Taste of Tech: Breakfast, Shot from Guns

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Taste of Tech: Breakfast, Shot from Guns Taste of Tech: Breakfast, Shot from Guns

Taste of Tech: Breakfast, Shot from Guns

by Matthew Battles

February 7, 2011

My father-in-law's father turns 105 this March, and he attributes no small part of his longevity to his lifelong choice of breakfast: a bowl of puffed wheat in skim milk.

The rice is swirled with black volcanic sand to prevent it from sticking and burning. Consisting of ancient and elemental ingredients—black and white, air and earth and fire—it's a beautiful preparation, worthy of Claude Lévi-Strauss. One can imagine the first street vendors of Mesopotamia and ancient Chinese towns combining the newfangled, magical properties of agriculture and industry into these feral foodstuffs.

Tapping into all the goodness of ancient industries, it's no wonder my wife's grandfather is a centenarian. As a cereal chemist, of course, he knows the uncanny mechanisms that make grains go pop and can trace the properties of protein and heat and pressure that cooks have toyed with for thousands of years—aspects of the food now obscured by the plastic bags and printed boxes from which modern breakfast cereals flow.

Image: Old advertisements for Quaker Puffed Rice and Wheat, from mrbreakfast.com

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