Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Big Breakfast Buy


No, you're not really getting a bargain. And you're certainly not getting two boxes of cereal for the price of one. So let's all calm down and relax. It's just that you can, apparently, cook Shredded Wheat and turn it into a hot cereal, if you don't want to eat (a) cold Shredded Wheat or (b) hot oatmeal.

This is supposed to be "great news for mothers" because you can please all the various fussy people in the family whose breakfast-temperature requirements are different. Seems to me like you'd still be running around the kitchen doing an awful lot of special orders, though. That's no good.

Shredded Wheat has been around since 1893, when an Ohio lawyer with the completely delightful name of Henry Perky invented it.  The wheat is cooked, tempered and then put through rollers to produce (somehow) those familiar long shreds of wheat; and then the strands are bunched together and cut up into those biscuits.

Apparently Henry Perky was in a hotel dining room and saw a man eating boiled wheat with cream for breakfast one morning. He and the man were both suffering from what are commonly known as the runs; and boiled wheat was supposed to be good for that particular ailment. So I guess they bonded over the boiled wheat, et cetera. Anyway, after that, Henry Perky couldn't stop thinking about what he later called "little whole wheat mattresses." He and a friend invented a machine for making them, and it was first unveiled at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

You can read more about Henry over here at Wikipedia if you're sufficiently intrigued. And the next time you have a few whole wheat mattresses for breakfast, remember what an incredible Breakfast Buy you have got right there in front of you. You will look nearly as excited as Henry does in his picture, I am sure.

1 comment:

Grandma`s Goulash said...

I love shredded wheat! My mother used to eat it hot, while my father preferred it cold. While I usually sided with my father, my mother's won this time. It didn't take long to fix though. We just put the biscuits in a cereal bowl, covered it with boiling water and then immediately drained the water. A pat of butter and some sliced bananas were the finishing touches.