*Pop!* Why Do Biscuits Come In Those Scary Tubes?

If you’ve ever had a craving for canned biscuits, you’ve probably encountered one of life’s most perplexing forms of packaging: the pop-open can. Whether you open them with a spoon or smack them on the corner of a counter, they pop open when you least expect it, revealing the neatly stacked biscuits inside. Still, the question remains: Why are they packed this way and why do they open with a *BANG!*? It turns out that back in the 1930s, when wholesale bakery owner Lively B. Willoughby needed to find a package that could keep his ready-to-bake biscuit dough fresh for months in the refrigerator, he began experimenting. One dough stuck to his ceiling, but after many experiments he landed on the right combination of ingredients and materials: Fleishmann’s baking powder and an Epsom salt-lined cardboard tube. The cylindrical construction of the packaging kept the biscuit dough snugly in place so that the biscuits were perfectly formed and ready to be baked once the tube popped. Through the years, more adjustments have been made to Willoughby’s initial invention. Though it did a great job of keeping the biscuits fresh, it wasn’t easy prying the metal ends of the tubes open and digging out the individual biscuits without ruining their shape. In 1961, the tubing was redesigned to open with a firm smack on the kitchen counter. In fact, Pillsbury recommends the smacking method instead of sticking a spoon in the tear.