Rose Totino’s Pizza and the Patent that Made it Possible, 1979
Frozen pizza had always suffered from “cardboard” crust syndrome. Then Minneapolis’s Rose Totino came to the rescue. On October 9, 1979, Totino patented her new invention—the “Crisp Crust” pizza crust, which revolutionized the frozen pizza industry. She and her husband, Jim, had been selling frozen pizzas since 1962 and had sold their company, Totino’s Finer Foods, to Pillsbury in 1975. (In the process she became Pillsbury’s first female vice president.) Rose Totino kept tinkering with her recipe even after the sale to Pillsbury. The result was the “Crisp Crust,” a “delamination resistant fried dough product” that was granted U.S. Patent Number 4,170,659. The new crust helped make Totino’s “Party Pizza” the best-selling frozen pizza in the United States.
Growing up as an immigrant kid in rural Michigan isn’t easy. Actually, allow me to rephrase: growing up as an uncool bookworm kid in “whereamIarethoseAmishpeople” Michigan is downright rough. While I was never made to feel excluded, there was a certain discomfort that came with the obvious disconnect between my family and the families of the majority of my peers. Different hobbies, different conceptions of family, but most obvious were differences in food. To be quite honest, Ghanaian food was not super accessible to people around me. Most people can get down with Chinese or Mexican food, but being the kid to show up with palm nut soup and cubed goat never gained me much cafeteria popularity.
your favorite food ?
In our first-ever original video, Katie demonstrates the proper technique for making a Totino’s taco while slightly more than mildly intoxicated.