On her website ToriAvey.com, Tori Avey explores the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the recipes of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s recipes can inspire us in the kitchen today. Learn more about Tori and The History Kitchen.
If you were born in America, chances are you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating breakfast cereal. I remember sitting in my PJ’s in front of the “boob tube,” digging into a bowl of crunchy goodness drenched in cold milk. I would stare sleepily at the word games and mazes on the back of the box, then dig for that cheap plastic prize inside. On television, cartoon spokespeople tempted me with their colorful, sugar-laden cereal treats. I begged my mom to buy them for me. She refused, pointing me toward the healthier varieties. I grew up eating Cheerios, Grape Nuts, and Rice Krispies while many of my peers enjoyed Cocoa Pebbles, Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops. Looking back, I am nothing but grateful for Mom’s diligence. That said, the targeted marketing of cereal companies was forever seared into my youthful mind. Cereal seems synonymous with being a kid, more like a sweet treat than a breakfast staple. Was it always this way? History tells us no. In fact, cereal started out very different than the colorful kid-friendly boxes we buy today.