bramson in the New York/New Rochelle 
area, perhaps even New Jersey. Maybe it was a local hotel or eating place at 
the time of the publishing of the cook book?

Ruth in OK

Hi Ruth,

Perhaps it was. I cannot find a "Bramson Hotel" anywhere or a "Bramson Restaurant" in New Jersey or NYC, but I did find a tiny bit about a "Bramson Restaurant" in Buffalo, New York in 1924. 

I'm hoping that someone will write and provide more information about "Bramson toast."


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