So, why is today National Cereal Day I wonder? It took a little digging but, I think I came up with a plausible reason. It seems, today may be National Cereal Day because it is believed that on March 7, 1897, John Harvey Kellogg served Corn Flakes at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. This is where it gets a bit "flaky." I was always under the assumption that Will Keith Kellogg, John's younger brother, "invented" corn flakes but, it seems corn flakes may have been "born" more as a mishap which both brothers were witness to.
Kellogg was working with his brother Will on a new kind of wheat meal for patients at the sanitarium when the process that resulted in Corn Flakes was accidentally discovered. Rolling out wheat dough that had been forgotten overnight, the brothers discovered that instead of loaves of bread they got thin flakes.Inventors' Hall of Fame
Through the years, Corn Flakes became quite the Marketable Flake. Credit is given to Will Keith Kellogg for its success. Brother John Harvey went on to bigger and better things also. (the brothers had quite a caught battle over Corn Flakes and in the end, Will succeeded)
This page from the Kellogg's Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures booklet has a copyright date of 1932 (the last year it was produced). According to A Guide to Collecting Cookbooks by Colonel Bob Allen the first issue of this promotional premium was introduced in 1909. Some say, the Kellogg's Funny Jungleland booklet may have been the most successful premium in all of cereal history. Kellogg's used the 6x8 booklet as a promotional give a way for 23 years!
As you can imagine, corn flake competition became fierce amongst the cereal companies of the day. (cereal companies have a history of not getting along:) One particular company that I would like to mention is the Jersey Cereal Company organized in 1903 and once located in Cereal Pennsylvania. Yes, the village was named because of the company who at one time employed over 200 citizens. I wonder if the Jersey Cereal Company "crew" in Cereal PA knew the Hershey Chocolate "crew" in Hershey PA? Anyway, I just happen to have a recipe booklet published for the Jersey Cereal Company in 1930.
And guess what, they too made their own brand of corn flakes. Here's a 1923 advertisement from The Pittsburgh Press for Jersey Corn Flakes!
If you would like to see more vintage images from the Jersey Cereal Company, I suggest you "pop" on over to Mr. Breakfast. He has a slide show of images. He also has a bowl full of Jersey Corn Flake history too. As for me, I'm going to share some corn flake recipes. But first, a few words from the "Jersey Family."
Corn Flake Recipes
Long before I knew there were actually "traditional" corn flake recipes, I often used corn flakes as an ingredient. I remember once adding them to meat loaf in lieu of bread crumbs. Would you believe we didn't have any in the house! I was eleven, or twelve I think and responsible for many family dinner meals. I improvised. Unfortunately, I don't remember the reaction. I'm not sure if we had a copy of Kay Kellogg's Corn Flake Crumbs Cookery in the house, actually, I'm sure we didn't!
Naturally, it does include a "few" corn flake crumb recipes. Here's one for Corn Flake Crumbs Muffins. I sure wish it were in color though.
And another for Corn Flake Crumbs Pie Shell.
The Jersey Cereal Company booklet has a few recipes using Corn Flakes too. Although they are in color, the recipes that include corn flakes are not illustrated. I know, they do sound a bit outdated. But hey, it was published in 1930! First up Jersey Lace Wafers. It sounds as if breakfast cereal meets butterscotch goodness doesn't it? Perhaps this recipe should be reinvigorated with real maple syrup or even brown sugar!
And last but not least, Corn Flake Croutons.
Just in case you desire something a bit more sweeter, try my favorite Kellogg's Frosted Flakes in a bowl with ice cold milk or in Tony the Tiger's Cookies!
Enjoy Cereal Day
revised March 2013