One of the earliest childhood memories that I have is of eating breakfast in the family’s tall-ceilinged kitchen. When I was five-years-old my favorite cereal was Sugar Jets. In my opinion, Sugar Jets was and still should be the benchmark against which all sugary cereals should be judged. There’s only one major problem with this, Sugar Jets was discontinued sometime in the early 1970s. The only Sugar Jets worth the effort were the old school tiny spheres, not the later version, shaped like airplanes and rockets.
While I’m thinking about cereals that gave me childhood sugar buzzes, I can’t leave out Rice Krinkles. The people at Post chose a politically incorrect mascot named “So-Hi”, a little Chinese boy, as the cereal’s mascot. Rice Krinkles were pure junk food decadence. If a kid had eaten an entire box of the stuff, he’d be hungry an hour later. I never did this, but that’s what Rice Krinkles seemed like to me.
One cereal I wish would come back is Team Flakes. The tag-line was “Four Grains in Every Flake”. The combination of rice, wheat, corn, and oats made for a very crisp flake. The cereal had just a touch of sweetness that enhanced the grainy flavor. It was dad’s guilty breakfast pleasure. One morning I accidentally stumbled across his hidden private box at the back of the cupboard. After that morning, mom had to buy two boxes each time she grocery shopped–one for dad and one for the rest of us.
Another non-sugar encrusted brand I miss is OK cereal. This short-lived brand was sold as Kellogg’s answer to General Mills’ Cheerios. OK cereal was discontinued in the early 1960s to my utter disappointment. The little Os and Ks had a better flavor than Cheerios that I still crave.
One of the best cereals is still widely available. Full-size biscuits of Shredded Wheat cannot be beat. They have a much nuttier flavor than the much smaller mini-wheats. I’m not really sure why there is a difference in flavor between the two varieties. Perhaps the looseness of the “weave” of the larger biscuit allows more of the strands to be toasted.
The subject of cold cereals is fun to explore simply because of the immense variety of brands and marketing ploys. The next time you visit the supermarket, carefully ponder the cereal aisle and amaze yourself.