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Obol: The Bowl that Apparently Prevents Cereal from Sogging

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Fellow Cereal Nerds, it's time to get technical. I'm about to geek out about milk's place in the bowl and I hope you're coming along for the ride. We're talkin' about this fascinating piece of cereal paraphernalia: The Obol, "The Never Soggy/Original Crispy Cereal Bowl".

SE video chief Jessica sent me this link last week wondering my opinion. Enter the Obol, a sectioned bowl to provide a solution for those who hate soggy cereal. I was so excited by the shiny bright colors and smooth contours on this cereal gadget, so we quickly ordered to see just how this would all go down.

We chatted a few months ago about our cereal habits. Personally, I'm not that bothered by sogginess, but it's definitely a hot topic in the cereal community and for many of you it's a dealbreaker with certain cereals.

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The Obol is a lot larger than it appears in a photo. Its big, bright, plastic body could easily serve as a waterslide for an animal the size of, say, a baby chipmunk. Not that you want to imagine a baby chipmunk in your cereal bowl but I mean, that would be pretty darn cute. Anyways. The sections are actually two levels: a smaller, raised trough where your dry items go, and then a big reservoir for your milk. You pour your items separately, and then push the cereal down the little slide to add to the milk little by little. Their signature is the Swoop n Scoop® design, meaning you scoop the dry cereal and then, uh, swoop it into the milk. But see, that's where my problems began.

My issue is this: When I pour my milk into my cereal, I make sure that there is approximately a 40% cereal to 60% milk ratio. It's cool if my cereal is swimming, but the cereal pieces need to be swimming close together. I want to feel the heft of the cereal when I drag my spoon through. If you don't have enough cereal, the movement in the milk actually causes the cereal to disperse. "So," you might be thinking to yourselves, "Just add less milk to the milk reservoir". But then, can't I just do that in a normal bowl? These are the deep questions.

I have another issue with this bowl, and this weird promo video shows why.

For those of you that can't watch or chose not to, the video depicts a couple in bathrobes coming to the kitchen and pouring themselves some (separated) bowls of milk and cereal. They eat, looking at each other for a couple of creepy seconds, then with a look, they disrobe and go suggestively into another room. You watch the clock go for like, 30 minutes, and then they return. They pick up the bowls and keep eating.

My issues with this video are massive. First off, I almost puked while watching it. There is almost nothing grosser than listening to someone eat cereal. I certainly don't like anyone listening to me eat cereal and I don't like hearing other people. I don't want to watch this couple in their robes, eyeing each other up. And most importantly, I understand the cutesy point they are trying to make (oh look we can leave our cereal bowls and when we return later and they aren't soggy) but they are forgetting an incredibly important issue: THAT MILK HAS GOT TO BE LUKEWARM! GAG x10!

Oh, also if a dude looked at me suggestively while we were eating cereal I would probably glare at him and tell him to leave me the hell alone while I finish my bowl and don't ever try to interrupt me again. But, that's just me.

So this brings us to my other major issue with this bowl: milk warmth! Letting your cereal sit for too long does more than just sog the cereal up. Personally I am an avid supporter of ice-cold milk. I'd actually rather have soggy cereal than warm milk. I'd be curious to know what Gramercy Terrace Cereal Wizard Terry would rather suffer through: soggy cereal or warm milk. He is a noted hater of both and though this bowl solves one problem, it nearly creates the other! Maybe if the milk trough was refrigerated...or are we just getting too crazy?

I think this is telling me that this bowl is a bit too complicated for me. I did enjoy a bowl of pretty crispy cereal in it, but the scooping and swooped stressed me out a little. The concept is super fun, and I'd totally dig it for chips and salsa or milk and cookies, but when it comes to cereal, I like all my guys mixed in together for optimal breathless scarfing.

Soggy-haters, would you buy this?

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