Toll House Inn
Contrary to its name and the sign, which still stands despite the building's 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. In 1936, while adapting her butter drop dough cookie recipe, she invented the first chocolate chip cookie using a bar of semi-sweet chocolate made by Nestlé.
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 starting in 1940.
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 an 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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