Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Yankee in King Arthur’s Vestibule

Benjamin Franklin Sands
There is something truly regal about deploying to the throne that sits next to the coat of armor in the lobby of King Arthur Flour (aka The Baker’s Store) in Norwich Vermont. King Arthur Flour dates back to l790 and by l870 Sands, Taylor and Wood was the name of the company that created this building block of cake--which is still advertised as “never bleached” and “pure white as nature intended. The history of the company is recounted in a promotional video entitled “King Arthur Flour: History in the Baking,” readily accessible on You Tube.  And the lineage of the giants who started King’s Arthur including Benjamin Franklin Sands is hung on the wall opposite the throne. While Benjamin wasn’t an inventor like his namesake, nor a signer of the Declaration of Independence, this serious bearded chap looks like— well the CEO of a l9th century flour company. The King Arthur outlet in Norwich in many ways resembles a Williams Sonoma with its cookware and mixes and free samples of everything from maple syrup jelly beans to Himalaysian rice with garlic and Swiss char. But there’s also a baking school on the premises and for those who are interested in cooking the whole experience is like seeking the Holy Grail of a certain kind of baking. When you’re done with King Arthur, cross the Connecticut river over the Ledyard Bridge to Hanover, New Hampshire. There you’ll find, "The Epic of American Civilization," in the basement of the Baker Library at Dartmouth. The mural, by the Mexican artist who was a contemporary of Diego Rivera, depicts the evolution of the Americas from Aztec times through the advent of industrialization, though King Arthur Flour is not cited.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.