In 1957, almost every pantry surely stocked a supply of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. The familiar envelopes filled with powdered ingredients came in very handy for all kinds of meal preparations.
The Thomas J. Lipton Company, born in 1893 as a tea-packing concern, branched out into soup mixes in 1941. Like so many of the new food products in the 1950s, Lipton soup mixes were convenience foods, labor- and time-saving concoctions that were seen as an improvement over old, “from-scratch” cooking methods. Food technology was a science of progress and processed foods were the wave of the future.
According to traveling food culturists Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the Roadfood books, articles, and website, Lipton introduced their onion soup mix in 1952. Two years later, a mystery housewife from Southern California (was she scrambling to serve last-minute guests?) grabbed an envelope of onion soup mix and a tub of sour cream. Stirred and plated with crunchy goodies like potato chips, or kissing-cousin Fritos, and presto-mixo, California Dip was born! The chip-n-dip offering worked perfectly for a cocktail crowd. No plates or utensils. Drink in one hand, leaving the other free to scoop and munch.
The other star pairing for Lipton’s onion soup mix was very likely all-American beef. Memories of meatloaf and pot roast come immediately to mind. Cooks were quick to find other uses for the handy pantry staple. By the mid-1990s, the Sterns report, Americans were ripping open packets of onion soup mix at a rate of a quarter-million per day.
Just what are the ingredients in Lipton Onion Soup Mix? The envelope, please!
Nutrition: Per 1 oz. serving: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 610 mg sodium
Ingredients: Dehydrated onions, salt, cornstarch, onion powder, sugar, autolyzed yeast extract (barley), caramel color, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, dehydrated corn syrup, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, sulfur dioxide (to protect quality)