The cereal aisle at the grocery store is the closest thing to a Toys R Us you’ll see outside of an actual Toys R Us. It panders only to children with maybe one half of a rack reserved for cereal you, as an adult, don’t feel like an idiot purchasing because there’s no cartoon character on the box and, if it has marshmallows, at least they’re not shaped like ponies, pixies or puppies.
Amidst this sugar saturated aisle there’s an abundance of just mind-numbing creations, food-based experiments, that cereal manufacturers are willing to try out on kids and shameless adults. They’ll take any old predictable chunk of crispy corn, rice or oats and then bathe it in a sugary, chemical concoction in the hopes that enough people don’t think “this tastes the way the inside of a portable toilet smells” and thus they make money. Well dude, that ain’t enough. Some flavors just don’t need to be on cereals. Not anymore.
Think of anything you’ve ever had that was grape flavored. No, first, think of a grape. That’s a decent flavor. Then see if you can make the logical leap that companies take getting from that flavor to things like grape Kool-Aid and grape gum. Then, take that flavor, and make it dry and crunchy. Maybe add some milk. Sound delicious? Of course not.
Cinnamon is the worst spice ever. Not because it tastes bad, but because it’s lazy. It’s the laziest spice in your cupboard next to parsley, which doesn’t even have a purpose. Parsley mocks Darwin every time it’s harvested. But cinnamon is a joke of a flavoring. They put it in everything. You can tell someone at a cereal company had a panic attack when trying to think of a new product when a cinnamon cereal is made, because it’s literally the most brain dead option they have next to just using sugar (looking at you, Frosted Flakes). The worst is when it’s a cereal that already exists, and they come out with a new kind, and it’s just the same shit with cinnamon. Because you know I have cinnamon at home, man. I coulda done that myself and you wouldn’t have had to pay a graphic designer to make a new box.
They can make kittens glow in the dark right now. Literally, they exist in the world at this very moment, glow in the dark kittens. We may have also just discovered something that travels faster than light and will call our understanding of physics into question. And scientists have even started to display, on a screen, images taken from a human brain. And yet, to this very day, no one has managed to take the flavor of apple and add it to a product and not have that product suck horribly. More often than not it doesn’t even taste like apple, just a vaguely sour crotch gusset sort of taste. And nowhere is this more true than in cereal because they also tend to add cinnamon. Good call, cereal makers.
If I want fresh fruit, I’ll eat fresh fruit. I don’t need it dehydrated, mixed with maltodextrin and infused into crisp oat circles.
Like apple, banana is a mystery of the flavor world. We know what banana tastes like and we know what banana “flavor” tastes like, but we never question why the two have nothing in common. And everyone knows banana flavored candy is the helmet-wearing cousin of normal candy. Banana Runts? Circus peanuts? Jesus, it’s like a train wreck.
Banana cereal’s awfulness is compounded by the fact banana is traditionally a food you can easily add fresh to any cereal to actually give it a banana flavor, and bananas cost like 10 cents each. Bananas are practically free. Just eat one.
Did you have any idea that this atrocity existed? All the face-destroying charm of Cap’n Crunch but with the breakfast-time goodness of added fruit punch. Really, Quaker? Really? And its mascot is a fat hippo sailor, because….just because.
Fruit punch has as much sense being a cereal flavor as tapioca, ham or bourbon and you’d probably find more people clamoring for the bourbon than fruit punch if you asked.