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Roman Meal?

On 2 Feb 2007 at 9:02, Marie wrote:

> Dear Phaedrus,
> I am hoping that you can help me to help someone else.
> I have offered to help an Internet friend to "translate" her late
> grandmother's recipe book so she can make some of the recipes she
> remembers from her childhood.  She is not an experienced cook and she
> needs help because the recipes list just the ingredients with minimal
> (sometimes no) cooking directions.  
> > 
> At least 20 of the cake recipes call for Roman meal.  Apart from a
> company manufacturing health bars/cereals I can find no reference to
> Roman meal on Internet.  I am assuming that it is some sort of flour
> or other grain product.  My friend lives in USA and I grew up in
> Australia (I now live in Holland) so it may just be that Roman meal is
> a specific US brand name for a familiar generic product.  I wrote to
> my friend but neither she nor her mother could tell me what Roman meal
> is/was.  I am keen to help my friend with her recipes but at this
> stage I can't do much with the recipes calling for Roman meal.  I
> would be very grateful for any further information on this mystery
> ingredient. 
> Many thanks,
> Marie 

Hi Marie,

You are correct about "Roman Meal" being a brand name in the U.S. The brand is best known for "Roman Meal Bread", which is a brand of whole-grain bread. However, the company's original product was a hot cereal:

About 1910, a physician named Robert Jackson living in Tacoma, Washington developed Dr. Jackson’s Roman Health Meal, which he based on the historical diet of the ancient Roman legionnaires. It was a hot breakfast cereal of whole grain wheat, rye, bran, and flaxseed which could also used to make pancakes, muffins, and bread. The demand for the cereal soon became so great that Dr. Jackson had to set up a small factory in Tacoma just to keep up with his sales.

In 1927, baker William Matthaei purchased the Roman Meal Company from Dr. Jackson. Combining his baking skills with Dr. Jackson’s cereal recipe, Matthaei developed Roman Meal bread.

My guess, Marie is that the "Roman Meal" that your friend's recipes are referring to is the original Roman Meal cereal, which contains: "Whole grain rolled wheat, oats and rye, spring wheat bran and defatted flaxseed meal."

Although the bread is sold everywhere in the U.S., the cereal is no longer sold in most stores. You can, however, buy it online at the Roman Meal website:

Roman Meal

I am not familiar with other cereal products that might be substituted for Roman Meal cereal in recipes, although there probably are some.


More on Milk Crackers

> On 7 Feb 2007 at 10:23, Kathleen wrote:
>> I have recently purchased a Milk Cracker in the grocery store, placed
>> near the Archway Cookies.  It is not a Nabisco product, but it is the
>> same cracker.  Hope this helps!

Hi Kathleen,

Please send me the exact name of the the product and the name of the manufacturer off the box. Name & address.




I had to get to the grocer and check out the product~

Mrs. Allison's Milk Lunch, New England Biscuits
12.3 ounces for $2.99 (in Fairfield Country, CT)
Archway & Mother's
Battle Creek

Hope this info helps some folks!
Best regards,

Thanks, Kathy!

There is a lot about Royal Lunch Milk Crackers on this message board:
There is contact information for both Nabisco and Archway there. Some of the people posting there have tried the Achway product and say that they don't taste quite the same - more of a baking soda taste. However for those who use milk crackers in cooking, the Archway product may be the solution.


Hi I was reading your post online about Milk Cracker stuffing recipe as I was 
searching for lithuanian recipes. I just wanted to let you know that although 
Nabisco discontinued Royal Lunch milk crackers, my local supermarket, Market Basket, 
carries a store brand of milke crackers that are identical to royal lunch. i've 
been making that stuffing for 25 years so when royal lunch got discontinued I 
began a search for replacement. I live in Massachusetts and know Market Basket 
stores are based in Tewksbury MA and have stores in New Hampshire as well. Not 
sure where you live but they may ship them to you if you call their corporate 
offices. Good luck. its hard to give up on family recipes! 


Rocky Point Clam Cakes

The original recipe may not be lost afterall.  I've been told that this is
the original tho I can't say for sure.  I've made these clam cakes on
several occasions, and if it's not the original, then it's darn close.  Be
sure to use fresh (not canned) clams for best results.

*Rocky Point Clam Cakes*
2 1/3 C - flour
1 1/2 T - baking powder
1/2 t - sugar
1/2 t - salt
1/2 T - black pepper (important)
1 1/2 C - clam juice
2 1/2 C - chopped quahogs (or clams)
3 - eggs separated

Combine dry ingredients.  In a seperate bowl mix together egg yolks and clam
juice.  Add egg yolk mixture to dry ingredients.  Add clams.  *Do not over
Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold in to batter.
Deep fry at 375 until golden brown.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Trans Fats?

Dear Phaed,

When I was kid, my grandma fried things in lard and used lard in cooking 
and we buttered our bread with real butter. Then, my mom started using 
vegetable shortening to cook and we started putting margarine on our bread 
because it was said that animal fat was bad. Later, we heard that any solid 
fat was bad, whether it was lard or shortening or butter or margarine. Solid 
fats are saturated fats and liquid fats are unsaturated fats, right? Now, 
though, we're hearing about "trans-fats". What's that? Is it the same as 
saturated fats? Are trans fats worse than saturated fats? Which is better: 
lard or shortening? Butter or margarine?

Clueless Carol in California

Hi Carol,

There's been lots of stuff in the news about trans fats lately, and it gets confusing. Most trans fats in your diet are created when vegetable oil is partial hydrogenated. Hydrogen gas is bubbled through vegetable oil to make it solid. This raises its boiling point and reduces rancidity. This is the process used to make shortening and margarine.

Some trans fats occur naturally in milk and in the body fat of animals like cows and sheep at a level of 2-5% of total fat. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil products like shortenings generally contain 30% of their fats as trans fats, while animal equivalents such as butter and lard contain 3% trans fats.

The US National Dairy Council has asserted that the trans fats present in animal foods are of a different type than those in partially hydrogenated oils, and do not appear to exhibit the same negative effects. Another study seems to bear this out, but the evidence is not all in.

While saturated fats and trans fats both increase blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol, trans fats also lower the level of HDL("good")cholesterol, thereby making it much more of a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Trans fats have also been implicated in diabetes, while saturated fats have not.

Therefore, it would appear that given a choice limited to those four fats, lard and butter are better choices than shortening and margarine made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Better still is to eliminate trans fats completely and keep saturated fats to a minimum. Use liquid vegetable oils whenever possible, and use the new margarines & shortenings that contain no trans fats.


Irish Recipes

Irish Recipes and Baking

Irish Abroad

More Irish Recipes

Food Ireland

Dublin Lawyer

• Fresh lobster/about 2 1/2 lb
• 3 T Butter
• 4 T Irish whiskey
• 150 ml Cream
• Salt and pepper


The lobster should be cut in two down the center. Remove all the meat from 
the lobster, including the claws: retain the shell for serving. Cut the meat 
into chunks. Heat the butter until foaming and quickly saute the lobster chunks 
in it, until just cooked but not colored. Warm the whiskey slightly, then pour 
it over the lobster and set fire to it. Add the cream, mix with the pan juices, 
and taste for seasoning.

Put back into the half shells and serve hot.


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