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.
Simmer Wheatena as you would porridge on the stove for 4 to 5 minutes.
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.Nutrition FactsPer 40g (⅓ cup)AmountCalories160Fat1 gCarbohydrate33 gProtein5 g
1 cup = 5 oz = 140g
Wheatena was created by a George H. Hoyt at his bakery on Mulberry Street in New York City in 1879. He called it Wheatena, and did some newspaper advertising of that name. The whole wheat in it was roasted and ground. To emphasize that it was wholesome, he packaged it in boxes — at a time when people would purchase grains from stores by fishing around in open barrels and bins.
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
Fans are legion. Some even use it to preserve flowers in; home fireworks maker enthusiasts swear by it for removing excess gunpowder from the outside of rockets they have made (you just gently shake the rockets in a bag of Wheatena and that scrubs the rocket’s outside clean.)
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.
Stadtlander, Willliam. Testimony to the Hearing on S. 3128: The National Uniformity for Food Act. Held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 27 July 2006.