Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rediscovering the Cap'n

I recently made the mistake of purchasing a box of cereal. I hadn't had this particular kind in a long time, so, seeing it was only two bucks (damn you Walmart!) I got myself some. I consumed it in a few days and then was on to my second, bigger box, this time for only about a buck more (damn you Walmart again!)

Okay, by now you know I speak of this diet-destroying fiend:

I've always loved cereal in milk, and though I went through stages where I was eating "healthy" brands (shredded wheat and variations) I really preferred those sugary cereals most of us come to love during childhood. Cap'n Crunch was a favorite. He was a great accompaniment to Saturday morning cartoons.

Well, because I acted on impulse as I pushed my cart down the aisles a few weeks ago, I now have a slight Cap'n problem. It's just too easy to grab the box and pour myself a bowl of food (questionable label for this product, I know), add milk and snack away (and I don't know about you, but eating cereal is enhanced by several orders of magnitude by watching television, particularly light, stupid television, like a sitcom). Preparing a "meal" shouldn't be that convenient. So, in the interest of my health, I'm announcing today my mutiny against the Cap'n.

Before I got to this point, I must add that I also felt the need to try once again Peanut Butter Crunch, a Crunch variation that is shaped differently (little balls) but is virtually the same with the addition of peanut butter to the formula.

I have to say, it isn't as good as the original. The peanut butter doesn't add much in the way of flavor, and actually diminishes the taste. I think the only thing that should be peanut butter flavored is peanut butter (okay, maybe peanut butter cups, too) but let's stop adding it to other products (I once made the mistake of buying a whole carton of peanut butter ice cream, throwing the rest out after trying one scoop).

Then there is the matter of Crunch Berry, but I won't really talk about it. It's the same as regular Crunch, but it has those "berries" in it. It's the only variety I haven't tried during my reintroduction, so now that I've given up childish breakfast cereal (actually, I've always thought that was wrong, the breakfast part, I mean; cereal is an all day food) I just hope Walmart doesn't have a sale on it the next time I walk down the cereal aisle.

And thank goodness these versions no longer appear to be available:

It seems adding chocolate is the most frequent experiment the Cap'n Crunch lab devises, so why it isn't a permanent part of the Crunch lineup is a mystery. It can't be as mediocre as Peanut Butter Crunch. (As an aside, another mystery; why did the Quaker disappear from the front of the box?)

Of course, cereals come and go, as any one who has spent decades (not me) perusing the boxes on the supermarket shelves can tell you. Ice Cream Cone cereal? Sir Grapefellow? Star Trek cereal? There was even Sugar Smacks with Mr. Spock on the box!

Space Energy Comes from Sugar Smacks!

They should have called them Sugar Spocks, don't you think? With maybe some little marshmallow pointed ears added.

You can see more of these forgotten childhood nightmares here. But if those pictures start to give you any ideas about what's on the market today, just remember, you travel down that cereal aisle at your own risk.

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