Grits, mush, porridge - for centuries the unsightly dish was the principal food for the common people. This exhibition takes a look at the success story of oatmeal - from the original recipe to functional food.
As recently as in the 20th century knowledge on the health benefits of nutritional food began to emerge. The aim of the reform movement at the beginning of the century was to practice gymnastics, vegetarianism and a balanced diet. This movement was also made popular in Zurich by the physician Maximilian O. Bircher-Benner (1867 - 1939) who believed raw fruit and vegetables to contain the beneficial "sunlight energy", something we would define as nutritional value today. However, a hundred years ago, fresh produce was often contaminated; to avoid infection, the food would be cooked thoroughly, turning it into rich mash.
The famous Birchermüesli was originally a diet dish following a specific recipe. Two or three apples were to be mixed with oatmeal soaked in condensed milk.
Today's commercialized cereal no longer has much in common with the original Birchermüesli; you can pick from a wide range of crunchy and often very sugary cereal.
Franziska Rüttimann, Museum Mühlerama