Real People, Useful Ideas: CHEF BOYARDEE

Sometimes you come across a name that seems made up. Like Perla Buhay. To me, that’s sounds like a name straight out of a Filipino poem. Perla, Life. Pearl of Life, The Life of a Pearl. Well, hey, that’s me, wouldjabelieve?

Going back to our general topic, which is food names, let’s consider several unusual monikers and what notable contributions these folks are associated with.  The second person featured today is Ettore Boiardi, an Italian restaurant owner in Cleveland, Ohio.

Patrons liked his pasta dishes so much that they often requested his recipes.  Now, if you were in his place, would you give away your list of ingredients and methods of preparation? I wouldn’t; that’s one sure way of losing your food business!

Instead, Boiardi opened a business to manufacture canned pasta dishes.  He later moved his operations to Pennsylvania where it was easy to obtain tomatoes and mushrooms, important ingredients for his products.  He decided to modify his label to Chef Boy-Ar-Dee so that consumers will have no problem pronouncing its name.

New Chef Boyardee Logo.png

A government order for army rations of canned pasta during World War II  helped grow the company.  After the war ended in 1945, Boiardi sold the company to a firm that would continue to employ all the workers who had been recruited for the round-the-clock operations.

Chef Boyardee products are sold in the United States and all over the world. The brand is currently owned by Con-Agra Foods, but the label continues to bear the likeness of the jolly Italian immigrant who shared his passion for pasta with food lovers, young and old.


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