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The History of the English Muffin

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The English muffin has come a long way - culturally and geographically.

Originally eaten by the "downstairs" servants in England's Victorian society, the English muffin surfaced and rose to prominence in Great Britain when members of all classes of society became aware of its goodness. The family baker made English muffins from leftover bread and biscuit dough scraps and mashed potatoes. He fried the batter on a hot griddle, creating light, crusty muffins for the servants. Once members of the "upstairs" family tasted these rich muffins, they began to request them for themselves - especially during teatime.

As a result of the English muffin becoming the "most fancied" bread on the isle, English muffin factories sprang up all over England. Muffin men could be heard in the streets selling their muffins from wooden trays slung around their necks. For teatime in private homes and clubs, the English muffins would be split and toasted over an open fire and served in a covered sterling dish alongside tea. The prominence of the muffin men in English society was evident when "Oh, do you know the muffin man" became a popular children's nursery rhyme. The popularity of the English muffin reached its zenith in Great Britain during the years preceding World War I.

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Last updated February 14, 2005