Recently, DJ confessed a secret to me. He tried some of that Honey Nut Kix that we bought for the kids… and he liked it. I, too, admitted that I liked it. It was the closest thing to a “fun” cereal we’d had for years.
Remember the fun cereals of our childhood? The type that I think of as “Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs” (thanks, Calvin&Hobbes) and won’t buy for my children? The more we talked about them, the more I realized that I needed share these experiences with others. This is why God made blogs.
Twenty Cereals of My Childhood, In No Particular Order, With Editorial Comments:
- Rice Krispies –It really does “snap, crackle, and pop.” But it’s pretty bland. I used to scoop sugar on it, which settled at the bottom, and you end up fishing among disintegrating rice grains to scoop up sludgy milky sugar from the bottom of the bowl. Which, to be honest, was probably the only reason I ate this cereal.
- Honey Smacks – This cereal was oddly-shaped, like weird little shells you’d find at the beach. It always tasted burned. Every bowl I ever tried tasted burned. You’d think they’d adjust the recipe, but apparently standards were not that high at the Honey Smacks Factory.
- BooBerry – I actually ate this cereal only a few times. It was a companion to Count Chocula and Frankenberry. All are scary, but BooBerry was by far the most terrifying. All I remember is deadly sweetness and blue milk.
- Cap’n Crunch – My love of this cereal was legendary in our family. I ate pounds of this stuff. The golden buttery barrel-shaped nuggets were good, but then add the pink “crunch berries,” and, well, Heaven couldn’t even compete. It holds up well in milk, crunches nicely, is deadly sweet, and absolutely tears up the inside of your mouth. Really, this ought to have been the death of me in my childhood.
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch – This is really nasty cereal. It’s just awful. It gets soggy almost instantly and you’re left with cinnamon-flavored milk with squishy debris floating around in it.
- Corn Flakes – People really ate this stuff? You couldn’t even sweeten it because the sugar just slid off. This was the cereal that kids always ate in books. It didn’t really fly in fiction, either.
- Corn Pops – Not actually a bad cereal. I mean, it wasn’t Cap’n Crunch but it would do if your only other option was Raisin Bran.
- Froot Loops – Forgive the reminder, but this was one of those cereals that gave you a heart attack two hours later after it went through your digestion system and emerged green.
- Frosted Flakes – “They’re grrrreat!” said Tony the Tiger. His longer script reportedly added, “Eat ’em faaast because they have a half-life of about twenty seconds once milk hits ’em.”
- Cookie Crisp – The ultimate cereal. A kid couldn’t not want a cereal shaped like chocolate-chip cookies. It didn’t actually taste quite as good as it was supposed to be, but your mom bought it so rarely that you had to savor every bit of it for the day and a half it took to finish the box.
- Fruity Pebbles – Tiny, brightly-colored sugar bombs. You could eat heaps and piles of this stuff in one sitting because it was so small. It had the same remarkable effect as Froot Loops, as I recall.
- Golden Grahams – Not a terrible cereal, although suffered from Rapid Onset Soggage.
- Lucky Charms – Some people, like parents, said you were supposed to eat the filler part that protected the marshmallows in the box.
- GrapeNuts – Betrayal in breakfast form. This “cereal” is neither grapey nor nutty. They just named it that because admitting it was chicken feed wouldn’t sell.
- Raisin Bran – “Two scoops of plump, juicy raisins!” I never once found a plump, juicy raisin in my Raisin Bran. But I ate them anyway because they had sugar on them, which the flakes didn’t. I’m pretty sure that if I’m doomed to Purgatory, I’ll have to relive those moments of eating the last spoonfuls of brannish sludge with chewy, sad raisins in it.
- Shredded Wheat – The frosted variety is edible. You pour yourself a big bowl and splash some milk on it. Six minutes later, all the milk has disappeared. Instead, you’ve got twenty-eight pounds of soggy wheat fibers in your bowl. If you try to eat it all, you’ll die.
- Trix – The Twizzlers of cereal. It looked good and there was that catchy slogan (“Silly rabbi, kicks are for trids!” Oh wait. That’s the punchline to that dumb joke, isn’t it?) But the cereal was kind of yucky. Like Twizzlers.
- Wheaties – Did not turn you into Mary Lou Retton. But according to reliable sources, she was nice to look at if you were a boy growing up in a church with a strict modesty policy.
- Honey Nut Cheerios – A decent cereal. Tastes okay. Doesn’t get too soggy too fast. Not flashy, but it’s always there for you. This is the cereal you grow up to marry.
- Kix – I used to think this cereal was a spineless version of Corn Pops. Bland. Didn’t like it. Now, dang it all if I don’t like the stuff! It’s crunchy and, you know what? Not too sweet! In related news, I became a grown-up.