The Art and Zen of Cereal Consumption
Whether you’re bright and chipper, baked beyond belief or just a bit peckish, there’s a cereal for you.
By Yoni Yardeni, Pierce College
Growing up in a household where I was always the first to wake up in the morning, my breakfast options were minimal for most of my childhood.
So, what’s a kid to eat when he doesn’t know how to make himself eggs, pancakes or just about anything else? My dire situation left me with no other option than the constant consumption of one of the world’s best breakfasts—cereal.
Cereal is far from just your average breakfast or casual snack; in fact, due to the work of Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam and countless others, the foodstuff has had a massive impact on popular culture.
Since cereal is practically a cultural artifact at this point, and since college kids are notorious for their unlikelihood to cook, I have created a list enumerating the perfect cereal for any occasion under the sun.
Whether a late-night snack, fridge-is-empty last resort or just your average quick bowl in the morning, cereal comes in different flavors for a reason—matching context and crunch is an art, and one I’m here to help with. Considering my taste buds are identical to those of a seven-year-old though, take my recommendations with a grain of salt, and a glass of milk.
1. Healthy, Balanced Breakfast
Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning feeling like shit from a poor night’s sleep or an extra long day before, I want to start my day off with something somewhat better for me than the sugar-filled, dessert-like cereals that I normally eat. If you’re going to opt for a healthy choice, these are your best options.
Best Case: Honey Bunches of Oats
Honestly, I don’t know if this cereal is considered healthy; I guess the word “oat” just makes me assume something in it is good for you. Healthy or not, it definitely nails the appearance of nutritive goodness, and that’s really what we’re going for.
When it comes to taste, it’s safe to say the candy-coated oats are one of the most perfect creations the world has ever seen. There literally isn’t anything more enticing than seeing a gigantic set of honey clusters—whatever those are exactly—in your cereal.
I’ll Settle For: Multi-Grain Cheerios
I think I speak for many Americans when I say that these holey grains may be the blandest food that I still enjoy eating. They taste almost as if the visionaries at General Mills did nothing but cut cardboard into a circle, plop a tablespoon of sugar in the box and call it a day.
The milk after eating a bowl of these fibrous o’s is dismal at best, and, honestly, I don’t know why I even enjoy eating them. All I can say is that they’re doing something right.
2. Wake, Bake and Pour
Have you ever smoked and then poured yourself a fat-ass bowl of some extremely sugary cereal afterwards? I’d assume most of you who answered that question did so with a “fuck yeah!”
Even if I came home high and there was a hot dinner prepared, I’d still prefer running to the top cupboard to check what’s in store.
Best Case: Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Once, I met a kid who told me that he had never tried Cinnamon Toast Crunch; needless to say, I never spoke with him again.
There is no way on God’s green fucking Earth that you’ve lived your entire life on this planet and gone every single day without a bowl of this sweet, cinnamon-infused concoction.
Plus, when you think you’re ready for a life-changing experience, try it with warm milk in the wintertime; you’ll never look back.
I’ll Settle For: Honey Nut Chex
Talk about an underrated gem in your local cereal aisle; the shit is literally golden. I can promise you that a spoonful of Honey Nut Chex is one of the best bites you will ever try, yet many people who I talk cereal with have never tried it.
In essence, a bowl of the buttercream nuggets tastes like what a summer day feels like. It might sound like a reach to compare a cereal to the very concept of happiness, but these glowing grains get pretty damn close.
3. That Time of Night
Luckily, cereal is the one thing I have most of in my house, and thanks to the bountiful variety I have amassed, I know I will never end up disappointed when it came to fixing the most important midnight snack known to man.
I often find myself staying up late at night, watching random interviews or scouring through Netflix, and when that happens, I know I’m just a poured bowl of cereal away from rejuvenation.
Best Case: Fruity Pebbles
Listen, and listen good. Fruity Pebbles is no joke.
The spots that a bowl of the technicolored treat can hit are unreal, and they have been that way for as long as I can remember, from devouring ladlefuls of the stained-glass sweetness as a kid, all the way to now, as the cereal-infatuated young man that I am today.
The pebbles reigns supreme over every single other artificial-fruit-flavored cereal I’ve ever tried, and, considering the fact that I took the time to write this much about cereal, that’s quite the compliment.
I’ll Settle For: Lucky Charms
Although the wheat bits may taste like soft bark, the marshmallows are pliant, saccharine pops of endorphins, especially when you’re eating from the box your parents hid because they thought that you ate too much cereal.
The art of eating Lucky Charms is a lesson in harmony, as neither too sugary nor too barky imparts the desired flavor. Plus, if you eat only the marshmallows, prepare to face a chastising, as your mom didn’t buy the box to throw away half of it.
Just like the FDA recommends eating colorfully, stacking your plate with verdant vegetables and neon fruits, so do I recommend eating the rainbow, just a tastier one.