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Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, that’s who.

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These award-winning writers trace the history of your breakfast favorites in The Great American Cereal Book. It’s a fun, funny encyclopedia that includes every breakfast cereal ever created – from 1863 to the present.

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Cereal box art is part of our shared snap-crackle-pop culture experience. My friends and I grew up glued to the television on Saturday mornings, watching cartoons and slurping up huge bowls of Cap’n Crunch.

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Gitlin and Ellis show us cereal boxes as they morph over the years, and if you’re even a tiny bit nostalgic, the book’s photos will spark a memory or twenty. I remember spending hours in the cereal row begging Mom to buy Sugar Crisps so I could cut out records on the back of the box and listen to Bobby Sherman.


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And, yep, there’s a chapter just for us ~  Pre-sweetened Baby Boomers. 

 And It’s….

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Every page is a walk down memory lane. (It’s not as flake-y as it sounds).  In fact, seeing the box of Nabisco Wheat Honeys reminds me of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine Rub-ons. And I loved the Rice Krispies’ little plastic toys ~ animals, trains, cars, flowers, hats – with holes attached so my friends and I could keep them all on a string, like a charm bracelet.

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Wackies cereal arrived in 1965 and vanished in 1966. It might have had something to do with the banana-flavored marshmallow bits.  Or the commercial.

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Factoid: Granula (with a “u”) is considered to be the first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. Invented in 1863, it was kind of an early version of Grape-Nuts.  Graham-flour dough was rolled into sheets, baked, broken into pieces, baked again and then crushed into even smaller pieces.

Sugar-packed nutritional disasters are in many breakfast bowls these days. Leprechauns, tigers and silly rabbits plug Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes and Trix.  Cartoon vampires like Count Chocula pitch chocolate-flavored corn puffs and marshmallows.

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All of this retro-cereal talk almost makes me want to get in my PJ’s and curl up with a sugary bowl in front of Boris and Natasha. Actually, I favor Kashi Go Lean.  It’s a lightly sweetened mix of crunchy fiber twigs, crispy soy protein grahams, honey-toasted 7 Whole Grains and Sesame Puffs.

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But honestly?

Given the choice, I think pancakes are upper-case gr-r-r-reat.

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Toni 2/3/12

4 thoughts on “WHO CARES WHAT YOU HAD FOR BREAKFAST?

  1. Comment from Patty via Shel Silverstein

    Rice Krispies stay crisp, though they now and then lisp
    As they whisper their “thnap crackle pop” in your bowl,
    And though you pour a tall can
    Of milk on your ALL Bran,
    It never will turn into glop (so I’m told).

    I know Shredded Wheat will stay crumbly and neat
    Though you soak it a year in the depths of the ocean,
    And from breakfast and lunch
    Your Post Toasties will crunch
    To show you their love and undying devotion.

    Oaties stay oaty, and Wheat Chex stay floaty,
    And nothing can take the puff out of Puffed Rice.
    But I wish they’d invent a cereal for someone
    Who like it

    All floppy
    And drippy
    And droppy
    And lumpy
    And sloppy
    And soggy
    And gloopy
    And gooey
    And mushy
    And NICE!

    Like

  2. My mama only bought Cheerios and Corn Flakes, but was crazy for Pop-Tarts.
    I guess if you are the boss in the house, you get what you want. Mama was the boss. No one questioned that, not even my papa.
    Ronnie

    Like

  3. this reminds me of
    Snap, Crackle and Pop who lived in the rice krispies box or at least i really thought they did when i was five:) also thought Jack Frost was a real person who put frost on the ground. funny what memories a post on cereal conjures up in the corners of my mind. (barbara striesand)

    Like

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