Friday, January 16, 2009

Sweetest Cereals That Fueled Our Childhood

There are simply a ridiculous amount of cereals in the Western market and I believe every child had a fondness for a particular cereal while growing up. Not to say that cereal is only for children. I still joyfully cram them in my face to this day. Anyway, it's difficult to narrow down such a huge array of choices, but here goes.

5. Frosted Flakes
I would call this cereal the grandfather of sweet cereals. It's not a balls out chocolate/ honey/ candy explosion, but it's known all over the world for being sweet and delicious. If you grew up in a home with strict flavor-Nazi parents who only allowed you to eat 'Dusty Corn Wads', or 'Oaty Circles of Oats', this is likely the one cereal that could have slipped through on occasion. Its name conjures up images of frosting, and it's basically 'Corn Flakes' with a coating of pure goodness. Eat one bowl and you're buzzed for school.

4. Lucky Charms
Why is this cereal on the list? One word: marshmallows. Or ... at least some dehydrated laboratory experiment that tastes like marshmallows. This cereal took a plain oat shape formula and added two things that kids love: candy and bright colors. Sure, those bright colors turned your milk an unsettling gray-blue, but what the hell do you care? You have enough to worry about keeping your spoon steady as you hit that second bowl. The ever changing roster of marshmallows is hard to keep track of, and I won't attempt to sort it out here. Whenever new shapes were introduced, they eventually phased out the older ones, so the marshmallow ratio wasn't growing. Different shapes, same sugar high. It was just the thing to get your day started. You got a joyous leprechaun on a box, a milky circus in your bowl, and you're eating marshmallows for breakfast. What more do you want?

3. Cap'n Crunch
I'll admit that this cereal wasn't common in my home growing up, but I still enjoyed it when I got my greedy hands on a box. Originally this cereal was based on a brown sugar and butter recipe that people used to pour on rice for breakfast. How that eventually turned into a naval commander waging an endless battle in the name of crunchiness, I'll never know. Whatever the case, this cereal has got some kick to it and is deceptively sweet. You think you just eating a jagged version of 'Corn Pops' and then bam! you're in a diabetic coma. You and the captain make it happen. And by "happen", I mean "become jittery and addicted".

2. Sugar Crisp
For any American readers I'm talking about 'Golden Crisp', but I'll be using the name it still goes by in Canada. So you want a sweet cereal? Try this one on for size, it's got 'sugar' right in the name. More than 50 years ago some fellow realized that puffed wheat on it's own was wretched and found that, after running it through a donut glazing machine, sales began to pick up. This stuff is so good, just thinking about it makes my teeth hurt. The magazine Consumer Reports found that Sugar Crisp has an astounding sugar content compared to other cereals (more than 50% by weight). But kids don't care, we all loved it even though our parent warned us it's unhealthy. But who are you gonna listen to? Your parents, or a stoned cartoon bear?

1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Maybe it comes as a surprise to find this in the number one spot, and maybe I don't care. This cereal is mad sweet. Just look at it! It's so encrusted with cinnamon sugar it's actually sparkling! With its copious cinnamon and sugar, this cereal wasn't only a rockin' delicious breakfast, it also also makes a great snack right out of the box. But any kid knows that fishing one handful out of the box is gonna leave your forearm coated with sugar. Like any good sweet cereal, the last bowl is made up of crumbs and sugar sand, with all traces of wheat and rice long gone. If you add milk to the final bowl of a box of 'Cinnamon Toast Crunch' then you get a sucrose mud that borders on being crack. Eat enough of this liquid candy and you'll wake up days later in the woods amidst a detailed replica of the Vatican made from twigs. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it was cereals like this that gave us the energy to do many productive things on a Saturday. While some poor kids sat in the dark, crying, and eating their 'Muslix', others were chowing down cinnamon swirls and designing tree houses.


Cole D'Arc said...

Toast Crunch is the only cereal that i can recall that openly boasted about its amount of sugar. You've gotta love them for pretty much going the complete opposite route from most other cereals that try to at least pass themselves off as healthy even if they're not. Remember, this stuff is "the taste you can see".
Growing up, i was the biggest sugary cereal junkie ever and my parents bought whatever i asked for. Lucky Charms pretty much saved me from starvation at King's. but you knew that.

Shane said...

Saved from starvation? They really are lucky!

RyHo said...

I just finished off a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Also, my favourite cereal ever is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so clearly I'm one of those kids that got to grow up on this sugary sweetness.

Some honourable mentions should be Nestle's Quik cereal and Reese Peanut Butter Puffs. I think Reese are my second favourite. That shit is almost over the top sugary.

Those two only bordered on being a part of our childhood, I suppose. I'd say it was more of an early adolescent sort've thing.

Shane said...

I totally agree that reese peanut butter puffs was crazy sweet. It would have absolutely found a place on a top ten list.

Another sweet cereal I used to love was Rice Krispie Treats Cereal, which was basically clumps of rice krispies fused together with marshmallow sauce. I say that I USED to love it because I haven't seen it around in years. The internet claims it still exists, but I haven't run into it.