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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Cereal AA Round of 32, Flights 3 and 4: Fiberfest and Sugar Shock

Submitted by on July 1, 2009 – 10:38 AM23 Comments

vintagetoucanReady to vote? Click here. Confused? Click here.

1 Quaker Oat(meal) Squares vs. 8 oatmeal. I can't say I'm particularly surprised that traditional oatmeal triumphed over Puffed Rice, the John Tesh of breakfast cereals. But it's got a tougher contest in this round, because Quaker Oat Squares are fucking GREAT. Yeah, I'm going to just go ahead and curse in a write-up about breakfast foods: THAT IS HOW GOOD THEY ARE, PEOPLE. But too few people know the glories of these hard little oat pillows, so oatmeal will probably win, "deserving" having nothing to do with it.

5 Yogurt Burst Cheerios vs. 13 Chex. This is another matchup where I think nostalgia will trump actual quality. The Yogurt Burst Cheerio hasn't had the advantage of years in the marketplace to capture all the hearts and minds it should, for its appealing combination of traditional oaty Os and weirdly sweet/creamy freak Os. Chex have nothing to recommend them except your memories of mixing them with pretzels at your seventh-grade birthday party, and yet I think that's why you will carry them to victory.

6 Honey Nut Cheerios vs. 3 Cracklin' Oat Bran. If you had asked me about this matchup two weeks ago, I would have called this for Honey Nut Cheerios in a runaway spree. But then I read in the comments that some of you have detected a switch to an inferior sweetener of late (I guess my palate is not as refined, or else I shovel the cereal in too quickly to taste it. It could be both). So maybe allegiances will switch to the crunchy delights of COB? I think maybe so.

7 Cinnamon Life vs. 2 Quaker Os. If we were talking about the classic blue box version of the Quaker Os, this would be no contest at all. My sister and I still talk about our love of the blue-box Os, and they've been off the market for fifteen years at least. But while I don't particularly like or approve of the cinnamon mutation of Life, I think it's going to take this one.


1 Cap'n Crunch/Crunch Berries vs. 9 Sugar/Golden Crisp. Really? Crunch Uber Alles. Crisp is so pitifully out of its league here.

5 Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. 4 Apple Jacks. Ooh, clash of the cinnamons. This is tricky. Apple Jacks are my sentimental favourite — some of the loveliest moments of my early courtship with my (now) husband revolved around our travelling to Niagara Falls, NY so he could buy me Apple Jacks, which were no longer available in Canada (and still aren't). But let's face it: my personal history aside, Apple Jacks are freak Froot Loops, and their apple flavouring is barely discernible. Cinnamon Toast Crunch — but it'll be close.

6 Corn Pops vs. 3 Alpha-Bits. I made the point in my last raft of write-ups that Canadian Mini-Wheats are superior to their Yankee counterparts, and here we are again. American Corn Pops have this slimy kind of glaze on them, and are weird, irregular shapes, like cheese curds. You all probably don't like them much for this reason, and I don't blame you. (Canadian Corn Pops are shaped like Kix, only sweet, and therefore delicious.) But then I also like Alpha-Bits — one of the few sugar cereals I was allowed to eat as a kid with any regularity — so I can't begrudge them their certain win here.

7 Honeycomb vs. 2 Froot Loops. Honeycomb and Alpha-Bits are the same cereal. Other than the shape: identical. So where you fall on this one pretty much depends on how you feel about artificial fruit flavouring. I'm going to call this one for Froot Loops, although the possibility of a Honeycomb/Alpha-Bits face-off might be kind of interesting in a "universe folding in on itself" way.

Tara Ariano

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  • Leigh in CO says:

    How can Cracklin' Oat Bran be losing? To a Cheerio?

  • Kristen says:

    Go, Honey Nut Cheerios, go!

    I start almost every morning with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Cracklin' Oat Bran is a snack, not a breakfast.

  • Kathryn says:

    Come on, Cracklin' Oat Bran! Sure you're being beaten two-to-one right now, (which confirms my suspicion that a Cheerio of some type is going to win the final round) but you can do it!

  • Tashi says:

    Never having tried or even remember seeing the yogurt burst cheerios before I tried to find them in the store the other day but they didn't have them. What are they? Are they yogurt flavored cheerios? Is there a burst of yogurt every time you bite into a cheerio? Because that sounds really gross.

    I have to support the Alpha Bits to the end because you can write with them and that's both fun and educational.

  • Peach says:

    I should mention that my favorite statistics project from high school was when a couple friends of mine detremined the distribution of letters in Alpha-Bits. I have fond fond memories of helping them sort the many boxes of little letters…

  • Cassie says:

    . . . Dammit. Reading this made me think about Cap'n Crunch and now I want some. But there is none here! Drat!

    I would also like to register that my vote for Honeycomb was actually a vote AGAINST Froot Loops. HATE. Massive, pure, bowl-searing hate.

  • Rachel says:

    Wing, have you never had the Chex Muddy Buddies? Quite possibly the only reason for living, you know. Savory Chex Mix has its place, but oh man, Muddy Buddies? Totally different league.

  • Tisha_ says:

    @ Tashi:

    They are regular cheerios, mixed with yogurt covered cheerios. Just sweet enough. They are so wonderful.

  • Jessi says:

    When I was a kid, I used to mix Cracklin' Oat Bran and Cheerios in the same bowl. (Plain Cheerios, of course.) Mmmm…

  • Leigh in CO says:

    Cracklin' Oat Bran with a banana…mmmmm….perfect! Not that COB isn't a snack, as well. It's quite multi-functional. I should give up, it seems there will be no stay of execution for my favorite all-time cereal.

  • Krista says:

    I say Chex for the win. Come on, you pour a cup of Rice Chex, add about 1/3 of a package of Sweet N Low, then pour the milk. It's the best. Crunchy and sweet.
    Oatmeal's win will be deserved. Whether it's the strawberry and cream or just made with water then a small scoop of vanilla ice cream added or a sprinkle of cinammon sugar.
    I'm all for sweet breakfasts apparently.

  • K. says:

    @Tashi: go get some Yogurt Burst Cheerios right now. Strawberry or vanilla, doesn't matter. (I prefer strawberry.) They RULE. I eat them in great fistfuls.

    This is neither here nor there, but you know what cereal I just tried that is not so good? The Special K with chocolate. The chocolate is waxy.

  • DuchessKitty says:

    It's nice to see Chex winning the battle, even if it is against the only halfway decent Cheerio. But how can Honey Barf Cheerios be beating Cracklin' Oat Bran? How? Honey Nut Cheerios are gross y'all.

  • LALALA says:

    People, just say no to artificial fruit flavors! They make your teeth ache without any satisfaction!

  • Lisa says:

    To K.

    Have you tried the Cinnamon-Pecan Special K? They are very good. SO good, in fact, that you almost forget you're eating Special K!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Lisa: I have a box of that in the house right now! But by evening, I will not. Hee.

  • ferretrick says:

    Honey Nut Cheerios are awesome. DuchessKitty, you're making a cute cartoon bee cry.

  • Sandman says:

    I too am shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you! that Cracklin' Oat Bran is being beaten so handily. So pass all my favourites, I guess. And I refuse to eat Froot Loops. The scary neon colours are unrelated to fruit, or to anything else found in nature. FROOT, indeed! ::harumph::

  • Ooh, but you know what's REALLY good? A bowl of oatmeal with Quaker oatmeal squares on top. they stay crunchy, but get a teeny bit softer…oh, that's good stuff.

  • Ix says:

    Gah. God, I remember Sugar Crisp. Even as a kid, I loathed it – the honey-soaked rice-puff cereal was always way too sweet for my taste (you could *feel* it eating away at your tooth enamel) and the rice-puffs were always disappointingly soft; I expected more crunch out of my cereal. Plus, it always, *always* got stuck in my teeth.

    Eating sugary cereal should not make me want to go brush my teeth right afterward, dammit.

    Plus, they'd get soggy as soon as you even brought the milk *near* them, and the honey-coating made them too sticky to have as a dry snack without having to wash your hands after.

  • K. says:

    @Lisa: I'm allergic to nuts so I can't have the Cinnamon Pecan Special K. (Special K was one of my nicknames in high school.) I actually have no problem with regular Special K – the chocolate stuff was given to me by someone cleaning out their pantry, and I hate to waste food so I took it. I also like the Red Berries, and the Protein Plus – it tastes kind of like Smart Start, which I also enjoy.

  • Amie says:

    Man, I hardly ever eat cereal anymore (if it is in the house I will eat it all at once, and I've found it safer to generally keep it away except for a special treat for myself) but when I was at the store last night I bought TWO boxes, and every time I read comments I am regretting never having tried so many other kinds! This happened to me last year with the NC Double Scoop and I went around for a few weeks stopping at various ice cream places to see what exotic varieties they had… now I'm just considering buying an ice cream maker and experimenting.

  • Mrs. Apron says:

    Quaker Oat Squares rock my morning. Oatmeal pillows = yum. The maple (albeit artificially flavored) is the best, and they stay pretty crunchy down till the end. Move over, mushy oatmeal.

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