Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey Look! Another List: Top Ten Cereals

Since about 2002, I've been eating Smart Start as my breakfast (and sometimes snack) cereal. It's got plenty of vitamins and minerals, and it tastes good. It's a grown up cereal.

But the last time I went to the grocery store, I picked up a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. When I was younger, I loved Cinnamon Toast Crunch. My brother did too. Hell, the whole family loved CTC. It was the best. So, I bought that box. And, after one week of breakfasts, it was gone. I immediately bought another box (last night) and ate a bowl (and a half) for breakfast the next day (an hour ago).

This got me thinking about the best cereals, so I decided to make a list. How convenient for all of us? You're welcome. So, let's jump right in, shall we? (Oh, one more note: this post's spacing looks weird to me, and I've tried to fix it but it still looks odd to me. So, accept my apologies.)

1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Come on, do I need to explain more? This is the best cereal. It's relatively good for you and people of all ages love it. And, what's even better, is the milk left over after the cereal is finished. That cinnamon milk is fantastic. This is by far the best cereal of all time.

2. Smart Start. I had to leave this high on the list. It's been a solid cereal for 7 years. It's good for you and it tastes good. It's a grown up cereal but still tastes good. It's the best of both worlds, really.

3. Honey Nut Cheerios. This one is also good for you and tastes good. The other Cheerios are good, but these are the best, in my opinion. A solid B+ cereal. It'll do in a pinch, but you'll always be looking for just a little more.

4. Cap'n Crunch. Going back to kid's cereals, Cap'n Crunch was awesome when we were younger. The crunch berries were the sweet part and the yellow parts had (some) nutritional value. I was never a fan of the boxes with only berries or only yellow, but that mixture was great. The peanut butter nonsense I never tried and can only assume was terrible.

5. Wheaties. Well, this cereal was kind of dry and kind of lifeless, but the time Vince Young was on the cover, it was delicious. I guess what made it taste so good was the fact that the Longhorns defeated USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl, but that counts in my book (blog, I suppose). This should really be higher on the list.

6. Honey Smacks. Another kid's cereal that had surpisingly high amount of nutritional value. That frog was funny and the prizes were usually pretty solid. Also, high points for having something good on the back of the box to read.

7. Flutie Flakes. I'll admit, this is another novelty cereal. Jordy was kind enough to bring me back a box from Buffalo. Considering some of the money went to charity, the fact that this cereal tasted like a more cardboardy version of Wheaties is ok by me. I still have a box sitting on my bookshelf.

8. Waffle Crisp. This was a new comer to the cereal battles of the late 1990s, but was good. It was probably too sweet to be anything more than a dessert cereal (you know, when dinner was less than stellar, you come home and have a bowl of cereal. That's what my family did. Usually after going to a new restaurant that "certain family members" (read -- my Dad) thought would be great but turned out to be, well, let's just say less than stellar). But a bowl of waffle crisp would usually make up for weak Thai food.

9. Apple Jacks. I know Laura really used to like these and I assume still does. (After all, people are incapable of change, right? Just kidding, Laura) These were always a good, solid cereal but were never my favorite. I'd eat them but I wouldn't do too much to get the box. I mean, if it was on the shelf, I'd pick it up. But I wouldn't ask if they had any more in the back, ya know?

10. Corn Pops. Another solid cereal. I've heard of some people taking day old pop corn and covering it in milk after it becomes stale. That's kind of like Corn Pops. That counts.

Honorable mention: Rice Krispies (because they, unlike OU, know what to do in a bowl -- yes, I used that before but I find it relevant again), Honey Bunches of Oats, Coco Puffs.


Colin said...

I'm impressed that you are willing to take on such a debated subject. I would add Lucky Charms for Kids cereal and Raisin Bran for a more adult cereal.

I would also note that an old friend of mine made the statement that there were cereal wars when we were kids (because of all the commercials for different cereals) and that the war is over. He was surprised that they no longer advertised anymore. I informed him that he is an idiot and the reason he no longer sees the commercials is because he doesn't watch kid shows anymore. I guess he thinks that supersoakers and legos are no longer on the market either.

Colin said...

Vik Vij said...

Colin: I'm not going to shy away from anything like this. I will stay away (generally) from topics such as politics, religion, race, etc. But a little debate on something "shallow and pedantic" seems just about right for me and the readers.

As for this topic, Lucky Charms were pretty good, but I always found the marshmallows stale and the non-marshmallow parts of the cereal soggy almost immediately. So I left them off.

I was never a fan of Raisin Bran, although I have used the "two scoops" line to describe a certain level of crazy people, just below bat sh$t crazy.

Yeah, if your friend (who I'm assuming is Jordy [jk]) watches saturday morning cartoons, I'm sure he can find cereal commercials, along with Legos, Hotwheels, Pizza Rolls, Pop Tarts and Super Soakers.

Shae said...

What about Life? So simple, yet so delicious. This is probably my favorite Top Ten list of yours, Vik, because cereal is my favorite food.

On a related note, did you hear there is a shortage of Eggo waffles? I have a feeling we're going to start to see news stories of violence over people who won't leggo people's Eggos.

Vik Vij said...

Thanks Shae. We aim to please at here at shallow and pedantic.

I have not heard about the Eggo shortage. But people better start learning to make waffles, stocking up or invest in some Waffle Crisp cereal.

Trey said...

Frosted Flakes not being on this list makes it invalid. Also your assumption that peanut butter crunch was gross is completely wrong. Apple Jacks has the best aftermilk. I agree with your first two, but not that it matters, its invalid. I'd honorably mention Cocoa Krispies and Fruity Pebbles.

Colin, Lucky Charms are gross after whoever opens the box puts 70% of the marshmallows in their bowl. And Raisin Bran is terrible, especially compared with Total. Did you know you get the same amount of nutrients from one bowl of Total that you'd get from a million bowls of Raisin Bran? Get with the program, MAAAAAN.

Vik Vij said...

Trey, Frosted Flakes are pretty good, but in order to get Flutie Flakes and the Vince Young Wheaties, I had to take some others off the list. That was Frosted Flakes.

Cocoa Crispies, Fruity Pebbles and all those similar ones got soggy so quickly, I didn't like that.

The best cereal for fiber is Colon Blow (old SNL skit with Phil Hartman for which I can't find a youtube video)

Colin said...

Lucky Charms also has led to countless jokes that gives it more value. Also the first bowl with just marshmallows is the only way to eat them.

I take vitamins, so Total is worthless to me.

Also you are too late if you want to stock up on eggos. Most of the moms I know already emptied the stores. FYI . . the shortage is because some eggo factory is closed for some reason.

CTC is terrible. Make a real piece of Cinnamon toast... I mean most of us are adults and have the means.

Crystal said...

I have to say, Peanut Butter CapN Crunch is delicious. However you really forgot the best of the best.....the one which is never really reasonable for adults....Reeses Pieces.

Vik Vij said...

Colin, the jokes related to Lucky Charms do garner more credit, but still not enough in my eyes to make the list.

I don't really eat Eggo waffles, so, for the rest of you who do, too late.

If you think CTC is a replacement for actual cinnnamon toast, I feel sorry for you. You've clearly lost some part of your childhood. It's not about replacing the cinnamon toast, it's about the child-like joy associated with the cereal. Sorry for your loss.

Vik Vij said...

Crystal, you're right, Reeses Pieces is not only totally unreasonable for adults, but delicious. However, in making this list, some things had to be left out. This was a tough choice.

Andy Singh said...

I also like the leftover milk from CTC. In fact, General Mills should sell a drink that tastes exactly like that leftover milk.

Vik Vij said...

Andy, that is a phenomenal idea. I would buy that product in a heart beat!

Eating The Road said...

Unfortunately for the second time in 3 years General Mills is cutting sugar from all their cereals that they market to children :( There is as reason they're not as good as they once were when we were kids. I'm a huge proponent of sugar in my cereal.

Although I don't have your beloved Start Smart (you can lump it in with Special K and Total), I have created this is help with that cereal aisle stress:

Vik Vij said...

ETR, the flow chart was awesome. Even if there isn't as much cereal as before, there is enough for me. Especially if you have 2 bowls of cinnamon toast crunch!