American Inventions – Condensed Milk

All around the world milk and is served in many different ways. Our ESL students from Vietnam introduced many of us here at Hancock International College to Vietnamese Style Iced coffee. After tasting it a curiosity about its ingredients begged the question… How do you make it taste so good? The secret to Vietnamese Iced coffee, lots of baked treats and many other food items is a thick concentrated substance called Condensed Milk. says, “Gail Borden was a very gifted man, who dabbled in a lot of different areas.  Borden became very interested in food concentration.  Spending time on the frontier, he realized food had to be preserved and concentrated in a way that ensured nutrition.  He began experimenting with meat, and invented a ‘meat biscuit’, which contained a beef extract.  This proved to be a popular staple in the west; the Gold Rush Forty-niners and Civil war soldiers found it to be a suitable food ration.  In 1851, Borden won a Gold Medal at the Great Council Exhibit at the London World’s Fair. He also experimented with coffee, tea and cocoa.

Borden was able to make concentrates from apples, currants and grapes.  On his way home from the World’s Fair, two cows and several children died from drinking contaminated milk.  Borden decided to turn his attention to solving this problem. In 1856, several years before the Civil War started, he invented condensed milk. This proved to be a safe way to preserve milk for consumption.  He moved back to the New York area, and was able to get financing from Greenwich’s own Jeremiah Milbank, whom he had met on a train. Together they founded the New York Condensed Milk Company.  Later, in 1899 it was renamed the Borden Milk Company. Borden was able to construct condensories in Connecticut, New York, Maine and Illinois. In 1856, he received British and US Patents for his invention.”

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Idiom of the Day

Condense Something

Meaning: To reduce something into fewer parts, or to make something smaller or shorter.

Example: You definitely need to condense this paper into a shorter version because you’re currently 20 pages over the limit.