March 7th is National Cereal Day.
A cereal is a grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain. This day is probably more specifically about breakfast cereals, processed grains that are eaten as the first meal of the day or as a late night snack.
The word cereal is derived from Ceres, the ancient Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture.
There are two categories of cereals: hot and cold.
Hot cereals include oatmeal, cream of wheat, and grits. Ferdinand Schumacher is credited with “the cereals revolution”. In 1854, he used a hand oats grinder in the back room of a small store in, Akron, Ohio. His German Mills American Oatmeal Company was the nation’s first commercial oatmeal manufacturer.
Cold cereals are ready-to-eat foods. Pour into a bowl and eat. Most people add milk and many add fruit as well. James Caleb Jackson invented the first “ready-to-eat” cereal in the US in 1863. Granula consisted of heavy bran nuggets that needed soaking overnight before eaten.
Package cereals were created in Battle Creek, Michigan by John Harvey Kellogg. A graduate in medicine at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City in 1875, Kellogg became medical superintendent at the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek. The Institute has a strict vegetarian diet. Kellogg experimented with granola in order to supplement the diet. Next he tried wheat, resulting in a lighter, flakier product. In 1891, he obtained a patent, and in 1895 he launched the Cornflakes brand. It was an overnight success.
In 1906, his brother William, who had worked for him for many years, bought the rights to Cornflakes, and set up the Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Company. William dropped the health food concept and went with a heavy advertising campaign and commercial taste appeal.
Start your day with some cereal! What’s your favorite?
Celebrate with goodies from Zazzle
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