The Breakfast of Champions

For breakfast, most Americans snaggle over to the kitchen to pour some milk and cereal into a bowl. On average, the cereal of choice is Cornflakes. My 90 year old Cuban aunt in Miami makes a ritual out of this every morning--opting only for Kellogs original, and I love her for it.

Not to ruin it for everyone, but it's interesting to consider that this classic, typical breakfast has it's roots in one of history's deepest rivalries--that of the Native Americans and the British. Milk was originally brought over to the US by the Brits-- who drank cow's milk on a regular basis. Cornflakes were introduced by the Native Americans, who ate it dry or mixed with spices and vegetables. Native Americans, among many other ethic groups, were disgusted by the concept of drinking an animal's milk, even developing a severe intolerance it.

After all of the Native Americans' suffering, the fact that we have taken their staple food and submerged it in what for them would be considered intolerable and despicable, and pronounce this the great American breakfast of champions, is definitely something to meditate over. In fact, it seems that most American staple foods have similar stories and historical implications...

Photograph by Steven Benson

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