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Period Granula, the first ready-to-eat cereal

Discussion in 'Foods of the Civil War' started by donna, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Granula is considered to be the first ready-to-eat cereal. It was the creation of Dr. James Caleb Jackson in 1863. He operated the Jackson Sanatorium known as Our House on the Hillside in Dansville, New York. At the sanatorium he treated patients with hydrotherapy ( the water cure), exercise, and healthy foods. The home was run in a smoke-free and alcohol-free environment.

    Dr. Jackson started the Our Home Granula Company to sell his cereal and his Somo coffee substitute, which was a grain based coffee substitute. The doctor also had his own magazine, "The American Water Cure Journal and Health Reform Magazine". In the magazine the doctor ran the add, "Eat Granula, Drink Sumo".

    The cereal wasn't really ready-to-eat as it was tough and tasteless and had to be soaked in milk overnight before it could be chewed.

    The so-called recipe for Granula:

    Graham flour (wheat flour)
    water

    Mix the graham flour with the water. Bake this mixture until it becomes as hard as a brick. Break the brick pieces into smaller pieces and bake them once more. To serve, soak the Granula overnight or until soft enough to chew.
     
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  3. truthckr

    truthckr 2nd Lieutenant

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    Interesting Donna, thanks for posting. There was a movie several years ago about the Kellogg's company, I don't recall the name, but Anthony Hopkins, I believe played the Dr who ran the Sanitorium and was into healthy eating.
     
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  4. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    In 1894 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. He adhered his patients to a vegetarian diet. The idea for corn flakes began by accident. Dr. Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg left some cooked wheat to sit on the stove. It was stale when they got back to it. They decided to process it through rollers and it came out in flakes. They toasted the flakes and served it to their patients. This happened on August 8, 1894.

    In 1906 Will Keith Kellogg decided to open a company, Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes. He added sugar to the corn flakes and thus the corn flakes we know today began. Will Keith's company became W.K. Kellogg's. By 1928, the next cereal produced by Kellogg was Rice Krispies. The rest is history, as Kellogg's became the largest company to produce cereal.

    An interesting tidbit is that C.W. Post was a former patient of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. He started the rival company Post and produced the next major brand of corn flakes, called Post Toasties.
     
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  5. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    I've had some granola, by the way, that has the consistency of granula - no matter how many days it's soaked! :x3:

    Wonderful topic! There was quite an interest in health food and herbal remedies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Maybe it was because there were a lot of industrialization of the food process and not much regulation - you really didn't know what you were eating! More people were eating food items they hadn't grown and made themselves.

    If he'd made it through the war, Thomas J Jackson would have been Dr Jackson's first client - hydrotherapy, fresh foods, clean living, exercise - Stonewall would have left his foot cavalry in the dust getting there! :thumbsup:
     
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  6. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger Sergeant Major

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    I have reading been my Union Officers's letters and come across one where he mentions Dr. Jackson, saying that his brother is going to stay at Dansville for a while for health reasons. This is around April 1864.

    I also found a link giving the history as he mentions the 'water cure' in his letters. Here is a snippet, and I'll add the link:

    "The spring at Dansville, which was the leading factor in this first step toward realizing the possibilities of the town as a Sanatorium was first known as the All Healing Spring. It burst out of the side of the eastern mountain one night in the year 1776, carrying away earth, rocks and trees and since then has steadily flowed, a blessing to mankind. The qualities of this spring water are shown by the following analysis by W. A. Noyes of the Rose Polytechnic Institute, Terre Haute, Ind.:

    Analysis of All Healing Spring
    Silica
    0.303
    Alumina
    0.023
    Iron Bicarbonate
    0.018
    Calcium Sulphate
    0.198
    Calcium Bicarbonate
    3.704
    Magnesium Bicarbonate
    1.137
    Sodium Chloride
    0.292
    Sodium Nitrate
    0.332
    Potassium Nitrate
    0.152

    Total
    6.159


    Its special value therapeutically is due to its alkaline-calcic composition and is particularly adapted to the relief and cure of diseases of the kidney and bladder and also to the carrying away as a solvent all waste material of the tissues of the body, because of its comparative softness and freedom from mineralization, especially the objectionable salts of lime. The water of other springs in and about Dansville is noted for its purity and abundance and even the wells in the old days contained water that was exceptionally good."

    http://www.crookedlakereview.com/articles/136_167/136summer2005/136treichler.html

    Maybe there are some Chemists in the house who can tell us what they think about the analysis and benefits?
     
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  7. nitrofd

    nitrofd Colonel Forum Host

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    Interesting but not very appealling.
     
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  8. nitrofd

    nitrofd Colonel Forum Host

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    Never knew that about Post.,another case of a small world.
     
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