11/3/10

Postum - Makes a man out of you.

There's a Simpson's episode in which Homer takes over Smithers' job as Mr. Burns' assistant. During a montage of Homer's failures in this capacity, burns can be seen spitting out a drink and shouting "You call this Postum?!" That was the first I'd heard about Postum. Then a keen-eyed associate from the Phil Are GO! Obsolete Foods Alert Squad dropped this ad on my desk. Hey! Postum! How bout that? Closely followed by "WTF?"
Postum was a coffee substitute manufactured by C.W. Post from 1895 to 2007, so you just missed it. Post, as you may know, was a misguided health wacko who believed coffee was "unhealthful" and things like electrocution, colonic irrigation, and sexual abstinence were good for you. A film called The Road to Wellville is recommended viewing. It features the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was run by John Harvey Kellogg, but Post visited the place due to illness, and became a believer.

So, yeah... Postum. Coffee was scarce in World War II, and Post came up with this stuff as a "healthful" replacement.It was made from roasted grain and molasses, for the most part. The drink was hot and brown and tasted like....? Well, since the stuff can't be had any more, I had to search for descriptions of the experience. The best one I found was this:

"a sort a liquid burned toast with a hint of molasses flavor"

Yep. It sounds gross, but then I think coffee is gross, so can it be worse? I prefer my toast in toast form, and also non-burnt, so why would I choose to drink it? I drink coffee, but the way I prepare it, it's so heavily flavored with swiss miss or what have you, that it may as well be the five-dollar sissified stuff you get from Starbuck's... just way cheaper.

For the truly curious/courageous, I found a recipe to make your own. Somebody reeeeeally loves their liquid toast...
HOMEMADE "POSTUM"
1 qt. fine ground wheat
1 pt. coarse ground corn meal
1/2 c. molasses or dark syrup
Mix the wheat, corn-meal, and syrup. Rub them in the palms of the hand until it is well mixed. Put it into shallow baking pans and brown in a slow oven until it is a rich dark brown. It must be stirred often for even browning. Don't try to hurry the process or it will burn. When it is done, cool and store in a sealed jar or canister. Use like any cereal coffee. I use 2 tablespoons coffee for each cup and a half of water. It may be boiled or it can be made in an electric coffee-maker.With hot milk this makes a nice evening drink.
But look who drinks Postum! It's Mrs. Smeagol! Maybe she had such a hard time coming down off The One Ring that she's a little gun shy about addictive substances now? So, Postum it is, for the recovering Gollum in all of us. Hmm. She also could be President Eisenhower. Also Mr. burns.

And look. Bluto's attempts to disguise himself as a woman never fooled me in the Popeye cartoons, and they don't fool me now. Hmm. Could be Richard Kiel, too. In any case, that's a MAN, man!

 Looks like Postum puts hair on your chest after all. The boy in the picture? He's a two year old girl.

2 comments:

Dave Pryor said...

Funny stuff with that Gollum likeness.

Was C.W. Post the same guy who started Post cereal? Like Kellogg and kellogg's cereal?

Phil Are Go! said...

Yep. C.W. Post is the cereal magnate. he's the guy who gave us Grape Nuts, the unchewable elementary particles made from neither grapes nor nuts. I guess having those things scrape their way through your tract was "healthful".

And the Kellogg is the other cereal guy. He owned the sanitarium. Trying to invent cereal is also part of the plot in Road to Wellville. Funny movie. I gotta try and find that.

Thanks for C.W. Post-ing, Dave!

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