Cooking with FOIA: The CIA’s declassified desserts

Deputy Director’s son’s praline recipe unearthed in CREST

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

A considerable chunk of the CIA’s declassified archives consists of newspaper and magazine clippings. Some are stories relevant to Agency interests, others - typically critical - concern the CIA directly, and then there’s the ones that don’t immediately make sense.

BOYS ON CANDY-MAKING BINGE,” about two teens making sweets for the 1957 Gonzaga High School fair, definitely falls under the latter.

There are two clues as to the document’s (in)significance - first, one of the boys, Ben Cabell, has his name underlined. Second, clipped off by the scans but still readable, is the reveal that Ben’s dad is one General Charles Cabell - Deputy Director of the CIA.

And so, like any proud parent, General Caball kept a memento of his son’s brush with fame - except instead of sticking on his fridge, he made it a permanent - and until 2007, classified - part of the Agency’s history.

Also included in the clipping are the teen’s recipes for pralines (referred to as Mexican Pecan candy in a very ’50s fashion) and fudge:

All we need now is those CIA cupcake recipes to come in and we’ve got ourselves a bake sale.

The full clipping is embedded below:


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