Wheatena is the brand name of a breakfast cereal which you cook up.
It is made from toasted cracked wheat, wheat bran and wheat germ.
It is particularly popular in the New England area of America.
It is made in Highspire, Pennsylvania.
The cereal is certified Kosher Pareve by the Orthodox Union.
Wheatena is not the same as Cream of Wheat cereal, despite some popular misconception. Wheatena is a whole-grain cereal, which Cream of Wheat is not.
You can also make it up in the microwave: zap for two minutes with water in microwave.
Some people like to cook it up and then fry it, as you would grits or cornmeal mush.
Uncooked, the cereal can be used in cookie and loaf recipes. There are also bread machine bread recipes for it now.
The product has had many owners over the years:
- 1885 -- the brand was purchased by a company named "Health Foods" owned by a Frank Fuller, and the manufacturing of it was moved to Akron, Ohio;
- 1903 -- Wheatena was bought from Health Foods by A.R. Wendell, a former employee, who created a company just to make it, called the Wheatena Corporation. He moved production in 1907 to Rahway, New Jersey.
- start of the 1960s -- The Wheatena Corporation was bought out by the Uhlmann Company in Missouri. Manufacturing moved in 1967 to Highspire, Pennsylvania;
- 1985 - The product was bought from them by American Home Foods;
- 1996 -- November. Bought by International Home Foods;
- 2000 -- Bought by ConAgra in 2000;
- 2001 -- October. Bought by William Stadtlander through his Homestat Farms company.
Literature & Lore
Wheatena sponsored Popeye radio shows from 1935 to 1937. During the period of their sponsorship, it wasn't Spinach but rather Wheatena that made Popeye strong. His song became:
"Wheatena's me diet, I ax ya to try it, I'm Popeye the Sailor man! Toot. Toot."
Popeye returned to spinach after that period.
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-- Herb Caen (American columnist. 3 April 1916 - 1 February 1997)