Half Empty, Since 1998

A guide to choosing the right cereal for your breakfasting pleasure.

The Abridged North American Field Guide to Cereal: or, it's not just for breakfast anymore

Chad J. Sutton. November 15th, 1998

This article was spawned by a late night conversation during which the proper way to eat Cocoa Puffs was discussed at some length.

The next time you venture into a supermarket, take a moment to peruse the cereal aisle. Stand back and really take a long, hard look at the arrangement of the shelves. Wonder at the sheer volume of different brands and flavors. There are so many variables concerning breakfast cereal that choosing one can be quite confusing to the consumer: Which one is the right one to buy? Is it nutritious? Am I really just buying it for the little marshmallows? What will my friends think? What IS the proper way to eat Cocoa Puffs?

The Proper Way to Eat Cocoa Puffs

Any cereal that makes the milk turn colors as well as flavor is inherently cool, but with Cocoa Puffs you always face the danger of sogginess because it takes so long to get the milk good and chocolatey. Hence, the need for a Cocoa Puffs game plan:

  1. Fill the bowl about halfway with Cocoa Puffs. The bigger the bowl, the better.
  2. Add milk, but don’t fill the bowl all the way.
  3. Wait about 10-15 minutes for the magical chocolate milk transformation. This is crucial.
  4. Add a SECOND LAYER of Cocoa Puffs. This is how you keep some semblance of crunchiness.
  5. Chow down.
  6. Drink the milk straight from the bowl.

Cookie Crisp: Come Fly With Me

Cookie Crisp is probably the most aerodynamic of all cereals. They have an excellent size-to-weight ratio, and their concave shape makes the air stream under them, creating amazing lift. So what, you say? Try this: after eating your fill of Cookie Crisp and foiling the indubitable theft attempts of the Cookie Crook, take the box upstairs (the higher the better, if you live in a high-rise this works well) and open the window. Fling Cookie Crisps one at a time, Frisbee-style, out the window. You’ll be amazed at how well they fly, and they provide an excellent source of amusement for those boring Saturday mornings before the good cartoons come on.

I Pity the Fool Who Don’t Eat My Cereal

I doubt you’ll ever find it nowadays but there was something about Mr. T Cereal that made me want to wear a bunch of gold chains and beat the crap out of Murdock. Plus it was immortalized in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Pee-Wee Herman never had his own cereal. Hmph.

Captain Crunch: the Perfect Food?

Captain Crunch by itself is no nutritional bonanza, but when part of a balanced diet (including Crunch Berries and Peanut Butter Crunch,) it can sustain life indefinitely. There was even a rap song in the 80’s that began with the line “Every morning I wake up, I eat Captain Crunch, eat the same thing for dinner and the same for lunch.” No doubt the breakfast of champions.