Breakfast and Brunch

Introducing Milking It: Cereal Killers & Thrillers

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Milking It: Cereal Killers & Thrillers, a blog dedicated to that most beloved culinary delight, breakfast cereal. And not just any cereal. These pages will review a specific sort – the sugary kind, typically featuring a cartoony character on the box. The stuff that adults are supposed to feel guilty about loving. But not me. Oh no, not me.

A little background. I’m allergic to eggs, meaning that I can’t ingest the vast majority of items that most folks regard as breakfast delicacies. (I’d describe in detail what happens to me if I accidentally swallow something with egg in it, but some of you may be eating.) I can gobble cereal, though, and man, do I ever. Over the years, I’ve probably paid for at least a couple of General Mills and Kellogg’s manufacturing plants all by my lonesome. But from an early age, I also made cereal an important part of my life and identity. Most tots sleep with teddy bears; my mother reports, with a certain weariness, that I once cuddled up with cereal boxes before drifting off to dreamland. And among my most cherished childhood belongings was a stuffed Quisp doll ordered using box tops, no doubt. I still have it, and I’m particularly fond of the jagged stitching where my mom sewed his propeller back on after I’d nearly loved him to death.

Of course, most people grow out of this phase, sadly succumbing to societal pressure to transition from the fun stuff to Grape Nuts and other products designed more with bowels than taste buds in mind. In contrast, I continue to begin my day with two bowls of cereal that encourage proper dental care, because if you don’t brush thoroughly, your teeth will rot faster than a fallen tree infested with termites. One of them is usually filled with Count Chocula, which I regard to be the peak of cereal evolution in this great country of ours; I tend to eat most of the cereal pieces first, leaving two or three spoonfuls of bat-shaped marshmallows for the end, in order to get my day started with a scrumptious jolt. But I also purchase and sample pretty much any new brand that comes on the market, so long as it looks sufficiently apt to make nutritionists shed silent tears.

Items like these will be featured in this space – just-launched products or ones that have been around for years but have fallen off the radar of most diners over the age of twelve. I’ll review them using a four-spoon rating system. And now, without further ado, let’s dig in. – Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts