“When I was having that alphabet soup,
I never thought that it would pay off.”
We all have a comfort food that makes us feel good. Some like sweets and some like meatloaf. But, there’s one comfort food that has been around for over 150 years.
Alphabet soup is an iconic piece of kitsch, canned and introduced by Campbell’s and making it “M’m! M’m! Good!” since the 1950s. But the history of this alphabet pasta is much longer than you’d expect. In fact, alphabet soup was the hottest culinary innovation of the late 1800s.
In 1886, just after the Civil War, macaroni and alphabet pasta as well as pasta in the shape of hearts, stars, and crowns were being served regularly in the United States. But, why and how did alphabet soup get started? Well, if you want to believe an urban legend, supposedly a noodle factory had an accident and a piece came out looking like the letter C. A factory supervisor was inspired and decided alphabet shaped noodles would be a hit.
I’ve always found alphabet soup fun and amusing. Anytime you can literally play with your food, it’s bound to become popular among adults and children alike. What I found surprising is that its history goes so far back.
One thing I’m certain of is we’ll be spelling with our food for another 150 years, and I’ll still be finding there’s a “B” in my soup.