In Search of our Throwaway History

Grape-nuts : a Victorian breakfast

Posted on May 15, 2014

Just had a bowl of Grape-nuts flakes, which have recently arrived at my local Waitrose (£2.29).  The flakes are a bit like Force cereal, which has regrettably just vanished from our shelves, but unfortunately they do not have quite the same subtle taste.  Imported from the USA, the original Grape-nuts were created by C W Post in 1897, and Britain was soon getting supplies of this early breakfast cereal.


Grape-nuts past and present

Grape-nuts past and present

Grape-nuts -’fully cooked and pre-digested’

In late Victorian Britain, nobody had seen a ‘fully cooked, pre-digested breakfast food’ before, and the directions on the packet included the warning, ‘Don’t try to cook this food, it is perfectly cooked at the factory’.  That direction has long since disappeared from the Grape-nuts pack, which I hasten to add is still available from selected outlets.

Like so many products,  breakfast cereal is another convenient ready meal.  Its story, along with many others, is told in Robert Opie’s new two-hour documentary that’s stuffed full of memories, nostalgia and fascinating facts.  In Search of Our Throwaway History is like a travelogue of supermarket brands, favourites from our past … and that of our grandparents.  Available from the Museum of Brands and

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In Search of Our Throwaway History - produced and directed by SIMON J FRITH presented by ROBERT OPIE written by ROBERT OPIE and JIM COGAN executive producer JAMES OXLEY-BRENNAN cinematography PETER CURTIS editing PETER CURTIS and ANGELA MAKEPEACE

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