Aunt Jemima

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Aunt Jemima is the brand name and fictional spokeswoman for a line of processed food products, most notably ready-mix pancake flour. She was depicted as a loyal slave with a magical touch in the kitchen; her creation was actually inspired by a stage tune, “Old Aunt Jemima,” based on an American slave song. Upon hearing a performance of that tune in a St. Joseph, Missouri, minstrel hall in 1889, Christopher Rutt, in collaboration with Charles Underwood, adopted the title character of the song as the name of their new pancake batter. See pancakes.