There is no cereal more disappointing when you're a kid than Grape Nuts. The commercials show attractive young adults running, working, driving big cars and talking about how it keeps them going. Plus it has the words grape (yum) and nut (double-yum) in the name, so it has to be good.
I should have known I was in for disappointment the first time I ever saw it at my grandparents' house. That should have been my first clue -- they couldn't run, didn't work and barely drove. I poured a big bowl of it. I don't really remember anything else except maybe crying and wondering if there had been a mistake.
I never ate them again. And today when I see Grape Nuts, I am terrified by their similarity in appearance to dry cat food. Seriously:
The Wall Street Journal did a big story on the cereal
essentially saying no one under 95 buys it anymore and that the only
reason people ever bought it in the first place was because of good
commercials. As one former brand manager put it, it "was people eating
Advertising probably explains the outrageous name, too (how can the FDA go after Cheerios for false advertising claims
and leave Grape Nuts alone?), but who knows. C.W
Post committed suicide before anybody thought to ask. "Mr. Post may
have called it grape sugar, or thought Grape Nuts looked
like grape seeds, or that grape seeds looked like nuts, or that malted
barley tasted nutty. Nobody seems to know."
The naming story left me just as unsatisfied as the cereal itself, as did the
answer to what Grape Nuts are actually made of. The official answer from the company is
...bread. Just bread.
Give me the cat food instead. (That would be the bowl on the left.)