Did you know that green bean casserole was created in Camden, New Jersey?

Dorcas Lillian Bates Reilly was an American chef, homemaker, and inventor, who worked Campbell's Test Kitchen.

She was responsible for creating new recipes. Her claim to fame was creating the famous Thanksgiving and Christmas dish called green bean casserole.

Reilly originally called it “Green Bean Bake” and she created it in 1955.

The recipe calls for green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french fried onions.

My wife Margie makes it with Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup versus Cream of Mushroom.

It is one of our son Rob’s favorite dishes.

It’s a quick and easy dish to make and the recipe is included in the back of French’s Crispy Fried Onions (headquartered in Chester, New Jersey) (see below):

Harry Hurley photo.
Harry Hurley photo.

Reilly notes that the recipe is “included in most popular American cookbooks, mentioned in the media regularly, and referred to a "classic", "traditional", and "a Thanksgiving standard". She wrote that the popularity of the dish was related to its categorization as a casserole, which in the US is associated with "communal eating, sharing, and generosity" and that the green bean casserole in particular represents the familiar and also the festive.”

Campbell’s Company estimates that 40% of all of their cream of mushroom soup sold is used for green bean casserole dishes.

The green bean casserole recipe has also been included on the back label of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup for many years.

When Reilly created this iconic dish, it did not initially test well within the Campbell’s company standards. However, it is noted that Reilly was persistent and ultimately, the green bean casserole dish has become wildly popular for generations.

Culinary historian Laura Shapiro called the recipe's use of the crunchy fried onion topping a "touch of genius" that gave an otherwise ordinary convenience-food side dish a bit of "glamour".

Food & Wine called it ”iconic,” and Good Housekeeping said that "few dishes are as iconic" as the green bean casserole.”

Now, you also know that you have New Jersey to thank for this great holiday dish.

SOURCES: Campbell’s Company, French’s Company & Wikipedia.

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