In 1950, the co-founder of the Minneapolis-based Nordic Ware Co., H. David Dalquist, created the Bundt pan at the request of members of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah, a Jewish women's service organization.
By 1960, boosted by a Good Housekeeping Magazine photo and recipe for "Old Plantation Pound Cake" baked in a Bundt pan, the fluted, durable, cast-aluminum pan had become America's best-selling cake pan.
It is not surprising, therefore, that when Ella Helfrich entered the 1966 17th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, she chose a Bundt pan to dazzle the judges with her "Tunnel of Fudge Cake."
Although Helfrich's chocoholic's dream-come-true confection placed second, she helped turn the popularity of the Bundt pan into nationwide Bundt mania.
Over the decades, a Bundt pan-demic spread around the world. Happily falling victim myself, I own several Bundt pans, including the Rose pan, the Cathedral pan, the Star pan and the Festival pan, to name just a few.
"Today, there are nearly 60 million Bundt pans in kitchens across the continent," said David Dalquist, president of Nordic Ware and son of the company's co-founders.
"Almost a Bundt pan in every pantry."
In 2006, a year following the death of H. David Dalquist, Nordic Ware celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Bundt by offering a special-edition Bundt pan.
If you don't own a Bundt pan, or need to replace the one you've had for more years than you care to remember, this is the one to get. For more information on the pan, or on the 2007 Nordic Ware "Bundts Across America" contest currently under way through Sept. 1, visit www.nordicware.com
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