Soak Before Eating

Breakfast! One of those things that makes waking up worthwhile.  :)))))))

Like you, I have my morning breakfast routines.  Most days I’m up really early, and I treat myself to a fresh smoothie – frozen blueberries, strawberries, bananas, vanilla yogurt, spinach with the occasional dollop of peanut butter!). Somedays I revert back to my childhood and enjoy a bowl of breakfast cereal.  My favorites as a kid were Cap’n Crunch!, or Frosted Flakes, with vanilla pudding and fruit cocktail (what a treat!!)  Quick, easy and convenient, it’s still one of my go to favorites. These days I find myself eating Cheerios – Cinnamon Oat Crunch with bananas … almond milk!  Finishing my bowl the other day I got to thinking about the history of this meal tradition, and the millions of people who open a box, pour it in a bowl, and top it off with milk (or milk substitute). Here’s some fun info, cool videos and fun facts you probably never knew.  Thanks to,, and for the info and insight.  Enjoy! … and only worry about those hidden sugars a little bit!

The first cold cereal was introduced in 1863, when a religious conservative vegetarian and health spa (then called a “sanitarium”) proprietor named James Caleb Jackson created what he called “granula” made out of graham flour. The cereal was so hard it needed to be soaked overnight.

John Harvey Kellogg, another religious vegetarian (specifically, a Seventh Day Adventist) and sanitarium owner, similarly introduced his own version of “granula,” which he named “granola” when Jackson threatened to sue. His first commercially successful breakfast cereal was created in the late 19th century made from baked and ground wheat. Unfortunately for Jackson, who’s been lost to mainstream history, it was granola — and Kellogg — that stuck.

The first cereal prize was (probably) a paper book. Notable examples begin in the 1920s, when Malt-O-Meal began packaging whistles at the bottom of the box PRIZES INCLUDED cheap plastic toys, records on the outside box, baseball cards, stickers and small books, and even a video game on CD-ROM — a Doom mod called Chex Quest… (remember CDROM’s?). Kellogg’s offered a book to customers who checked out at the grocery store with two boxes of Corn Flakes in 1910. The book, The Funny Jungleland Moving Picture Book, featured horizontal flaps that could be moved to create different pictures and stories.  This was fun growing up getting the prize!

Dr. Kellogg and his brother Will Keith Kellogg invented cornflakes by accident in the late 1800s. They were trying to create a healthy, vegetarian diet and accidentally left some boiled wheat to stand. When they returned, the wheat had become stale but they decided to process it through rollers and created the flakes we know today. (about 32 million boxes are sold each year).

This is how flakes are made!!

Snap, Crackle and Pop are the mascots for Rice Krispies. They were introduced in 1933, and their names represent the sound the cereal makes when milk is added. (I shared this phenomenon with my grandkids). The trio have been promoting Rice Krispies in one form or another since the 1930s, starting with Snap as a solo act, before Crackle and Pop joined him in 1941.

Few remember (I don’t) the fourth cereal brother, a nonverbal space-elf named Pow, who appeared for a very brief time in the early 1950s. He appeared in only two commercials, riding a hovercraft and drawing attention to the cereal’s “power from whole grain rice.” According to Kellogg’s, he was never meant to be an “official character”… since it never took off, easy to say in retrospect.

Lucky Charms, known for its colorful marshmallow shapes, was created in 1964. It was the first cereal to include marshmallows in the recipe.  If you haven’t had Lucky Charms since you were a kid, you may be in for a surprise, because General Mills makes adjustments to its lineup every so often. With a whopping eight marshmallow shapes (they’re called “marbits”) in today’s cereal, when a new one comes along, another steps out. Now the moons are blue, the stars are yellow-and-orange shooting stars, and the green clovers are part of a hat. The pink hearts are the only ones that remain close to their original form. (Other shapes have come and gone completely, like the blue diamond, pot of gold, crystal ball, and green tree. The most recent addition is the purple unicorn, which replaced the hourglass)… who tracks these things???

Imagine for a second that the Frosted Flakes slogan isn’t “they’re grrrrrreat,” because the mascot is not a tiger, but a kangaroo, and the kangaroo makes more of a coughing sound. When Kellogg’s launched Frosted Flakes in 1952, it experimented with several mascots — including Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant, and Newt the Gnu — to see which one would be more popular with consumers. Tony turned out to be more popular across demographics, and Katy, Elmo, and Newt are now just distant memories.

Cap’n Crunch cereal was created by Pamela Low in 1963. The mascot, Cap’n Horatio Magellan Crunch, is a cartoon sea captain.

There are few, if any, cereals more iconic than Cheerios, but if you thought the name came from their round shape, you’d be mistaken. When the brand originally launched in 1941, they were called Cheerioats. In 1945, Quaker Oats claimed that it had exclusive rights to “oats” for its oatmeal — laughable in today’s oat-heavy market — and General Mills dropped the “at” from the end of the name. As of 2018, Cheerios is the bestselling cereal in the United States (just above Honey Nut Cheerios in second place), so General Mills really came out ahead in the end. Video on manufacturing

It’s incredibly common for cereal to be fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, including iron. Just like any other iron — whether it’s in a skillet or a fence — the iron added to breakfast cereal is magnetic. Cereals with a lot of iron in them (like fortified cornflakes) even react to magnets when they’re floating in liquid. While the iron in some whole cereal is enough to be magnetic on its own, for a more in-depth, science fair-style experiment, you could try crushing up cereal and seeing how much pure iron you can pull out of it. (wonder if I can use some of this magic in my lab?).  Watch this video: Iron for Breakfast – Sick Science! #123!

The Os of Froot Loops come in a variety of fruity colors, as if they each represent a different fruit flavor. However, the color is the only real difference between those Os because the flavor is the same throughout the box. You may still taste a difference between the colors, but it’s probably because your vision tells you to expect something different. It’s always been spelled “Froot Loops” — contrary to a popular belief that the name changed because of a lawsuit over the cereal’s lack of real fruit.

Wheaties, aka the Breakfast of Champions, has existed since 1924 and has featured athletes on its boxes since 1934; Lou Gehrig was the first. Over 90 years of sporty branding, there have been a few repeats, but Michael Jordan has graced the front of the box the most, at 19 times over 30 years. The five-time NBA MVP and Space Jam star most recently appeared on a box design commemorating the cereal’s 100th anniversary. Healthy…yes! 

Revenue in the Breakfast Cereals market amounts to US$76.97bn in 2023. The market is expected to grow annually by 5.90% (CAGR 2023-2028). US consumption is about 23bn.  Learn more here.



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


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