Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Best Breakfast Cereal

As you read through these, you're no doubt thinking Just how many of these things are going to be about food? My former life as a fat guy should tell you that, yes, a lot of them will be.

And my love of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch may tell you why I was formerly a fat guy and will in all likelihood return to that. But first, since my writing is the equivalent of driving using only your peripheral vision, two asides.

One, click on that link. Our breakfast cereal is so unhealthy that it's advertised as American candy.

Two, how dumb do the cereal manufacturers think we are? As cereal gets more expensive (it might be cheaper to serve a bowl of steak for breakfast soon) the boxes stay the same height, and width, but depth-wise they are almost two dimensional. I see the cereal on the shelf, reach for it, and it's like grabbing a piece of paper. I imagine the little Quisps and Frankenberries stacked single file in there.

And a third aside that occurred to me as I got those links. One of the things I like about writing these is the odd search terms that occur to me as I look for ways to jazz it up a bit, and, because of those odd search terms, I then get to see just what kind of things people will post on the Web. Things like this... an actual bowl of steak.

So with that done, I've already given away the nomination, and it's of course Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. I have had a fixation on this cereal since I was little. It's like an addiction. I have to have someone else put away the cereal or I'll keep eating bowl after bowl. Even now, when I have a modicum of willpower, I can't leave the box out or I'll keep going. I'll pour a bowl of it and then reach into the box and grab a few extra anyway.

And I have a theory about why I like it so much, beyond the obvious that it's peanut buttery and crunchy and gets kind of melty when you chew it (not soggy, I can't stand soggy cereal and I use so little milk that I might as well not bother, as opposed to the rest of the family, which in eating cereal employs a formula with a ratio of 1 piece of cereal per gallon of milk).

My theory is this: I like fake flavor better than real flavor. I've been raised on preservatives and additives and riboflavin and the like, and by this time, I don't want "real" flavor, I want real flavoring. I prefer Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch to real peanut butter and prefer generic peanut butter to natural peanut butter and prefer all of those to the taste of an actual peanut, which if I eat them at all I get the honey-roasted kind (so I also, obviously, prefer sweets.)

That's why I like McDonald's chocolate shakes and cheeseburgers, two foods so far removed from "natural" that they might as well have been created in one of those Jetsons-style food-a-lators or whatever they called them. And why I prefer "Pajedas" to Doritos -- although Doritos is hardly a natural flavor, it's more "natural" than a Pajeda. It's why I love a soda that has so little actual relationship to "natural" flavors that they can only refer to it by colors -- "Red Pop" is what I drink. (You can read about that here, where they claim it's strawberry flavored, but they don't call it "Strawberry Pop," they call it red. They also say it's "infamous.")

And so, to circuitously and overanalytically come back to where I started, that is why I like Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch so much. Because they are the ultimate expression of the fake flavors I love. Think about it. They start with a peanut.
A peanut looks like this:

They then process it, mash it around, bake it, send it to college, however they transform it, and end up with a Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. Which looks like a Bizarro Peanut, a peanut created by the use of kryptonite. So from a natural product we go to something that vaguely recalls that product in shape and taste and texture.

Or am I overthinking it? Either way, Peanut Butter Cap'N Crunch is the Best Breakfast Cereal.

I wanted to, as further celebration of both the Cereal and weird things on the Internet, show you a the number one video that pops up if you go to YouTube and search for Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. But there's no such thing. So here is the video for "Peanut Butter Captain Crunch."

If you go to Babel Fish you will learn that "Pajeda" means... "pajeda." It has no English translation. I thought it might mean something. It doesn't.

1 comment:

mgoldstein37 said...

Hey, as a fan of videos celebrating chocolate breakfast cereals (a limited film genre), I thought you might appreciate this: