Curious Bites

Mister 'Rice Krispies'

By FDL on

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Mister 'Rice Krispies'
Photo Bettmann / CORBIS

A portrait of Will Keith Kellog, the father of puffed rice.

One ingenious American is considered to be the father of all kinds of puffed rice: Will Keith Kellogg, a Michigan physician and then industrialist, who, perhaps by accident, first arrived at the original recipe for corn flakes, and then, later, for puffed rice.

The first corn flakes, in fact, were created to be fed to the guests of the sanitarium where Keith worked as a doctor. Mr. Kellogg, while working alongside his brother, had left some cooked corn to cool, intending to feed it to his patients as a flavorless dish which would have no aphrodisiac or stimulating properties. Having been less than satisfied with the results obtained from boiling the corn, he then tried to remove the flakes obtained by this method and toast them.

And so Keith came up with the recipe which still today holds its place as one of the world’s favorite breakfast foods. Puffed rice also originated from one of his variations on this theme a few years later (in 1927). Now an icon of the American breakfast, even the Rolling Stones have written a jingle for a TV advert for them.

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