From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Corn flakes are a food made by combining cooked corn along with sugar and vitamins. The dough is rolled and toasted to make the well-known flakes, which feature as a breakfast cereal, served with milk.
The history of corn flakes goes back to the late nineteenth century, when a group of Seventh-day Adventists began to develop new food to meet the standards of their strict vegetarian diet. Members of the group experimented with a number of different grains, including wheat, oats, rice, and of course, maize (called "corn" in North America). In 1894, Dr. John H. Kellogg, the superintendent of a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan used these recipes as part of a strict vegetarian regimen for his patients, which also included no alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. The diet he imposed consisted entirely of bland foods, since he believed in sexual abstinence and following the precepts of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of graham crackers and graham bread; felt that spicy or sweet foods would increase passions. Other features of the sanitarium included exercise sessions and regular enemas, and Kellogg recommended his corn flakes in combination with circumcision of males and the application of "pure carbolic acid" on the clitoris of females to prevent masturbation in children. (Plain facts for old and young, 1877).
The idea for corn flakes began by accident when Dr. Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg left some cooked wheat to sit, while they attended to some pressing matters at the sanitarium. When they returned, they found that the wheat had gone stale, but being on a strict budget, they decided to continue to process it by forcing it through rollers, hoping to obtain long sheets of the dough. To their surprise, what they got instead was flakes, which they toasted and served to their patients.
The flakes of grain, served with milk, were a very popular food among the patients. The brothers then experimented with other flakes from other grains. In 1906, Will Keith Kellogg, who served as the business manager of the sanitarium, decided to try and mass market the new food and set up his own company, Kellogg's, to do so. Corn flakes was their first marketed product. To increase sales, in 1909 he added a special offer, the Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet, which was made available to anyone who bought two boxes of the cereal. At the same time, Kellogg also began experimenting with new grain cereals to expand his product line. Rice Krispies, his next great hit, first went on sale in 1929.