I am usually happy to ignore those teaser news thingies that float above my mailbox on AOL, but today one led me to look into the history of Duncan Hines; the man, not the cake mix.

Hines was a printing salesman who had eaten in nearly every state in the Union, and in 1935 he and his wife wrote the first popular guide to restaurants in America, Adventures in Good Eating, which is still in print. He later sold his name and the rights to his book to a flour company, and their baking goods are what most folks think of when they hear his name.

I found a great blog that covers his restaurant reviews in detail and visits the places still existing that he reviewed: http://www.adventuresingoodeating.org/

He favorably reviewed Colonel Harland Sanders’ place in Corbin, Kentucky in 1939 and that led to the Kentucky Fried Chicken empire. Not all of his reviews were kind; here’s one from the above-mentioned blog that’s snarky in a charming way:

If the soup was as warm as the wine, if the wine was as old as the turkey, if the turkey had breasts like the maid, it would have been a fine dinner.”