Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

muesli a Swiss dish of cereal, fruit, and nuts, eaten with milk, made its first appearance in Britain as early as 1926, but until the 1960s its consumption was largely restricted to the health-food fringe. Since then, however, high fibre has been transformed from a fad to a multi-million pound business.

Muesli is a Swiss-German diminutive form of mus, ‘pulpy food, purée’; it is related to an Old English word for ‘food’, mōs. When it was first introduced into Britain it was often called Birchermuesli, after its proponent Dr Bircher-Benner, who served it to patients in his ‘natural health’ clinic in Zurich.