Red River Cereal is back!
November 20, 2022 5:16 PM   Subscribe

A favourite amongst many Canadians since 1924, Red River Cereal was a victim of pandemic cuts by the owner of the brand since 1995, the American company Smuckers. Thanks to the new owner, Arva Flour mill near London Ontario Red River cereal is back! Arva Flour Mill is also the oldest commercial water-powered mill in North America, the oldest food-processing company in Canada, and the 6th-oldest continuously-operating company in Canada at over 200 years old.

This is big news to my wife and her family, who just can’t get enough of the stuff. They were devastated when it was discontinued.
posted by fimbulvetr (25 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I’m happy to hear Red River Cereal is back and Canadian-owned. Yay for Arva, I did not know they were so old.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:20 PM on November 20

Wow, this is amazing. I didn't know Arva had that kind of clout.
posted by 3j0hn at 5:33 PM on November 20

Oh yay! Red River Cereal reminds me of camping and eating it by the fire in the morning. We missed it while it was gone. Thanks for posting such happy news!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:43 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]

I'd seen it in the stores before and was always somewhat intrigued because it referenced the Red River but I never actually bought the stuff. If I see it now I'll give it a shot. Porridge is ok, but better on a cold winter morning.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:29 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]

When I moved away from Canada a little while ago, I would get friends to bring me boxes when we were going to see each other. One of the things I loved doing with it was soak it in cold water overnight and mix it into sandwich bread dough - so you'd have the soft bread mixed in with the graininess. Best of both worlds.
posted by transient at 7:22 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]

It’s great with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a bit of milk. If you’re a raisin person, soak some of those in hot water and toss them on top. Blueberries are good too.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:25 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]

Canadian hearing about this stuff for the first time.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:05 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]

Cool news. I've been to the Arva mill. As well as the mill they have a great store there too. You can get a lot of neat stuff, most of it locally-sourced and/or made. I think we bought their pancake mix last visit.

Red River Cereal... I didn't mind it but my Dad called it birdseed. He was more of a porridge guy.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:08 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]

I got a little confused by that CBC article until I realized that the story is talking about Marc Winker and Mark Rinker, and that those are two different people.
posted by ZaphodB at 9:15 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]

What's it like?
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:27 PM on November 20

Tastes like a grain elevator.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:13 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]

This is great news, I just put in an online order. Yay for Arva.

It's like cream of wheat but grainier and with bits in it - more texture and depth but a creamy underlayer. We use it in bread too - in my case I put it in the bottom of the bread machine and then set a 2-hr delay, because I am lazy.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:50 AM on November 21

Oh fuck I bet that bread is amazing. If anyone can find a way to ship it to a US address that doesn't involve poking Canadian friends, let me know.
posted by sciatrix at 6:59 AM on November 21

What's it like? Like eating sand from the bottom of the Red River.
posted by sfred at 7:11 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Canadian MetaFilter is my favourite source for Canadian culture.
posted by slogger at 7:53 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Actually - this is a doubly-happy story - because just over a year ago, it looked like the Arva mill site would be sold to real estate developers - thankfully it was sold to someone else.

(Arva was the only place I could get flour from, back when in the early stages of the pandemic everyone was struck with the "make-bread-at-home" phase of their quarantine/isolation days... including *cough*, myself...)
posted by rozcakj at 8:21 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]

Now bring back liberté cream cheese please I beg you
posted by jeather at 10:55 AM on November 21

I didn't realize this stuff had disappeared from store shelves. I ate a lot of it at various Scout camps growing up: I liked it more than oatmeal, especially with a bit of brown sugar and milk. But I have never bought it nor eaten it since moving on from Scouting several decades ago.

Maybe I should pick up a box for nostalgia's sake. I'll probably hate it.
posted by asnider at 11:10 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]

The Banff Centre always had a big pot of Red River in the artist cafeteria, here's. hoping it makes a comeback.
posted by furtive at 12:03 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

As a cereal it's an acquired taste (and texture). As an ingredient, it shines. Here's a bread recipe that uses Red River cereal. And a breadmaker one too. It also goes well in muffins.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:22 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

I didn't realize it was discontinued but didn't see it when I was the grocery the few times I've been home the past few years, so this is exciting. It's so good. My Mum makes it with a bunch of frozen berries cooked right with it in the pot. Yum.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:29 PM on November 21

So fustrating when companies pull something not because it is loosing money but because it isn't making enough. Glad to see this product is back.
posted by Mitheral at 12:36 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

I went to an out doors boarding school when i was a kid, and so i ate a shit ton of red river in my early teen years. On the river, or in the bush, it is half burnt and half raw, gritty, and just unpleasent--but it is a efficent source of protein. What I find interesting and would like to know more informaiton about, is that it's a bush food---one of a cluster of foods that works really well for people doing substience hunting up north, which is a lifestyle that has existed for a very long time--i wonder about the changes in bush food--like it's fascinating to think of Red River in the same category as carnation milk
posted by PinkMoose at 4:17 PM on November 21

Red River Cereal was a family favourite. Especially for my Dad. I liked it on camping trips, but my dad ate it every morning for something like 30 years until it was discontinued. He died last year. I'm honestly a little devastated that he didn't live to see it brought back. Weird. Behold, the power of a brand.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:28 PM on November 22

Cracked rye? Has me curious.
posted by filtergik at 1:24 PM on November 22

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