Thursday Hidden Treasure Last week, I mentioned Crescent Manufacturing Company. Let me give you a little background on this local flavoring and spice company. Crescent was founded in Seattle in 1883. At first it was known as Larsen Extract Company. By the early 20th century, the company was manufacturing 75 different extracts and had expanded into importing spices, coffee and nuts. Crescent's most famous extract was Mapleine, a artificial maple flavoring, often used in making delicious desserts. (like the pumpkin pie we showcased last week.) This extract was first shown to the world (and tasted by the world.) at the 1908 Puyallup Fair, and soon afterward at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle's first World's Fair. During the Depression, Crescent was able to retain all employees by implementing across-the-board pay cuts, from owner to employees. During World War II, spices sourced from Asia were unavailable, so Crescent worked to create and market imitation spices. After the war, competitors used Crescent's imitation spices as a slur against them, but Crescent chose to use them as a marketing tool. In 1957, Crescent debuted the Gold Shield coffee line, but faced stiff competition from major brands. Eventually they decided to sell Gold Shield to another company. At this time, Crescent also re-packaged their nuts, selling them in cup measurements, which led them to become leaders in pre-packaged nuts for cooking. In 1989, Crescent was sold to McCormick and Company. Mapleine is still produced in limited quantities. You can purchase it directly from McCormick's website.