Bowled over by cereal

One man’s Sugar Pops are another woman’s Apple Jacks are another man’s Crispy Critters.

In the Cereal Game, we know that going in. No one is going to agree, straight down the line, on everything.

With that in mind, it was refreshing this week to enjoy so much mail about last week’s “Cereal Killer” effort. We have some serious cereal eaters out there.

And … we are EVERYwhere. My friend The Horse Whisperer sent me a photograph this week of an actual store in the Magnificent Mile mall in Las Vegas that combines many cereal options — dare we say ‘a vast array’? — with ice cream. Cereal Killerz, it’s cleverly called.

Think about that. You leave Banana Republic, so hungry you could eat mule meat, and you see this store where you can get two of the finest food offerings known to Hungry Man, ice cream and cereal.

Next thing you know, BOOM!, you’ve had a refreshing bowl of Fruity Pebbles and you’re on your way to Nordstrom for some new threads.

Ain’t life grand when it works right? Cereal and ice cream. The Dynamic Duo. Never had I thought …

But in many places, cereal has gotten a bad rap. I read recently that because of cereal being marketed toward children since the invention of TV sets, we grownups got to thinking of it as a sugary mess and not a healthy breakfast. That “it’s something to grow out of, not aspire to.”

To which I say, Neg. Cereal eating IS something to aspire to. And unlike the cereal aisle of our youth, when we had four cereals to choose from, you now have a mountain of options, (which is both a blessing and a curse, but still …)

To get you to thinking, I’ll offer my Top 10 Cereals According to Me. Granted, I have not tried many novelty cereals, like Franken Berry or Baron Von Redberry or Smurf Magic Berries or Count Chocula or Cookie Crisp, so going in I ask forgiveness from all my 5-year-old readers who enjoy such things.

1. Frosted Flakes. They’re G-r-r-r-reat! Tony the Tiger should be in the Cereal Hall of Fame. First ballot. Stud.

2. Kashi Blueberry Clusters.

3. Kashi GO Toasted Berry Crisp. (Harder to eat than the Blueberry Clusters, but when I have the energy, I love them.)

4. Honey Nut Cheerios.

5. Cheerios, an original, beautiful in its simplicity, often imitated, never duplicated.

6. Granola, specifically Vanilla Almond Granola from Trader Joe’s, a new favorite. Where has it been all my life? Eat it in a coffee cup and just drink the final little bit. (Warning!: Like with the Alpha-Bits of my youth, you have to pay attention when you eat granola. Strategic chewing. If you got a capital “I” or the simple “O” when you ate Alpha-Bits, chewing was easy as falling off a porch. But get a crooked consonant like an “M” or “W” or “R,” it’s a bit of a different ballgame. It’s a price the roof of your mouth doesn’t want to pay. I’m told from the Cap’n Crunch crowd that the Cap’n presented a similar danger. Same with granola clusters. Mighty good though; worth the effort. Of course, so were Alpha-Bits, which they quit making in 2021; no one reads or writes anymore, I guess. Who knew hi-tech would be the end of Alpha-Bits? Big Cereal and Big Pharma: peas from the same pod. Don’t get me started …  

7. Honey Roasted Honey Bunches of Oats.

And that’s it. My Top 10 is only 7. It’s enough. Never would eat a fruity cereal. Tried shredded wheat but to me it’s shredded cardboard. Would eat Rice Krispies in a pinch — mainly just to hear the snap-krackle-pop — and would eat Chocolate Cheerios for something sweet. But really, I would just be cheating on The Magnificent Seven; not overly interested.

Maybe next week or the next we’ll hear from readers. In the meantime, go have yourself a bowl, and have yourself a ball.

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