Postum was introduced as a coffee subsitute in the late 1890's by the maker of Post Cereals. Made of barley and corn, it had a robust taste and full body. During the second world war it became popular as coffee grew scarce. My mother was a coffee drinker, and when she gave it up, she tried Postum, but it wasn't coffee, so she drank hot water instead. I, on the other hand, loved the stuff. On a chilly winter evening, there was nothing better than a hot cup of Postum with sugar and cream in it--a healthy, non-caffeinated beverage.
Post Cereals discontinued Postum in 2007. About a year ago I was lamenting again the fact that you couldn't buy it any more and decided to go on line and see if maybe someone was selling off old stock. I didn't find anyone with a garage full of outdated Postum, but I did find a Postum Lovers site where people were venting about Post's decision and trying to figure out how to coerce this huge corporation to reconsider. I couldn't believe how many people had commented. Literally hundreds had taken the time to post something (pun unintended) on the site.
I was thinking about Postum on a recent chilly day, wondering if I should use up the last few teaspoons from the jar I've had in my cupboard since 2007 (if I can chisel it out, that is). My son Clay is coming home for Christmas, and I thought I'd better save it for him.
And then, this morning, my daughter brought me a Postum subsitute. It's called Inka. Made of rye, barley, beets and chicory root, it tastes very like Postum...though it's been so long since I've had a cup of Postum, the resemblance might not be as close as I think it is.
My daughter buys it at the local food co-op. You can also buy it on line.
So, if you're a Postum Lover, and if you happen to be strolling through the aisles of your grocery store and see Inka in its bright orange can, give it a try. I think you'll find it's a pretty good second best.
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