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Panclog #35: Cereal Special

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Your intrepid Pancloggers have a wide variety of interests, from exploring faith, film, science, literature, and love, to passion, humor, life, breakfast, and fantasy sports. While some of these endeavors are more consuming than others, we have deep seated interest in all.

Fantasy sports is the interest that led to this edition of the Panclog. More specifically, fantasy baseball. We cut our teeth on fantasy football of course, football being the simpler sport to understand. Having played fantasy football a few years, we felt ready to start the inaugural season of “Captain Planet’s Bae’s Ball” league. A fantasy sports league that tracks the most noble of sports, Baseball.

I am pleased to report, that at the conclusion of our first season, I earned second place. Aside from some initial disappointment, I really hoped for first, I ended up quite pleased with the result. When assembling a team, I try to focus pretty intently on the statistics of each player, without looking at their names or the teams they play for. If I paid any attention to those names or teams, I would only end up with Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds players. Which of course would be a truly magnificent team.

This discussion of fantasy sports leads to the purpose of this Panclog. You see, my fellow Panclogger, and true friend, Jared, likes to place a side bet here and there during the season. I am not sure if he does this with other folks regularly, but I assume he does. In this particular case, Jared and I wagered that the winner of our particular head-to-head matchup would get to pick the loser’s new favorite cereal and said loser would have to write a Panclog for his new favorite cereal. What follows is a Panclog entry describing a transcendent experience with Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate cereal. Had Jared lost, he would have had to espouse how much he loved Grape Nuts.

Every cereal, to be described as truly great, must excel in flavor and composition in its dry state, as well as, in its milk state. Few, if any, cereals surpass Post’s Honeycomb in its dry state. Honeycomb eaten raw from the box is eminently snackable. Many a long night I have sat back, watching a nonsense film, throwing back handfuls of Honeycomb cereal. Honeycomb also serves as one of the best road trip teats. There is nothing simpler than using dry cereal as a snack for those long drives across the country.

How a cereal holds up in milk is of equal importance. My favorite cereal to eat with milk is Frosted Flakes. At least until Jared told me that Krave was my favorite. For a cereal to excel in milk, each kernel or flake must withstand milk’s deep seated desire to turn a crispy dream into a soggy nightmare. Milk always wins of course. However, with knowledge and experience, a breakfaster can time his or her meal properly so that the primal milk force can be kept at bay. In the case of Frosted Flakes, one has about 5 minutes before the bowl starts to turn.

As noted earlier, due to a loss in fantasy baseball Krave became my new favorite cereal. I actually tried it for the first time a week ago. I can honestly say the experience was sublime. At least if you think the word sublime means what it sounds like rather than what it actually means.
Krave

The first step in the realizing how magnificent Krave Double Chocolate is, is to try it as a dry cereal. Does Krave hold up as a simple snack? I can dishonestly say that it crushes any other cereal as a dry snack. Each bite of Krave provided an odd experience that I don’t think is possible to get used to. Krave Double Chocolate, as it comes straight out of the box, is as dry as can be. It is, as if, the cereal itself wants to remove the humidity from the air, or anything handling it, just like those don’t eat packets that you find in shoe boxes. Holding a kernel of Krave, or whatever you call one piece of cereal, you can feel the moisture leaving your fingertips at an alarming right. This may cause some trepidation in your heart and mind before you consume the treat, but that feeling is unfounded. You will feel the moisture escape your fingertips at an alarming rate, but if you just chug a gallon of water per kernel of cereal you will remain properly hydrated.

What is truly fascinating about Krave eaten dry is that the cereal instantly disintegrates before your teeth completely close on the treat. At the first sign of pressure from the bite a bitter dust ball of chocolate explodes in your mouth, coating every surface it can find. You will wind up brushing your teeth for an hour afterward to get it all cleaned out. Kellogg’s is in favor of good dental hygiene, and Krave helps deliver on that belief. One would think that excess saliva would help alleviate that dusty experience but it does not. This would lead one to believe that such an experience would be unpleasant and one would be right. However, if you have a nice tall glass of milk you can turn it to chocolate milk instantly. This can be done delicately by taking a long sip and swishing it around your gums. Or, it can be done indelicately by just exhaling over the brim of the glass. Exhale gently, otherwise you are libel to coat your breakfast buddies in a thin cloud of cocoa powder.

I look forward to adding Krave to the normal selection of snacks for any given road trip. It is of the utmost importance to plan ahead points of contention, frustration, and outright anger for any long car ride. Such experiences are necessary to ensure a successful vacation. My new favorite cereal could quite possibly deliver on these necessary experiences more than any other snack item in existence.

We have only covered half of the story though. The other half will have paste eating kindergartners celebrating for years.

KRAV

Now doesn’t that look appetizing? I would suggest what I think it looks like, but we are in polite company.

This is actually bowl number two. On the first bowl I let it sit too long, just over 30 seconds, while I prepped my phone camera to take a picture. That first bowl lost all structural integrity and quickly turned into a smooth, brown ooze before I could snap a picture.

Look closely at the picture and take note. The milk fills about a quarter inch above the bottom of the bowl. Using such little milk increases the cereals life expectancy to a full two minutes. This is the amount of time you have to consume every tasty bite before it turns into the aforementioned kindergartner’s dream, chocolate flavored paste.

Often times it is difficult to describe exactly what a food tastes like through the written word. In this case however, I can describe its flavor perfectly. Hop on over to the grocery store and grab a sleeve of Hydrox cookies, the knock off Oreos. Separate the wafers from the cream filling and roughly crumble the wafers into a bowl. Get your favorite brand of whole milk, I recommend the Shatto Milk Company, and pour it over the top of the crumbled wafers. Now, the crucial step, let the concoction sit for at least four minutes. You may be wondering that the wafers will lose their crispiness, their bite, and I will say that is exactly right. It is highly unlikely that you will experience a crisp bite with Krave, so a crisp cookie bath will give you a false idea of what the cereal is like. Once the four minutes have expired, grab your favorite soup spoon and start shoveling. This is exactly what the milk covered Krave taste and texture is like.

Per the rules of the bet, I declare that Krave is my new favorite cereal. I wish to thank Jared for introducing me to Krave. I have requested to my beloved bride that we move Krave to the top of our shopping list. Sadly, Krave has 23g Total Carbohydrates, of which, 11g come directly from sugar. This breaks a family rule for carb and sugar content. So, unfortunately, I will wander the cereal aisle from now to perpetuity wishing and hoping I can purchase Krave, but cannot. It is my personal burden to bear, but do not let that stop you from experiencing Krave in all of its wonder.

 

Oh you are having a party, I’ll bring the cereal!

Jared Sova here.  Gonna spit some wisdom at you all about the easiest and most varital meal.  CEREAL, SON! Oh you wanna question my cereal expertise. Let’s take this outside.  Here is a picture of my current cereal shelf(ves):

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Are you not satisfied? I also have 3 boxes that are in the cupboard.  Come at me.

If you won’t take my word of my cereal fanatic status. Take Panclog Co-founder, Stephen Shaffer’s word for it.  He took my cereal status to elite levels by procuring me not one, BUT TWO SIGNED CEREAL BOXES!!!

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LUCKY THE LEPRECHAUN & THE CAP’N signed these cereal boxes.  Isn’t it super cool that Cap’n made a Captain Phillips joke?  You know that dude keeps up on his Tom Hanks films.

Now that you understand that I have the knowledge to preach about cereal life to you, let’s chat about my favorite cereals. I will be focusing most intensely on Kellogg’s Honey Smacks later on, but that is not my only love.  Bowls of Kix have been known to go missing around my house. (Shh don’t tell anyone, they go missing into my tummy.  I just tell my wonderful wife that they are missing to get more 😉 Did you like how i used the end of that parenthesis into a little winky face? Hit me up later and I can teach you how to do that.  But for real, do not believe the rumors that Kix is the Styrofoam of cereal. Honey Kix are dope too.

Let’s talk about Life.  Not the board game. Not the thing you are living. But the delicious cereal.  Mikey likes it!  So do I! I most prefer the nearly perfect Cinnamon Life.  I believe that Cinnamon Life perfected the ratio of cinnamon to cereal. In my opinion, I have noticed that other cinnamon cereals are a little to heavy handed when it comes to the cinnamon. Be that Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, or the short-lived Cinnamon Pebbles all missed the mark.  Cinnamon Life is simply delightful.

How do I prefer my cereal prepared?  Let’s break it down.  I need a large bowl.  ‘Cause I’m a large man-child.  I like to fill the bowl 80% of the way up with my favorite cereal. Then I fill it up with milk until the cereal raises about a 1/4 of an inch.  I prefer almond milk now a days. But you can use any of the dairy-ful or dairy-ish products you want.  Let’s see what my cereal looks like when milked up and prepped in the bowl.

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Now doesn’t that look delightful?  Also there is a spotting of Rookie dog in the background. You are welcome.

I wanted to take a good picture for you beautiful people.  Honey Smacks is one of my absolute favorite cereals. Post’s Golden Crisp is essentially the same cereal, but I will side with Honey Smacks all day.  I truly enjoy the honey- forward taste in the malty goodness.  I would say it does not pass Brent’s dry snacking test.  It is a little too sticky feeling when eating with one’s hands. But when in milk it keeps a slight crunchy texture throughout dining.  And it creates the 3rd best cereal milk in the game.  I hope you know that Cocoa Puffs and Pebbles edge them out for the top 3.  Oh the mascot is crazy cool too.  Dig’Em is easily the most overlooked cereal mascot.  Why are people hating on a cereal-loving, hat-wearing, super-lovable frog?

How much should you spend on cereal?  Great question, Panclog Pal.  I have discovered through extensive and relentless research that off brand cereals rarely are of less quality.  So I will tell you my budget per box is less that or equal to $2.50.  Please stop spending up to get a name brand box.  Also local grocery stores hold cereal sales nearly every week.  Stock up.

Thank you so much for tuning into this cereal special of Panclog! What would you like us to write about next?

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