Nick Jordan used to be a muesli dealer.
“I started making muesli back in 2009. I was making it for my housemates, and then I realised it was lot cheaper to buy in bulk,” he says.
So Jordan started to offload his excess product on friends and family, but pretty soon word got out that there was a man making exceptional budget muesli – and he had more of it than he knew what to do with.
“There were more and more requests. I started selling it just above cost price and it just ballooned to this crazy thing – I had these 60-litre buckets, and at one stage I cleaned them all out as storage for my muesli project.”
“I had people coming into my backyard, knocking on my door and going, ‘Hi, is this the muesli guy?’ And I’d open the door and be like, ‘Yeah, cool, come on in – you got your Tupperware? I’ll get my scales out and we’ll weigh it.’”
Jordan faced a dilemma: to ramp up production and go legit, or to walk away at the top? He chose the latter and left the muesli game for good.
Ten years later, Jordan is now a prolific food writer (he pens Broadsheet Sydney's long-running Local Knowledge column), and right now he’s stuck at home like the rest of us. So he’s started “Is This Muesli Good or Shit” – an Instagram account dedicated to reviewing the canon of Australian muesli – “both the fancy pants brands and the sub-$5 varieties too” – in a search for the best-tasting and best-value varieties.
All reviews are of brands that are easily available to the public, and they’re all submitted to the same rigorous testing standards. First, Jordan tastes the muesli in milk, with no other additions. Then he tries it again, this time spruced up with toppings such as yoghurt and fruit. Mueslis at all price-points are eligible for review.
So what makes a dud packet of muesli? “Staleness and dustiness is the sign of a really bad muesli,” explains Jordan. “The other big one is the ratio of the different ingredients inside – most people don’t want a high oat content.”
These days almost everyone has a lockdown project, or at least knows someone with an eccentric new outlet for their boredom. But this muesli-review Instagram – from a former dealer, no less – is worth adding to your follow list.
“I’m certainly not seeing this as an ambitious project to launch a career in muesli consultation,” Jordan says. “It’s just another way to engage with people.”
The Boredom Files is a Broadsheet series spotlighting the desperate and very creative ways Australians are trying to avoid going crazy at home.