Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Magically Delicious

My parents didn't let me have crap cereals. We would beg and beg, but no go.

Mom did let us pick out cereal at the grocery store but there was some rule that we had to find ones that didn't have sugar as the first ingredient. (Although, looking back, I can't believe those existed, so it must have been sugar as the first or second ingredient.) Sucrose and corn syrup and all that stuff count as sugar too, of course. Somehow, King Vitamin and Frosted Flakes passed, but no Frankenberry or Fruit Loops or Coco Puffs.

That last bit might have had something to do with the fact that my dad liked Frosted Flakes....

So I had to learn about sugar cereals in college. The dining center had these huge bins of breakfast cereal available at every meal. (I remember a bet at my table once that you couldn't distinguish different colored Fruit Loops by flavor.) That was how I discovered Lucky Charms.

I really like Lucky Charms. They're oaty and sweet. Not too sweet. And they have two flavors that you alternate back and forth: oaty cereal and sweet marshmallows.

In college I learned the marshmallow trick. I never liked Lucky Charms much because the dehydrated marshmallows were chalky and squeaked on my teeth. In college I discovered that if you made sure to get the marshmallows all wet right away, they soften up and don't scrape your teeth so much.

The marshmallow shapes have got totally out of hand, though. When I was a kid they had "pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers." Then in a media blitz they introduced a new marshmallow: blue diamonds. Soon it was "pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, blue diamonds, and purple horseshoes!" Then they realized they could do "special editions" with different marshmallows. Now the marshmallows are all multicolored (new technology from a few years ago), and much bigger than the originals. Of course, Wikipedia has an exhaustive article on Lucky Charms' "marbits" through history....

As an adult, I buy Lucky Charms every few months. Whenever I open the cereal cabinet not knowing what I want, I see it and get all enthusiastic about having Lucky Charms. I don't know why. But you have to go for those small moments of joy.

There is one thing I never understood. The oat cereal pieces are shaped exactly like dry cat food. Does General Mills make cat kibble too?

1 comment:

The Wax Lion said...

I feel this way about Cap'n Crunch. I never warmed up to the chalky mini-marshmallows, no matter how soft they got...