DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grape Nuts

An article in the WSJ yesterday was about Post Grape Nuts Cereal. I like to read these things online to see the comments made by the lovers and the haters. The only hater with something interesting to say: Reminds me of that Saturday Night Live skit about a cereal named Quarry--"good because it's mined, and full of minerals".

The factory in California that makes Grape Nuts makes bread loaves that are then made into Grape Nuts, so Grape Nuts are not grapes or nuts, but rather wheat bread!

The comments talked about uses for Grape Nuts, including the obvious cold cereal with fruit. (Strawberries and/or bananas are my favorites, thought someone suggested mixing with Cheerios.) Several people eat it hot like oatmeal. Eat with buttered toast and orange juice to drink. Use as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or pudding. Use like breadcrumbs in meat loaf or in batters like pancakes. Try grinding it into a fine powder, saute with a little butter, add cinnamon and brown sugar and you got a topping, turning pancakes into crumbcake. Someone said saute with butter and vegetables; not sure I'll try that one.

Surprisingly, no one commented on Kashi's version of Grape Nuts, although several comments said the generic version is not as good--I agree. One mentioned that Grape Nuts may have lost consumers to the organics.

Although there is speculation about "grape sugar" and the nutty flavor involved in the origins of the name, this was my favorite comment:

When my daughter, now 31, was 3 or 4 years old, we shared Grape Nuts as our favorite cereal. She asked me why it was called Grape Nuts, & I responded I didn't know -- it didn't have grapes or nuts in its ingredients. She asked if she could ask "the cereal people." So we wrote them a letter (yes, that was before the Internet), & she checked the mail box every day, waiting for her answer. Someone from Post took the time to answer that little girl, & told her that the cereal inventor thought it tasted nutty & that the dough, as it was rising & baking, formed into "clusters" of bubbles on top that looked like clusters of grapes. Whether that was the true answer or not, it was certainly official, coming on the Post letterhead, & for many years, it was among my daughter's most prized letters. When her own children were young, she told them the story & they were suitably impressed! Hope Grape Nuts sticks around for their children, too.

As a Grape Nut lover, I also liked these comments:
I was happily eating my morning Grape Nuts when I came upon this article and could not help smiling. The real point is that you either are a Grape Nuts fan or you are not. Then I got to the end of the article where it was stated that the revenues are very low at $80M a year. Wow, have we gotten jaded re success of a product! The writer may have been hanging around GM folks too long. Imagine that someone can say a product is dying with a revenue of $80M! Clearly we Grape Nuts lovers need to stick together! :)

Grape Nuts are delicious, almost magically so.

My favorite Grape Nuts slogan from years past is "Are you good enough for Grape-Nuts?"

Grape Nuts hearken back to a day when simplicity rules.

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