Broth cubes are familiar to most people on Earth. They came to us in the 90s. Throw the cube into a pot of boiling water, add cabbage, potatoes and carrots to it, and it’s ready. The result was like a real soup. Although not too much.
Over time, bouillon cubes began to be used more as seasonings for meat. But when these cubes appeared, they were a huge progress in cooking. After all, in those years the common people ate meat only on holidays.
In the XVII century in England in the cold season (or if there is a very good glacier on the farm) the cooks prepared a very strong broth in the form of frozen cubes. Sir Hugh Plat in 1602 issued a guide for housewives, in which broth jelly was recommended to dry before obtaining a dry broth plate.
The plate could be stored for a very long time, and to get the broth it was enough to throw into the pot with boiling water. This long-term storage product was useful in marine expeditions. So the British sea discoveries owe much to a simple soup bouillon.
About 1830 in France began to produce tile or pocket broth. Seamen bought these tiles for sea expeditions, and in pharmacies it was sold as a means for convalescents.
Broth was very tasty, but here’s the price! He was made from real meat, and then the meat was not at all on ordinary people’s tables. In general, this business was on its way. But there was no breakthrough. The breakthrough was due to the profound application of science.
Justus von Liebig invented a meat concentrate, one teaspoon of which allowed two liters of broth to be obtained by boiling water. Liebig is now widely known as a chemist of the XIX century. He made many different scientific discoveries, known to our time.
Ли Liebig’s meat concentrate is completely forgotten today, although during the First World War, 100,000,000 cubes of Liebig were made for the British Army’s food ration.
In the middle of the XIX century, as a result of Liebig’s research, “Extractum carnis Liebig” (Meat extract of Liebig) was obtained. Meat paste was very expensive, it was used as a medicine.
And in 1862, this invention was discovered by George Christian Gilbert, a European engineer who worked at that time in Brazil. In South America, then actively bred livestock. The pampas were huge, the herds on them, at the stern, grew up without much expense, but … And what about meat? Who will buy it?
It is on the extreme cheapness of meat that Argentine cuisine is based, the basis of which is huge, superbly processed, delicious and softest pieces of beef. Thickness in the finger and the size of the plate.
And the meat was cheap, there was nobody to sell it. Its population is small, but in Europe or the US – in any way! The production of canned food was not developed then, the refrigerators had not yet been invented, and trying to transport live cows across the ocean by sea was more of a joke than a business project. As a result, a significant part of carcasses disappeared, although horns, fat, skins – were sold with a bang. And the meat used only the best pieces – for use on the spot.
Gilbert agreed with Liebig about the construction in Brazil of factories for the production of his technology on the basis of very cheap South American meat extract of Liebig. The production was started in the city of Fray Bentos in August 1862. Soon the company Societe de Fray Bentos Giebert was founded for the production of Liebich’s meat concentrate. The first tens of tons of concentrate were sent to Europe. At that, 1 kg of concentrate corresponded to 30 kg of beef. Production expanded rapidly.
The competitors started to move.This business proved to be incredibly profitable, its organizers became millionaires! Competitors began to produce their own concentrate called “Liebich’s Concentrate”! And when Libich himself sued them, the British court ruled that because … Allegedly the name of Liebig has already become a common name, so competitors can use it in the name of their product. In general, capitalism is in all greatness. Then Liebig patented the name “This extract of Liebig,” and then the product was released under this legally protected name.
Because the extract did not look very attractive, in cooperation with the most famous chefs of that time, cookbooks were published, among which were culinary recipes that used “True Meat Extract of Liebig”.
In general, Liebig was not only a great chemist, but also a genius of marketing, advertising, business. And then the situation changed. Boats were invented refrigerators, frozen South American beef poured into the markets of the USA and Europe, the beef of Brazil and Argentina ceased to be almost free. And Liebig himself had already died by that time.
Ли Liebig’s concentrate was very expensive. In Germany, in 1895, a hundredgram package of Liebig concentrate cost about one Reichmark. Concentrate did not hit the tables of the poor. But the middle class of the US and Europe consumed it very widely.
Broken cubes for the poor invented Swiss Julius Maggi. But, as we said at the beginning of the article, there was not a broth, but rather a “broth-like product”. For the poor.
Maggi’s first product was a liquid seasoning for meat dishes – in 1886. And at the very end of the XIX century Maggi in France founded the company Societe du Bouillon Kub. Its products were cubes wrapped in paper. The structure of the cube included salt, vegetable proteins, seasonings, dried vegetables, fat. Cost one cube once every 10 cheaper than the product of Liebig (one cube weighing 33 grams cost 4 pfennig). Cheapness was the key to success – in 1912, only 6,000,000 cubes were sold in France!
Next in the course went advertising, smart marketing solutions, automation of production – and the result is obvious! When talking about bouillon cubes, everyone remembers Maggie, less often Galina Blank. About Liebig, who laid the foundation for all this business, no one thinks.