Too Much Cream of Wheat?

Are there any Cream of Wheat aficionados in the audience? If so, can anyone tell me why my local supermarket gives me four choices for what should be one of the most basic foods on the shelf? See the picture below that I snapped yesterday. We apparently have a 10-Minute version, a 2.5-Minute version, a 1-Minute version, and an Instant version now:

I haven’t eaten Cream of Wheat since I still had my baby teeth, but is there really such a need for so many versions? I guess I understand the “10-Minute” and the “Instant” because usually food that takes longer to cook is better, but is there a palpable difference between the three quickest versions? And perhaps more importantly, if the stuff is to be eaten hot, how much quicker could “Instant” really be than “1-Minute”? Who is the person who needs to shave a few seconds off of their one-minute breakfast drill?

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271 Responses:

  1. Tonantzin says:

    love this thread, I also wanted to know the difference between the variety, argueing with my husband that the 10 min one was better somehow, while this offers no scientific proof all the other posters that agree is enough for me. I read most but not all posts and didn’t see anyone mention the papain, does the 10 one have it too?

  2. ririla says:

    i didnt read through all the responses but I was perplexed by this as well and read each box…the 2.5 and 1 minute have different enzymes that speed up cooking…i bought the 1 minut with the papain enzyme since the one on the 2.5 minute one seemed a bit more scary….i used to get the 10 minute one since it seemed like the most natural with the least added stuff…..personally I try to avoid instant stuff just because of the extra preservatives added but the papain seems to be a natural derivative that makes me a bit more comfortable.

  3. Haha nice discussion, what a little choice in cream of wheat can do … :)

  4. Kara says:

    Can’t find the 10 minute version in Iowa stores either, but if you order a 4 pack on Amazon and use the subscribe and save option, it’s only $13 and change, (free shipping too) which works out to $3.38 a box. That’s the same I pay in the store for the 2 1/2 minute kind. So off to Amazon I go! Also, when my kids were younger I would make it a little thicker on purpose,and then mix in some strawberry yogurt or raspberry yogurt. So if you can’t find the srawberries n cream kind, you can try that as a substitute. Or use any kind of yogurt for a variety of flavors. My kids love the stuff, and I make it for them almost every morning. Stirring the pot on the stove while wearing my bathrobe, I feel like I’m from the 50’s! But for 10 minutes a day (or 2.5) that’s just fine.

  5. LINDA says:

    Strangely, I was one of the originals on this blog, and I can’t believe how long it’s gone on since I asked if anyone knew where I could buy strawberry COW! I love the yogurt idea, and I can’t believe all this time nobody else has suggested it. I also love the bathrobe idea ;-)

  6. Mike says:

    The only version I like is the apples and cinnamon cream of wheat & I can only find it in one store in NJ. I ssee the 10 minute version all the time.

  7. angie says:

    im actually glad for the many different kinds of cream of wheat, due to my son having Autism, thats the only thing in the world he eats. I make it everyday about 4-5 times a day on the stovetop. if you notice there are about 2-4 different kinds of everything on the grocery shelf these days, but hey! i think variety is good! i do think the soda industry is a little ridiculous with 20 different kinds of flavors, considering its suppose to be sooo bad for us! Lol!

  8. Trillion says:

    Ha ha! I’m commenting on a 6-year-old post about Cream of Wheat!!

  9. Linda says:

    back to you, Mike. I had asked the Schnuck’s store, and they ordered the strawberries and cream for me. I know they don’t have stores in NJ, but try them online.

  10. Ed says:

    Amazing thread on COW after I decided on a whim to have wifey pick some up. She got the instant variety and it did not taste so good even doctored up with butter and syrup. Maybe my 45 years of abstinence from it made my memory of it better than it actually was lol.

  11. Linda says:

    back to the very, very beginning. Strawberry… it’s pre-doctored!

  12. CreamOfWheatNewbie says:

    YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS COMMENT: On a Tuesday morning, I gave blood for a CBC (complete blood count). I did the usual healthy eating, and the fasting, 10 hours before the blood draw. By the following Tuesday, I was told that my Hemoglobin was 13.5, and the normal range is 13.8 to 17.2 gm/dL. So I was told to eat cream of wheat, and I bought a box. That day, I had a good serving and the following morning and evening I had a serving each time. I was told not to fast anymore, so I had cream of wheat again on Thursday morning. I once again went for a blood draw, on Thursday afternoon. My hemoglobin went up to 14.5, which I thought was an amazing result, being that I only had 4 servings of cream of wheat.

  13. Harry H. says:

    Cream of wheat is one of my faves. I use the 2 1/2 minute version using half milk and half water. Pour in the cereal slowly while stirring to avoid lumps. I hear they have a healthier whole grain version now which I will have to try. I think the different cooking times relate to how quickly each version absorbs water. Not sure what they do to it to make the instant, but it can’t be terribly natural.

  14. Bill says:

    I live in Northern California. I have used the 10 minute version for years but a few years back I found the big chain grocery stores eliminating the 10 minute version. GOOD NEWS _ I found that most of the smaller grocery stores carry the 10 minute version.

    This may or may not be true but I believe that grocery stores that are located near a retirement community are more likely to carry the 10 minute version. I guess we have more time! LOL!!

  15. B says:

    Just wanted to share some info for cream of wheat eaters in the UK.

    The Swedes call cream of wheat “Manna Gryn” and it’s much cheaper than the American imports to the UK.

    To the best of my current knowledge there are two Scandinavian places in London that sell Manna Gryn & ship nationwide. Scandinavian Kitchen & Totally Swedish (google them :))

    It’s just regular cream of wheat – not the instant stuff. I just ate a big bowl of it flavored with Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate…mmMMMMMMMM……

  16. Lori says:

    I eat Farina every day for breakfast, although not Cream of Wheat Brand enriched farina. I just bought it today because i couldn’t find Farina Mills Original at the store I was in. Farina Mills is made from only wheat farina and Cream of Wheat enriched farina ingrediaents have wheat farina and partially defatted wheat germ. Do thay taste the same?

  17. Timothy Ditmer says:

    I decided to write B&G Foods, the owners of Cream of Wheat as to why so many varities. Here is their response.

    Dear Mr. Ditmer,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact B&G Foods Inc. We offer several different stove top varieties of Cream of Wheat Cereal to satisfy our different consumers’ needs and preferences. The 10 , 2.5 and 1 minute varieties contain different ingredients and have some variation in color and texture. While 10 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, some consumers want to be able to make the cereal in less time, so we give them severeal more options.

    We appreciate your interest in Cream of Wheat and Cream of Rice products and are delighted to hear that you enjoy eating them.

    Chris Bartkovitz

    B&G Foods, Inc.

    Corporate Consumer Affairs

  18. Moe says:

    Found this tale of COW when looking to see if it was a complex carb and yes it is if you dont eat the instant ( ick ) version. I make mine with water, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and two equals and after cooking ( I prefer the 2 1/2 minute version ) to a slightly running consistency I add two tablespoons of 2 percent milk that should lay on top and I AM IN LOVE some times I think about COW during the day and have a second bowl for my dinner. I lovvvvvvvvvvve COW ..its wicked yummy and holds the heat ( must have very hot food ) and the consistency is perfect little balls of yum. Its low in calories high in iron and carbs ….love it !! its the perfect food……Of course if i didnt have to watch what i ate I would say the same thing about a donut

  19. yeomer says:

    For those of us who have chronic anemia, CREAM OF WHEAT is the easiest way to get our iron up. The instant and quick varieties are popular for people who inhale breakfast. For us hard-core Cream of Wheat fans, the old fashioned 10-minute formula is SO WORTH THE WAIT! The instant varieties resemble wall paper paste in texture and taste.

  20. P O'D CUSTOMER says:

    I have a hard time finding any version of cream of wheat….walmart carries the long time to cook version…one place has the instant and it is $4.00 a box—why in the heck is it so expensive? so I went on amazon, ebay and a few other places and some had a box of instant for $17 ????? what the he ll is this about? this cereal should not cost any more than instant oatmeal about $2.89 a box…..some one pls shed some light on this issue? Perhaps I should buy all I can for $4 each and resell for $17 each…that would be a nice profit…???

  21. Linda says:

    Dear P O’d. The Amazon was 3 or 4 boxes, not $17 per box. Still a little high, but if you can’t find what you really want, it might be worth it to you.

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