Serious Eats

Cereal Eats: A New Column Devoted To The Cereal-Obsessed

Cereal lovers of the world, meet your leader. Please welcome Leandra Palermo. Besides doing an awesome job with her role as Advertising Sales Director, she secretly harbors a lifelong passion with all things crunchy and served with icy cold skim milk. This column represents the culmination of that love affair. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Jessica Leibowitz]

You can always recognize a fellow cereal lover. Well, perhaps "lover" isn't strong enough. Cereal obsessive? Cereal junkie? Whatever the word is, you know who you are.

Someone mentions the word cereal and we (we, the secret community) slowly feel each other out, asking the right questions and waiting for the correct answer. "Favorite kind?" In which category? is the proper response. After that, it's on.

The conversation could go on for hours: likes and dislikes, childhood favorites, discontinued and hard to find varieties. We never got sweet cereals as kids, we got Kashi and unfrosted shredded wheat, health-food brand O's and Fiber One.

We got the sweet forbidden treasures only on Christmas morning and our birthdays, for dessert and on vacation. Remember those variety packs with the mini boxes? They were always gone too soon, their cruel, tiny serving size—just enough to tease out the cereal lust, only to end abruptly—leaving our nine-year-old selves alone with leftover purple milk, wondering, what in this sweet crazy world could possibly be better than Froot Loops??

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When I'm an adult, you swore to yourself, I'll buy full boxes and eat them myself. Any kind I want. That'll show the cereal dictator parents. Then came college, those barrels in the dining hall filled with cereal of every sort, no limit. Go ahead, put on 15, even 20 pounds from eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with every meal. Because you CAN.

If you can't tell by now, cereal is one of my greatest passions.

Join me as we explore the wide, vast world of cereal in this new column: the good, the bad, the sugary, the healthy and the discontinued; the mascots, the prizes, the recipes and the stories. As every cereal lover knows, nothing complements [insert any moment here] like a bowl of cereal.

We'll be tackling the important, pressing questions, too: skim or whole milk? Dry or soggy cereal? Flakes or clusters? Do you mix or are you a purist? Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Golden Grahams? Granola: friend or foe? The list goes on.

Before we go any further, I guess I just need to know I'm not alone. You're out there, right? Who else loves cereal more than life itself? Were you deprived of sweet cereals as a child? Are you, like me, unable to keep a box in the house because you just can't control yourself?

Please Serious* Eaters speak.

*or would that be Cereous?

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