Monday, 16 January 2012

Who designs breakfast

Like a good Scots-descended cat I eat porridge most of the year. The chief ingredient for that comes in a plain packet from the supermarket. There is nothing fancy about the contents or the packaging.
My paternal grandfather taught me to eat porridge. He also taught me to make it. His kitchen skills were not extensive but he regarded porridge making skills as essential. Proper porridge was not eaten with sugar but milk was acceptable. This may be the reason I have am aversion to sugar on - or in - breakfast cereal.
In the height of an Australian summer however porridge making is something I avoid. I avoid cooking more than the bare minimum when it is hot. Why add to the heat in the kitchen?
So I went and prowled along the shelves for the right sort of oats to put in the muesli. These are not the same as porridge oats.
As I searched I came across seven different sorts of cornflakes - "the brand", homebrand, another brand, another brand, three with "things added". Then there were "oat flakes", rice "bubbles" and "shredded" wheat. There were other wheat and oat "biscuits" and "bran" things - the sort you need to drown in milk before they are edible. I think all of them had sugar as well.
These were the "ordinary" things.
There were also things that had been mangled and moulded into extraordinary shapes. There were claims that "fruit" and "nuts" had been added. There were even more extraordinary claims about nutritional value and energy ratings. Oh yes, I read some of the packets in passing.
Right at the very end, on the bottom shelf, barely visible but well within the reach of a cat's paw, was a lonely packet of the right sort of oats.
As I put it in the trolley I wondered, yet again, just who designs breakfast cereal and why do they do it? Is it possible to get a job as "designer of breakfast cereals"? Do the people who do this eat what they design - or do they eat porridge and muesli?


Nicole MacDonald said...

I used to be a big cereal fan, oherwise I eat porridge too :) But I do find they're all too high in sugar and I get hungry too soon after eating them. Now it's a poached egg on half a hasbrown, which crazily enough is about 1/2 the calories of a normal serve of cereal and WAY more filling :)

Anonymous said...

Actually I am partial to a good big bowl of "those" cornflakes. Chris

widdershins said...

the people who make breakfast cereal wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot barge pole!

jeanfromcornwall said...

Never liked cereal or porridge myself since I ceased to be able to drink milk - it is hard to eat it dry. Used to feed the plain sorts to my children, but then there was a TV programme which demonstrated what has to be done to a kernel of maize to turn it into a cornflake. It is horrific.

By the way, it used to amuse me in hospital, when they would issue a bread roll, with insufficient pretend butter, and then raise eyebrows when they poured milk onto cornflakes without asking and then had me say no thanks- so breakfast was:
1 A cereal product with a pretend dairy product.
2 A cereal product with a modified dairy product.
Such variety!

Frances said...

I just use normal (porridge) rolled oats soaked for a little in milk. Delicious and creamy. A sprinkle of almond meal and cinnamon if I want excitement.