Breakfast Of Champions: Cold Cereals
There is no doubt that cold cereals revolutionized the American breakfast table. Mom no longer had to cook hot cereals, eggs or meat, and the children could prepare something for themselves before going to school. At the beginning of the 20th century, the creation of cold cereal basically began with two enterprising men who saw the possibilities and took a chance. And breakfast has never been the same.
In the late 1890s, a rather eccentric man named John Harvey Kellogg, ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, and had created bland and tasteless food for his patients with digestive problems. A few years later, his brother Will decided to mass market the new food at his new company, Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, adding a little sugar to the flake recipe making it more palatable to the masses, and a star was born. .
Around the same time, the CW Post, who had been a patient at Kellogg’s sanitarium, introduced an alternative to coffee called Postum, followed by Grape-Nuts (which has nothing to do with grapes or nuts) and their version of flakes. Kellogg’s corn, naming them Post Toasties, and American breakfasts were never the same.
Both men were able to thank an enterprising gentleman named Sylvester Graham, who forty years earlier had experimented with graham flour, marketing it to help “digestive problems.” He created a breakfast cereal that dried and broke into shapes so hard they had to be soaked in milk overnight, which he called granula (the father of granola and graham crackers).
Building on that original idea, in 1898 the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) began producing graham crackers based on Sylvester Graham’s experiments, first promoting them as a “digestive” cookie for people with stomach problems; (It seems that a lot of people had digestive problems even back then.)
Fast forward and other companies sat down and took notice. The Quaker Oats Company, acquired a method that forced rice grains to explode and began marketing puffed rice and puffed wheat, calling them a marvel of food science that was “the first gun food injection” that of today. , no pun intended);
The Wheaties of the 1920s was introduced and intelligently addressed the athletes who claimed to be the “Breakfast of Champions”;
The 1930s saw the Ralston Purina company introduce an early version of Wheat Chex, calling it Shredded Ralston (sounds a bit painful);
Cheerios soon appeared and would become America’s best-selling cereal, worth about $ 1 billion in sales in 2015.
No one can argue with the convenience and versatility of dry packaged cereals. Over the past fifty years, this multi-billion dollar industry has spawned multiple uses, limitless possibilities, and targeted kids with smart packaging, quirky names, flavors, colors, and options (all loaded with sugar, of course). What could be more American than cornflakes?