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March 4: Cheez Doodles

March 4, 2013

Obit_Yohai_Thir_s640x922The man who bloated America's waistlines by inventing Cheez Doodles, Morrie Yohai, was born in Harlem to Turkish Jewish immigrants on this date in 1920. Yohai served in both the Navy and the Marines during World War II as an airplane mechanic and pilot, then became president of Old London Foods, a company established by his father as King Kone, which manufactured ice cream cones and would later produce cheese crackers, popcorn and Melba Toast. When Cheez Doodles were invented in the 1950s, Yohai gave them its name. After his retirement, he became associate dean at New York Technological Institute and involved himself with Jewish mysticism and poetry. Yohai was a founder of the annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. He died at 90 in 2010.

"Mr.. Yohai . . . always said it was 'we' who 'developed' rather than invented the snack — sharing the acclaim with colleagues at the factory he owned in the Bronx." —New York Times