Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spry! The Smoothest Sizzling Shortening Ever!

Spry cooking oil was first placed on the market in the mid-1930's and just about every household had a can or two on their shelves.We always had a handy can of Spry in our house for baking and other cooking needs. A favorite of my mother's, this product was used for everything from pie crust and fried chicken to chocolate cake!
Before Spry was discontinued in the late 1950's, it was not only a household product but also a household name. Developed and produced by Lever Brothers, it was promoted as "pure vegetable shortening" for frying and making cakes, pastry, biscuits, and pies.

In 1937, Lever Brothers introduced Spry as the sponsor of a radio program know as Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories. The show was developed primarily to compete with the already popular product Crisco. The 15-minute daily series became an instant hit with women everywhere, offering such topics of interest as cooking hints and recipes and stories about real-life people. (You can read more about Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories HERE.)
Note: The product Crisco may be used interchangeably in any vintage recipe calling for the use Spry.


  1. Wonderful Coralie! Don't ya just love those hats and suits?? I love this site!!! Blessings~Sharon

  2. I would love to hear that old radio show, wouldn't you? My friend and I were just talking about Crisco the other day, wondering what to use in place of Crisco in our old, old recipes. This was a really great post, Coralie!

  3. I adore these old ads. Life was so different then...thanks for bringing life back in the day back to us with your blogs.

  4. Ohmygosh, I remember Spry, vaguely, but I DO remember it!

  5. Hi Coralie! First time here. Lookin' mighty good. As a matter of fact, I "grabbed" this link to include in a Spry post I did today. Hope you don't mind.

    Thanks for sharing...Bookmarked!!!

  6. Hi Coralie,

    I remember my Mom using Spry and she even had a couple of the little cookbooks too and I still have those. Recently, I found a recipe for a dish that my nephew remembered Grandma making for him but we could never figure out where she got the recipe as my Mom did a lot of her cooking without written recipes. I found it in the Spry booklet. My nephew got tears in his eyes when I handed him the recipe. What a lovely rememberance.


  7. When I bought my grandma's home after she'd retired in Arizona, the house still had a lot of her things in it, including "Aunt Jenny's Favorite Recipes" in a kitchen drawer. It has great old black and white photos with cartoon-style voice bubbles with everyone extolling the wonders of Spry shortening. I love it! I wish more companies would print promo materials like this- they're classics!

  8. Awesome ads indeed, from so long ago these ones are. Priceless.

  9. I remember years ago when I was learning to cook, I was making one of my Grandmothers recipes. I believe it was for a "Mock Whipped Cream Frosting". One of the ingredients the recipe called for was Spry. I called my Grandma with the inevitable question...."whats Spry?". White Crisco, not the butter flavor was what she recommended to substitute with.

    Thnaks for bringing back a very sweet memory for me!

  10. I first ran into references to Spry when I was just starting to do research into vintage recipes. I discovered a copy of the 1934 Spry cookbook "What Shall I Cook Today" in a yard sale and I began to try out the recipes. It was the inspiration for my website:
    The Vintage Recipe Blog


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