The humble breakfast cereal, begotten as an oat in milk, rapidly evolved into the puffed, peanut‐butter flavoured, corrugated‐concave‐topped "ready to eat" treat for which we eject from bed today.
Here's a frame‐by‐frame review of its incredible evolutionary journey:
Soaking, cooking, drying, rolling and baking the grain
In hindsight, it's admittedly small … and a little flat, but this was the unremarkable beginning of an exceptional journey.
Swelling grain kernels by soaking them for 3 hours at 64‐77C
The perfect accompaniment to wine at Galilean wedding feasts. But, having savoured a swollen kernel, people quickly wanted more.
Heating the cereal above 250C to cause it to puff
Now, something that would otherwise have fitted into a delicately small container could be sold in a satisfyingly large, yet light box.
Puffing ‐ widely acknowledged as the zenith of the evolutionary path ‐ left no option but to branch left.
Corrugating the flakes
Control over fracturing passed to mastication of man; the crunch regulated; the flake tamed.
Forming rice particles into ribbons
For reasons as cogent as topping‐off a present with a bow.
Breaking the cereal into small particles
Admittedly, comparatively exceptionally underwhelming, and disputed as a "step" by some.
Forming a concave top
Having navigated the doldrums, this gem of the renaissance provided the perfect recess for: receiving berries and fruit; and facilitating penetration of milk.
Adding freeze‐dried fruit with a moisture content less than 3%
Originally dismissed as "youthful exuberance", but the cork had popped.
Adding peanut butter to the bran
Finally, the once humble cereal surrendered to the spiraling momentum of convenience …
Combining cereal with milk powder
Drop the mic!
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