Baby Ruth

Baby Ruth

Baby Ruth is a candy bar that is made of chocolate-covered peanuts caramel and nougat, though the nougat found in it is more like fudge than is found in many other American candy bars. The bar was a staple of Chicago-based Curtiss Candy Company for some seven decades. Curtiss was later purchased by Nabisco, and after a series of mergers and acquisitions, the candy bar is currently produced by Nestlé.In 1921 the Curtiss Candy Company refashioned its Kandy Kake into the Baby Ruth.

Origin of the name

Although the name of the candy bar sounds nearly identical to the name of the famous baseball player Babe Ruth, the Curtiss Candy Company has traditionally claimed that it was named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter, Ruth Cleveland. Nonetheless, the bar first appeared in 1920, as Babe Ruth's fame was on the rise and long after Cleveland had left the White House and 15 years after his daughter had died. Moreover, the company had failed to negotiate an endorsement deal with Ruth, and many saw the company's story about the origin of the name of the bar as merely a way to avoid having to pay the baseball player any royalties. Ironically, Curtiss successfully shut down a rival bar that was approved by, and named for, Ruth, on the grounds that the names were too similar in the case of "George H. Ruth Candy Co. v. Curtiss Candy Co", 49 F.2d 1033 (1931). [ [ Urban Legends Reference Pages: Baby Ruth ] ]

A couple of versions of the story are referenced in the trivia book series "Imponderables", by David Feldman.

In the edition called "What Are Hyenas Laughing At, Anyway?" (1995), p.84, he reports the standard story about the bar being named for Grover Cleveland's daughter, with interesting additional information that ties it to the President: "The trademark was patterned exactly after the engraved lettering of the name used on a medallion struck for the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and picturing the President, his wife, and daughter Baby Ruth."

The next edition, "How Do Astronauts Scratch an Itch?" (1996), p. 288-289, brings out a new and potentially more plausible (and prosaic) explanation. The author was tipped off by a letter writer, referring to another trivia collection, "More Misinformation", by Tom Burnam: "Burnam concluded that the candy bar was named... after the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Williamson, candy makers who developed the original formula and sold it to Curtiss." (Williamson had also sold the "Oh Henry!" formula to Curtiss around that time.) The writeup goes on to note that marketing the product as being named for a company executive's granddaughter would likely have been less successful, hence their "official" story.

However, in "Do Elephants Jump?" (2004), p. 264-265, David Mikkelson of denies the claim that the Williamsons invented the recipe, as Mr. George Williamson was head of the Williamson Candy Company, producers of the Oh Henry! bar. He continues to say that "the Baby Ruth bar came about when Otto Schnering, founder of the Curtiss Candy Company, made some alterations to his company's first candy offering, a confection known as 'Kandy Kake.'"

As if to tweak their own official denial of the name's origin, after Babe Ruth's Called Shot at Wrigley Field in the 1932 World Series, the Chicago-based Curtiss company installed an illuminated advertising sign for Baby Ruth on the roof of one of the flats across Sheffield Avenue, near where Ruth's home run ball had landed in center field. The sign stood for some four decades before finally being removed.

Company founder Otto Schnering chartered a plane in 1923 to drop thousands of Baby Ruth bars over the city of Pittsburgh -- each with its own mini parachute.

In 1995, a company representing the Ruth estate licensed his name and likeness for use in a Baby Ruth marketing campaign. []

On p.34 of the spring, 2007, edition of the Chicago Cubs game program, there is a full-page ad showing a partially-unwrapped Baby Ruth in front of the Wrigley ivy, with the caption, "The official candy bar of major league baseball, and proud sponsor of the Chicago Cubs."

Continuing the baseball-oriented theme, during the summer and post-season of the 2007 season, a TV ad for the candy bar showed an entire stadium (played by Dodger Stadium) filled with people munching Baby Ruths, and thus having to "hum" rather than singing along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.

=Ingredients= Original flavor U.S. edition; listed by weight in decreasing order: sugar, roasted peanuts, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and coconut oil, nonfat milk, cocoa, High-fructose corn syrup and less than 1% of glycerin, whey (from milk), dextrose, salt, monoglycerides, soy lecithin, soybean oil, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan, TBHQ and citric acid (to preserve freshness), caramel color.

Baby Ruth ice cream bar

Nestlé also produces a Baby Ruth ice cream bar with a milk chocolate coating, chocolate-covered peanuts, and a vanilla-and-nougat flavored ice cream center.

Other References

In the 1980 movie, Caddyshack, a Baby Ruth bar is mistaken for fecal matter in the infamous swimming pool scene.

In the 1985 movie, The Goonies, Chunk makes a new friend in the youngest Fratelli brother, Sloth, by giving him the popular candy bar.

In the 2002 B-Movie Bubba Ho-Tep, Baby Ruth is Elvis's choice of candy when offered "ding-dong"s by Jack.

In the 2003 episode 3 of 6th Season of That '70s Show, Fez wants a Baby Ruth for playing the piano, in Eric's "mind impression" of Casablanca, and after telling it, Steven says: "Now I want a Baby Ruth"

In the 2004 movie, HellBoy, Professor Broom uses a Baby Ruth bar to coax baby Hellboy down from the ruins.

In the 2007 musical film, Hairspray, Edna Turnblad hands the candy bar over to Mr. Pinky after the negotiation of Tracy's contract.

In 2008, Sloth from The Goonies was fed a Baby Ruth by Meg on Family Guy, this was a parody of the original movie, The Goonies.

Further reading

*"Sweets" by Tim Richardson. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (2003). (ISBN 1-58234-307-1).


External links

* [ Baby Ruth website]
* [ article] about the Baby Ruth naming controversy

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