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“Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

American style muffins are 'quick breads' made in individual molds. Quick breads (chemically leavened as opposed to yeast leavened) were not developed until the end of the 18th century. This took place in America, where pearlash was discovered. Pearlash is a refined form of potash, and it produces carbon dioxide gas in dough. Now we use baking powder which was not developed commercially until 1857 to do this.