I just ate not one, but two of the best bowls of cereal I’ve ever had. And you know why they were so milk-slurping, sigh-of-relief loosing good? Nostalgia.
Back when I was a wee little lad who dumped bowls of cereal into the toilet when I either didn’t like the cereal or didn’t want to finish it, cereal was always a bit of a hit or miss. I knew what Rice Krispies Treats were like, but I was in for the most unpleasant surprise of my life when I decided to opt for the Rice Krispies cereal. Expecting bits of puffed rice swathed in the most delectable of marshmallow cremes, I was met with individual, non-glazed, bits of rice that strayed so far from sweet that they were almost counted savory. It was a mortifying experience after I ate my first spoonful, only to realize I had an entire box of this nightmare-inducing breakfast option left. Ever since that first experience of Rice Krispies, the appetite for the cereal has eluded me.
Living in my household, any food that was colored (read: anything that was American) was denied me due to the artificial food colorings in the food. This being the case, rare was the occasion when the Captain would visit my pantry. It was always a party when the Captain was around. Before a healthy infatuation with the physique of Captain America à la Chris Evans, it was Cap’n Crunch who stole my heart. Whether it was the sweet taste of Original Crunch, or the festively-colored Oops! All Berries, the Cap’n greeted my palate with a pleasant crunch (although I personally favored my cereal a bit soggier than crunchy, but not to the point of dissolving) and a bright blend of berries and buttery breakfast fare.
Today’s bowl of cereal brought all of that childhood cheer back into my life. Rarely one to eat breakfast nowadays, I remembered the joy and anticipation that came with hearing Cap’n Crunch tinkle into a glass bowl, gallon of milk ready on the side. Something about the chill of the milk in tandem with the crunch and flavor of the cereal produced a shiver of recognition back to a time when life was simpler; Saturday morning cartoons were still a thing, and breakfast was a daily routine, since thirteen, a chubby fellow on the scene (sorry Biggie). Anyhow, as I tipped the bowl into my mouth to finish off the colorfully specked remains of udder water, I happily reminisced on youth, and how nice it is that we’ve never quite left it behind us, even when we think we have.