Toll House Inn
|Toll House Inn|
|Address||362 Bedford Street|
|Town or city||Whitman, Massachusetts|
|Owner||Ruth Graves Wakefield|
Contrary to its name and the sign, which still stands despite the building having burned down in 1984, the site was never a toll house, and it was built in 1817, not 1709. The use of "toll house" and "1709" was a marketing strategy.
Ruth Wakefield cooked all the food served and soon gained local fame for her desserts. According to early accounts, Wakefield created the first chocolate chip cookie using a bar of semi-sweet chocolate made by Nestlé while adapting her butter drop dough cookie recipe. In 1938, Wakefield and her assistant, Sue Brides, used chocolate after wanting to "do something a little more interesting with" their already popular butterscotch nut cookie.
The new dessert soon became very popular. Wakefield contacted Nestlé and they struck a deal: the company would print her recipe on the cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars, and she would get a lifetime supply of chocolate. Nestlé began marketing chocolate chips to be used especially for cookies. Wakefield wrote a cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, that went through 39 printings.
Wakefield died in 1977, and the Toll House Inn burned down from a fire that started in the kitchen on New Year's Eve 1984. The inn was not rebuilt. The site, at 362 Bedford Street, is marked with a historical marker, and that land is now home to a Wendy's restaurant and Walgreens pharmacy. Although there are many manufacturers of chocolate chips today, Nestlé still publishes Wakefield's recipe on the back of each package of Toll House Morsels.
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- Stack, James (January 6, 1985). "A landmark burns". The Boston Globe..
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