Why is granola synonymous with liberalism?

I’ve seen several places in which the word “granola” has been used in conjunction with a description of a liberal. Specifically, one of the environmentalist or feel-good liberals. Anyone know what the connection is, or am I just seeing things?

Back in the '60s and '70s, granola was popular among people who spent time in the “wild.” Campers liked it because it was light and kept well, and hippies liked it because they could make it at home and it was “natural.” Campers, especially the “hike far into the backwoods without hunting or fishing gear” types, tend to have some environmentalist leanings, and the anti-social-conservative stance of the old hippies is well known. To this day, one is more likely to find people who make their own breakfast cereal among the liberal set.

“You know, many parts of a pine tree are edible.”

If this is a reference to Euell Gibbons, I think most Americans remember him as a shill for Grape-Nuts rather than associating him with granola.

Yup, Euell Gibbons. His grapenut ads were an effort to reintroduce the granola generation to their granny’s breakfast cereal by identifying grapenuts with liberal tree hugging. Good ad, it just pounded the liberal/granola connection (with the grapenuts alternative) into everyone’s heads.

Granola was also seen as the antithesis of 50s and 60s breakfast cereals, namely the flourescent-colored, sugar-coated, industrial-processed, corporate-cartoon-character-endorsing fair such as Capt. Crunch, Sugar Frosted Flakes etc. It fit into the whole ‘Fight the corporate establishment, man!’ motiff.

Euell Gibbons, “…reminds me of wild hickory nuts…”

“… and if you get cold, put your hands between your buttocks. That’s nature’s pocket.”

You know, a long, long time ago, there was a thread on this in GD. Here it is. In it, Jomo Mojo posted what I thought was a very fine answer to this question.

Is granola the same as muesli? Over here (UK) the cliché is muesli-eating, sandal-wearing, Guardian-reading lefties. I remember Alexei Sayle doing a sketch about a liberal household in Islington (North London stronghold of this breed) … “Yeah, we’ve started to knit our own muesli…”

Colophon writes:

> Is granola the same as muesli?


I just happen to live in the area of my city known as the muesli belt… I can do the sandals, have been known to read the guardian but actually I can’t stand the stuff.

We have that cereal here in the US. Its not very popular (and they add an x at the end, Mueslix.) Its my guess that its not very popular because it would be hard to come up with a more disgusting sounding name for a food than ‘mueslix’!

It sounds like mucilage, which is like, snot, or something…

Hail Ants– Müeslix-brand cereal isn’t much like proper Müesli. It’s sort of Müesli-ish product marketed toward people with tastes shaped by breakfast cereals like Cheerios. If differs from Müesli in that when you put milk on it, it’s quickly moistened. Even dry, it’s easier to chew to than Müesli that’s been standing in milk for an hour. And of course, “Müeslix” is waaaaay sweeter.

Granola, too, is distinct from Müesli in that it’s sweetened and baked. Müesli is just raw oats mixed with cereals, nuts, and dried fruit. You really need to let it stand in the milk for a long time before you approach it. (It takes less time to cook oatmeal.)

I’m not so sure. Maybe the definitions in the UK are different, but the granolas I’ve eaten were much sweeter than any muesli I’ve ever eaten. Granted, I’m talking about store-bought stuff, so maybe that’s why.

:smiley: It’s a type of glue.

I couldn’t believe anyone would make their own cereal, so I googled.

I choose this one since it is for vegetarians, which seems apropos as well as redundant. :wink:

Thanks for the accolade, jovan. :slight_smile: Funny that you should mention Post “Grape-Nuts” in connection with granola. The original “granola” invented in the 19th century was, in fact, what we now call “Grape-Nuts.” The 1930s book Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss gives a recipe for somthing called “Old Fashioned Granola”:

Take whole wheat flour and enough water to make it a stiff dough. Roll it out about a quarter or half an inch thick. Put in oven and bake until it is partly dextrinized, nearly a golden brown. Take a hammer and break it up, and grind through a Quaker City Mill made by the A. W. Straub Company of Philadelphia. After grinding, put in a baking pan and reheat to slightly dextrinize it.

That’s how the tough pioneer folks made food in the good ol’ days, by gum! They hammered it!

The baking process described will give you a product the consistency of a brick, so a hammer is really the only implement that could reduce it to near-edible form. This was originally called “granola”, but later Post trademarked the name “Grape-Nuts” for it (because baking the wheat converts some of the complex carbohydrate starch into simple carbs, and glucose was called “grape sugar” in the old days; no actual grapes were used in the making of “Grape-Nuts”).

Later, a new kind of homemade cereal was invented that involved baking oats and stuff; it was actually edible, and the name granola shifted to this new confection. It must have been based on the Swiss breakfast concoction muesli. The difference is that the Swiss mix fruit (like grated fresh apple) with the raw oats at night before bed. In the morning, the fruit enzymes have done the work of breaking down the complex carbs in the grain, making it edible. The American alternative is to bake it, and the heat breaks down the complex carbs.