Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet

The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet is a new cookbook by David Hoffman that should be a tremendous purchase for any cereal enthusiast.
Here's a review from The Arizona Republic:
Cereal. It's what's for breakfast.

At least, it used to be. Now, according to David Hoffman's new cookbook, The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2005, $14.95, hardback), it also can be for lunch, dinner and dessert.

This book goes beyond sprinkling cornflakes over a casserole. You'll find dishes such as Cap'n Crunch Crab Cakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream and Lucky Charmed Utah Lamb, which uses Lucky Charms marshmallow pieces, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard to make a cereal-infused balsamic syrup. The baby-spinach side salad is garnished with toasted Lucky Charms oats.

Most of the recipes don't sound as if they have anything to do with cereal. Serve someone the Roasted Poblano Meatloaf, and he'd probably have no idea that it includes Corn Chex. Likewise, the person eating the Black Bean Burgers will be surprised to find out that Kix are part of the recipe.

The nature of the book makes it visually appealing. Cereal boxes tend to feature bright colors and cartoon characters, and much of the book includes photos of different boxes. You'll be able to revisit all your old cereal friends, from Toucan Sam to Count Chocula.

Even if you don't plan to cook, the book is worth reading for the trivia. Grape Nuts, it turns out, has one of the most misleading names in cereal-dom, because grapes and nuts have nothing to do with the product. It's made from wheat and barley. The inventor thought the name was appropriate because the cereal contained maltose, which he erroneously believed was grape sugar, and because the flavor reminded him of nuts.

And there wouldn't be a breakfast of champions if it weren't for a Minneapolis health clinician who spilled bran gruel on the stove. The gruel turned into a crisp flake, which he tasted and realized had potential. He took it to the Washburn Crosby Co., which developed it for market in 1921 and dubbed it Wheaties.

More information on the book can be obtained here.


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