Image courtesy: kraft.com
My favourite moments when discussing food with Cambodians come when I speak passionately about some particular foreign food and they look at me like I’ve just described to them the correct manner by which to skin and eat a human baby. For some reason, I often receive this blank stare of boundless horror when I try to describe muesli as a vaguely pleasurable breakfast experience. Possibly because at some unspecified time, Cambodians encountered Grape-Nuts.
Over the weekend, a friend was in town for a reciprocal visit from Laos and we did a run to Lucky Supermarket for a selection of processed Western goods unavailable in the Land of A Million Elephants. While I was perusing the specials bin, I spied a packet of Grape-Nuts. They sounded vaguely like an insult that you would throw around the playground as a child, so we deduced that they must be a good thing. They were also half the price of any other imported breakfast cereal available in Cambodge.
Kraft says: “One of the first ready-to-eat cereal products ever made available to the public, Grape-Nuts was first introduced in 1897. Made of wheat and malted barley, Grape-Nuts was so named because its inventor, Charles William Post, said that grape sugar was formed during the baking process and described the cereal as having a nutty flavor.”
I say: After completing the baking process, I would have bestowed the name Bran-Gravel on the product. The only positive that comes from this product is that it effectively sharpens your teeth as you eat it, or at least, polishes the pieces of teeth that have snapped off as you fruitlessly gnaw away.
My friend from Lao PDR says: “I concur, Grape Nuts suck ass”
Grape-Nuts are currently on sale at Lucky for US$1.90. Unleash the cereal wrath upon Phnom Penh at your peril.