Friday, March 27, 2009

Breakfast Icons

You've heard about it in movies, it's celebrated in poetry and pastes childhood memories to everyone's heart. It's a stinky brown sludge made from brewers, I's a fabulous source of vitamin B that was included in WWII soldier rations and has graced breakfast tables for generations. Do you slather it or stripe it on your toast? I figure it was Kev's declaration of Australian citizenship. He never ate it growing up, but has regularly coated bread with the stuff since his return from the U.S.
A bit of vegehistory: In April 1984,Vegemite made grocery market history when a 115g jar became the first product in Australia to be electronically scanned at a checkout in a New South Wales' supermarket.

Weet Bix

At first glance, there is not much to recommend this most beloved of breakfast cereal. Start with the unappealing name of the manufacturer, Sanitarium, which sounds like a tuberculosis recovery hospital. The second is its appearance, layered like shale rock, the color of true regularity and shaped into uninspiring rectangles. Jazz up the box with cricket player photos and include tradeable player cards and you still have a cereal with all the sex appeal of Grape Nuts.

Fortunately, the taste fares better than the visuals. And nutritionally, it ranks much higher than Captain Crunch. This cereal has die-hard fans--and not just myboyfriendBrettLee, a famous cricket bowler and spokesperson for the brand. [full disclosure: the first box we bought prominently featured a picture of myboyfriendBrettLee.] I have talked with people who travel with a box-just in case. Cruise lines, when it is known that an appreciable amount of Aussies are on board, will stock Weet Bix on the breakfast buffet.

Some facts:

• Today, Weet-Bix is sold in 22 countries around the world. They are called Bixies in the UK and Mauritius, Ruskets in the US.[never heard of it]• Aussie cricketer Brett Lee [myboyfriendBrettLee] fuels up every morning with seven Weet-Bix.• If the number of Weet-Bix eaten by Australians each year were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 2.8 times around the equator.• In 1999, a Mount Gambier man set an unofficial record when he ate 40 Weet-Bix in one sitting. He said at the time that he will continue to eat Weet-Bix, but probably not that many ever again in one sitting.[Crikey, If I eat more than two, I am making a fast dash for the bathroom]• It is not true that a driver’s license can be found in a Weet-Bix packet.[That would be CrackerJack boxes, mate]• Sir Edmund Hillary ate Weet-Bix for breakfast during his historic climb to the top of Mt Everest in 1953. [I did mention that there are die-hard fans. but this is a bit much.]

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