Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Postum's Gone, Inka's Here

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 I didn't find anyone with a garage full of outdated Postum, but I did find a Postum Lovers site where people were venting about Post's decision and trying to figure out how to coerce this huge corporation to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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Laurie LC Lewis said...

Interesting post, Liz. POstum helped my mother transition from coffee. She loved the stuff. I'll have to tell her about this! Thanks for the tip!

Liz Adair said...

You're welcome, Laurie. We don't have much winter her in the Pacific Northwest, but we get dark early. There's something about Postum that's just cozy.

Monique said...

Thanks Liz! I had never even heard of this before. I wonder if my husband would give it a try? Maybe if he sees me drinking it?