Were Brownies Accidentally Invented by a Bangor Housewife?
Maine gets credit for inventing a handful of things like Moxie, ear muffs, even the original patent for the sealed diving suit. But could a Maine woman have been responsible for the first batch of brownies?
Supposedly, a housewife in Bangor attempted to bake a cake and either didn't add baking powder or left out some flour, ending up with a denser-than-normal cake, or what we know as brownies.
According to Bangor Daily News however, there is some confusion surrounding the true origin of the brownie recipe:
Fannie Farmer printed what was thought to be the first known brownie recipe in 1905. However, after some back and forth between Maine food educator Mildred Schrumpf and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, it was discovered that in 1904 several cookbooks had printed a recipe for “Bangor Brownies”, preceding Fannie Farmer’s “first” printing of a brownie recipe.
Whether Bangor really is the home of one of America's most beloved desserts or not, I say never let the truth get in the way of a good story. I vote we embrace the Bangor Brownie origin story and imagine that this mystery housewife made history by being a negligent baker.
I can only hope to accidentally invent something so delicious by not following a recipe quite right.