Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ralston Days and Nights

Ralston: the breakfast cereal that really, really excites people. Yes, even more than bran flakes (although the Happy Harrisons are pretty hard to beat in the being-excited game). You see, if you start eating Ralston, you will become so obsessed by it that you will be serving it for every meal.

In the morning, sure, whatever. Make a ring of strawberries around your Ralston, I don't care. Although this is a lot more effort than I'd be willing to make early in the morning.

But when the day is done and it's evening, trust me, I don't want to see the Ralston again. It's like a guest that won't leave. Here I am again! Only this time I've hitched a ride on the cocktail tray. The stuff at the top of the tray is Ralston stuck on toothpicks alternately with chunks of American cheese. How are you even supposed to get a toothpick through a small shredded cereal thingie without the latter, well, shredding?

And we also have Ralstons sauteed in butter. Sort of like Chex Party Mix, but without all the fun extras like nuts and pretzels, which lend the Chex a bit of nighttime glamor (well, not glamor maybe, but something). It's the Shaker version of Chex Party Mix. Coincidence? I think not. Because Chex was first made by the Ralston Company, and I think what we have here is a 1942 version of Chex Party Mix. According to my extremely academic sources (well, Wikipedia, actually) Chex Party Mix as we know it first appeared in the early 1950s, as a snack to be served while watching TV. This Ralston Mix was what you had while recovering from putting those toothpicks through little Ralston biscuits - along with a nice strong drink.

The big version of this 1942 ad is here, if you want a closer look.


Amanda said...

Who on Earth thought shredded cereal would make a great cocktail party treat? It's got to be for an old people party. Who else would serve fiber products for a cocktail party?

On a side note, it's pretty funny that a Mini-Whats ad is on your page when I'm reading this post.

Marcheline said...

See, what I remember Ralston selling is DOG FOOD! Coincidence? I don't think so.