Hello from a Cereal Killer

By Teddy Allen

I am a Cereal Harlot.

Do not judge me: something tells me you are too.

I covet a good bowl of cereal. Have never tried to hide it.

My spousal unit knows it. My friends know it. The American People know it.

Folks like us, we’ve forgotten more about cereal than most people will ever know.

Kind of proud of it.

What about you? Don’t you love cereal with cold, cold milk? Isn’t cereal the food version of the marvelous dog? Always there when you need it, always forgiving and welcoming, refreshing, low maintenance, a friend at all times?

Tougher question: If you can eat only one cereal the rest of your days, what is it?

If you answered Frosted Flakes, you are correct. But, different strokes for different folks. Next week we will examine the Top 10 Cereals of All-Time, According to Me. What does your Top 10 look like?

In the meantime, let’s more fully explore this simple yet complex culinary treat that should be a Food Group all its own.

Consider the fascination and charm of its history, from a guy “inventing” granola more than 100 years ago to Cap’n Crunch, which is a cottage industry unto itself.

I touched Cap’n Crunch once with a 10-foot pole and promised never to again. But against a cereal that is so self-important it doesn’t even spell out Captain, I am in the minority. There is Cap’n Crunch Berries, Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch, Cap’n Crunch Caramel Crunch, Cap’n Crunch All Berries … dude should have made General by now.

But my spousal unit as a youth enjoyed Cap’n Crunch. I was shocked at this revelation. Investigated further and discovered I am matrimonied to a person whose favorite cereals growing up were Golden Grahams and something I’ve never even seen in real life, and that is King Vitaman, spelled ‘man’ instead of ‘min,’ which in itself is messed up. Why would a little girl eat that? You think you know a person …King Vitaman breathed its last in 2019 so how good could it have been and how good could it have been for you? 

Let’s take a roll call and see what memories these bring back:

What is so special about Special K?;

Post Alpha-Bits. Discontinued in 2021. And yes, I took a physical knee in honor of the cereal, and vowed to never eat a Post cereal again — until that night when I ate a bowl of Cheerios, one of history’s greatest cereals;

Sugar Smacks, Trix (are for kids), Grape Nuts and Post Toasties;

(Cukoo for) Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Crispies, and Count Chocula, which is the cereal company’s way of saying, “We want your child to weigh 260 by fifth grade”;

Total (which is total baloney if you’re a kid), Life, Quisp, Apple Jacks, Lucky Charms, Crispy Critters, Fruity Pebbles (the Flintstones franchise, which is totally bogus since everyone knows there was no cereal in the Stone Age, DUH!), Franken Berry, Sugar Bombs, Shredded Wheat, and on and on we could go.

Your Top 10. Be thinking … (Malt-O-Meal or Cream of Wheat equals an automatic disqualification.)

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu


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