Friday, February 24, 2006

Topping stuff

One of the first pages I turn to in The Economist is the obituary. Although the paper gives the expected attention to deceased presidents and Nobel-Prize winners, it's just as likely to celebrate lesser-known but fascinating lives that I might never have known about otherwise. Such is the case with this week's obituary of Robert Rich, the inventor of frozen non-dairy topping. (He later expanded into other dairy substitutes -- his name provided the 'Rich' in Coffee Rich --and the company he founded is still going.) In addition to telling the surprisingly fraught history of Rich's invention -- Ford refused to provide the equipment to make it because 'they sold a lot of tractors to dairy farmers' -- the article informed me of the existence of the Frozen Food Hall of Fame, which is apparently maintained by the 'Distinguished Order of Zerocrats'.

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