What the Blanc?

The December 1943 Health For Victory Meal Planning Guidebook was adamant that I not make any changes or substitutions to the menus they had printed. Our balanced nutrition and health was at stake. But for days ahead of December 18th, there it sat on the menu plan — Blanc Mange. Blanc Mange? I had never heard of Blanc Mange. I don’t know why; it seems like it’s a popular dessert recipe and through a Google image search, it looks very pretty. But, I didn’t know what to do with a Blanc Mange.


Blanc Mang on a Glass Platter, as Wikipedia describes it.

First I used the excuse that I did not own a mold and therefore, could not venture into the world of Mange. Next, after I came across an old tin mold at a thrift shop for 25¢, the excuse was my husband’s reaction to the suggestion of eating Blanc Mange. “Blanc Mange? Mange, like our dog’s Mange?” Certainly not.

Finally, it was just time to make the Blanc Mange. 1 3/4 c. scalded milk, 3 T cornstarch, 1/4 c. sugar, 2 egg whites, beaten stiff (if desired), 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 c. cold milk and 1 tsp. vanilla.

I didn’t know — did I desire 2 egg whites, beaten stiff? I become overwhelmed when a recipe makes me choose ingredients. Why the options? Without the egg whites the recipe sounded a lot like my Great Grandma Crook’s Cornstarch Pudding recipe, which I absolutely love.

The egg whites were added. A cocoa syrup recipe was also given, as another option. And as the Blanc Mange chilled in its antique mold in the refrigerator I couldn’t help check it every 10 minutes. Blanc Mange. Hmmmm, Blanc Mange. What will it be?

I was happy to see the concoction leave the mold in one piece. We tried it with Soybean Chile, Tossed Vegetable Salad and Rye Bread – just as we were instructed.

Mystery recipes are interesting things. And, even more interesting when they are recipes dating back 70+ years. I asked my husband to describe what it tasted like, since I couldn’t find the right words to describe it. There was nothing about the taste. And, honestly, the appearance wasn’t all that appealing either.

His word?  “Blanc.”


Blanc Mange for beginners like me.


  1. terri says:

    remember becky they always used whole milk this might change the taste of lots of stuff

    • Becky Brillon says:

      Good point! Whole milk — yes! And for many in rural areas, that whole milk was also unpasteurized (raw), which is making a big comeback. Or at least trying to make a come back where allowed by state law. We were drinking whole, unpasteurized milk on our farm until the late ’80s.

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