Wednesday, January 05, 2005


You have to wonder about the paper of record's readership when its second-most-emailed article is this piece on why it's better to slow-cook oatmeal than to make the instant variety. (And no, Jane Brody is not the piece's author. The far less irritating Marian Burros is.) How many people could possibly care to read about hot cereal? Think of all the implied e-recipients of this article--what do they think when they check their email and see that someone has forwarded them a polemic against microwaving oatmeal? Is this such a hot-button issue? Burros notes that one in five Americans eat oatmeal--I'm guessing the figure is more like 9 out of 10 for NYT readers, or else what would explain the buzz around this article?

(By calling this post "Oatmeal," will I now get hits from the hordes who, it seems, spent their time searching the Internet for oatmeal-related information? I certainly hope so.)


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you haven't said anything about Brody's current piece, "When Your Prunes Have Passed Their Prime":

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

The jokes would be too easy.

gt said...

My until now secret oatmeal recipe:
Take a bowl. Put some instant oats in it. Uncooked.
Optional raisins, cinnamon, maybe some fruit.
Brown sugar or sugar if you have to.
Add enough cold water that it's not dry, or
fruit juice or cold coffee. Eat.
This is tasty and cheap and healthy and very simple.
Oatmeal trivia: in certain circles, "oatmeal" is a default safeword, like 'aardvark' or 'safeword.'

Jim Leitzel said...

Always-perceptive Adam Smith twice disses oatmeal in the Wealth of Nations. The second instance: "In some parts of Lancashire it is pretended, I have been told, that bread of oatmeal is a heartier food for labouring people than wheaten bread, and I have frequently heard the same doctrine held in Scotland. I am, however, somewhat doubtful of the truth of it. The common people in Scotland, who are fed with oatmeal, are in general neither so strong nor so handsome as the same rank of people in England, who are fed with wheaten bread. They neither work, so well nor look so well; and as there is not the same difference between the people of fashion in the two countries, experience would seem to show, that the food of the common people in Scotland is not so suitable to the human constitution as that of their neighbours of the same rank in England."

Unknown said...

So I was searching for interesting oatmeal trivia to use in a newspaper. I guess your plan to score millions of hits with the word "oatmeal" worked.