Cereal at the dawn of Man
Man started growing cereals many thousand years ago, and since the Stone Age, cereals have had a key role in the human diet.
In the beginning it was the “granose”
Breakfast cereals are a relatively recent product: they were invented back in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, a dedicated vegetarian from New York State. But his “granose” - that's how he called his invention – wasn't very successful, since it required the overnight immersion of bran, its main ingredient, before eating it.
The accidental birth of Corn Flakes
Breakfast cereals' proper history starts at the end of the nineteenth century in Battle Creek, Michigan, and is indissolubly connected with the life of two brothers and with their commitment in promoting a healthy and natural lifestyle.
William and John Kellogg used to carry out experiments to produce healthy, light and highly nourishing food, and considered the idea of processing cereal in order to create a consumers-ready product as a great opportunity for a tasty and satisfying breakfast.
But their greatest invention came from an accidental circumstance: in 1884, during a corn-cooking test, the cooked product was left exposed to air, and dried out.
When the two brothers saw the dried grains, they tried and crushed them with a rolling pin, and noticed that instead of shattering, they extended to form a sort of flake. Soon afterwards, they toasted them in an oven, in order to dry them up completely, and that was it – here were the corn flakes.
Breakfast cereals' “boom” in Italy.
Breakfast cereals consumption in Italy began in the Sixties, during the so-called “economic boom” which, besides favouring a more or less widespread well-being, also encouraged imports of different consumers-ready cereal products from the United States.