Weet-Bix are religious. We’re not just talking about how millions of Australians worship their bowl of morning bricks and have different rituals of how to best prepare them. (Some swear by pouring boiling water before warm milk so they’re super mushy, and others prefer them crunchy in cold milk. A select few, somehow, tolerate them completely dry.) Or how we all know the famous Weet-Bix hymn by-heart (Aus-sie kids, are Weet-Bix kids). Or how we compare how many we “do” each morning, like we’re competing for some kind of Weet-Bix god’s finite divine attention. We are talking about how Weet-Bix are religious in the sense that they’re legitimately owned by a church.

Sanitarium, the Australian company that makes Weet-Bix, is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist church – a Christian religion that believes in the second-coming of Christ.

In the mid-1920s a man called Bennison Osborne invented Weet-Bix in Sydney. It was a really successful business and in 1928 was sold to the Australasian Conference Association Limited (Sanitarium Health Food Company, a wholly owned subsidiary and venture of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia). And it’s still owned by them today.

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Sanitarium is classed as a social enterprise, which means 100 per cent of its profit can go back into the church (and they don’t have to pay tax). As a nation we eat around 1.4 billion Weet-Bix a year, and Weet-Bix are sold in 22 countries around the world, which certainly makes a lot more financial sense than handing around a collection plate during mass.

I was given a free fun-size box of Weet-Bix after attending the Christmas play down the road from me run by the local Seventh Day Adventist group and I never understood why. Now, 25 years later, it finally makes sense.

Making less sense is the fact that some heathens eat Weet-Bix sans liquid. Considering Weet-Bix are pretty much the driest food you can put in your mouth, let’s follow the serving suggestion people and soak them in milk first!

But it turns out there is a whole sub-set of people who split their Weet-Bix down the middle and … spread it with stuff? Some people swear by butter and honey (including my weird podcast co-host) or even butter and Vegemite. The key, apparently, is the butter takes the place of milk as a lubricant. And it turns out there are quite a few weirdos out there. So many in fact that a dry Weet-Bix spread with stuff is known as a “Truckie Scone”. It’s even a serving suggestion on the side of a pack! The official suggestion is butter and Marmite (which is also owned by Sanitarium) but we went a little further and tried a Truckie Scone with jam and cream. And we gotta say, not awful?

But back to awful for a second. Some people even choose to eat their Truckie Scones completely plain. This is what’s called desperation – a true cry for help. In a thread where people discuss how they prefer to eat their Weet-Bix, one Reddit user commented on their favourite method to eat 2–3 dry Weet-Bix every morning. Warning: it’s disturbing.

“I take a bite of a dry Weet-Bix and then gulp a bit of water from my glass – then chew the mix in my mouth before swallowing.” Horrific. They add, depressingly: “It's faster and easier than getting a bowl and pouring milk in.” It’s worth noting that eating can be pleasurable and there are many delicious ways to eat Weet-Bix for breakfast, like with warm milk topped with banana and honey!

However, having said this, of course on the Weet-Bix episode of Ingredipedia we also dabbled in completely dry Weet-Bix (but not for enjoyment). We attempted to break the world record for eating a single dry Weet-Bix. According to various YouTube videos on the topic, the world record seems to be 47 seconds which seems pretty damn long?! It’s only a couple of centimetres in length, surely we could inhale it pretty quickly!

But no – the second it enters your mouth cavity it instantly absorbs every drop of liquid, rendering your mouth, throat and tongue as dry as the end of a jar of peanut butter that’s been sitting in a desert for centuries. We only just got it down at 1:09 minutes and we couldn’t speak for a little while – our bodies needed to re-hydrate after losing a litre of water trying to digest a dry brick.

Turns out they’re better with milk. Or at a stretch, jam and cream. You weirdos.

Want more weird food stuff? Subscribe to Australia’s most unhinged food podcast Ingredipedia, hosted by Emily Naismith and Ben Birchall.

Episodes on other icons of Australia such as Tim Tams, Boston Buns and Vegemite are up now.