Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy birthday, Cream of Wheat

This is from Tom Fitzmorris' New Orleans Menu Daily:

Food In History: Cream of Wheat was introduced today in 1893. It was a desperate effort to save a near-bankrupt flour mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, during the financial panic of that year. Thomas Amidon, the head miller, used the "middlings"--the prime part of wheat grains, also called farina--to make a hot cereal that could be packaged dry and sold in stores. The owners of the mill sent a sample of it to their broker in New York. The broker famously responded, "Never mind shipping us any more of your flour, but send a car of your 'Cream of Wheat'." The original logo, cartoonish black cook, was used because the printer of the label found it in a pile of old plates in his plant. Cream of Wheat is a bigger deal elsewhere than in New Orleans, where we're more likely to fill that space on the menu with grits.

6 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

As a note of interest, several of us in this little blogging community went to college in Northfield, MN, home of the Malt-o-Meal factory. The smell of malt permeated the town and our college campus when the wind went in a particular direction.

Just saying.

CP

Bubs said...

Was the malt smell pleasant or not? If not, I hope I haven't traumatized any of you.

Thank you, btw, for explaining the midwest connection. I was surprised to stumble upon a bunch of bloggers, all with somewhat similar sensibilities, all apparently in or from the midwest.

Does Northfield have a memorial to Jesse James' last raid?

Coaster Punchman said...

The malt smell may have bothered some, but it never bothered me. Smells the same as if you lived near a beer brewery, and how could that ever be a bad thing?

Northfield doesn't have a memorial to JJ, but they do celebrate "Jesse James Days" every fall - one of those family oriented street festivals. Although I never really understood why a town would dedicate a yearly festival to making fun & games out of events that involved mass murder. Perhaps one day Palatine will have a "Browns Chicken Festival." One can only hope.

Bubs said...

Oh, hey, that wasn't Carlton College was it? One of MizBubs' cousins went there.

Bubs said...

AH, Browns Chicken!! Right up the road from here. What a fiasco. There's nothing but parking lot there now; for a while there was a dry cleaner in the old space but it's all gone now. I know a couple people involved in that case. Glad it wasn't me.

By the way, I've got a pretty good tour I do for out of town guests, a combination of Chicago Labor History sites (Haymarket, Pullman, etc) and famous crime scenes. It's fun if you're drinking.

lulu said...

Coaster went to St Olaf, Mindy and I also went there, although neither of us stayed all four years.

My brother went to Carleton though, when did Mizbubs' cuz graduate?

I think Northfield celebrates Jesse James' days because the have "the bank that Jesse James couldn't rob" or soemthing like that.

and btw, I *hate* the smell of malt-o-meal.