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Cereal Eats: Can We Talk About Weetabix?
"Weetabix - the chicken nuggets of cereal" —Erin Zimmer
"This looks like what people eat in the future instead of food" —Max Falkowitz
The British love their biscuits, and their cereals are no exception. When some of my good friends shared their love of the biscuit-cereal Weetabix to me, I knew I needed to investigate. Weetabix is indeed proudly British, so I was surprised to find it so readily available on my American grocery store shelf. Frankly I had never noticed it before but apparently this cereal has joined us from across the pond for some time.
How Much Milk? And How to Pour It?
Upon entering the Cereal Eats Test Kitchen, I ignorantly stacked up the Weetabix in a bowl and gleefully drenched the biscuits in milk. I dug a spoon in and was mildly horrified to find a mushy pile of wheat, entirely unappealing. I gagged down a couple of spoonfuls before abandoning it altogether.
I was puzzled. People love this cereal.
Sweets maven Carrie professed her dedication to Weetabix as part of her affection for all things British, sharing her joy in the novelty of eating cereal that is all in one piece and love of the plain, wheat-y taste. My sister maniacally expressed to me that besides its tie to her precious time studying abroad in New Zealand, she loved it for its flaky wheatiness and how it "soaked up milk like a newborn baby". Well, then.
Confused, I emailed my friends asking for their thoughts. "If I remember correctly, you don't want too much milk with it. Just enough to soften the biscuit. It stays somewhat crunchy if you eat it quickly; if you eat it slowly, it becomes more like oatmeal. I used to coat them in a layer of sugar but nowadays I would probably try it topped with fruit," said my friend Grace.
My roommate Bria warned: "I put waaay to much milk in yesterday - much soggier than I remembered. You absolutely do have to eat it fast. Topping it with fruit is the best."
Ah, NOW I Get It!
Aha. So I decided to give it another try. With so many people rooting for it, surely I could find something to love about the 'bix. As per my friend Grace, I poured the milk not over the large biscuits, but straight into the bowl. Once again, I extracted two biscuits and laid them in a bowl. Careful pouring the milk around the borders, I quickly dug in, and was pleasantly surprised with half soggy, half crispity-crunchy. I got all the delicious grainy flavors, enjoyed its soft and flaky texture and ate up every last bite. Ah, NOW I get it.
Those new to Weetabix - take heed. It can easily turn into moisture-logged mush. But play your milk-cards right, and you can be enjoying a unique and delicious cereal that fills you up and satisfies. Additionally, it provides the perfect canvas for additions of sweeteners and fruit. I have yet to explore this road, but mark my words, I will.
A note to dry cereal snackers: unless you are wearing a bib with a newpaper-covered floor in the privacy of your own home, I wouldn't recommend casually dipping in for a piece or too. Take my word for it.
Weetabix fans, I know you're out there. How do you eat it?