Gotta Have My Pops! A Visit Back Down Memory Lane
Conversations around texture always seems to arise during dinner; especially when you are voicing your like or (more importantly) your dislike for a particular dish. Late one evening, we were discussing our childhood memories of cereal over our “grown up” bowls of Kellogg’s Special K (I remember when ice cream was a late night snack). We found it hilarious that our taste in food had changed, but our preference for “texture” had not. Why is texture so important? Well, that is a question that can spark a very deep conversation; so we will save that for another blog. In short, texture is a very important characteristic in everything we eat. To us, it is even more important than taste. A food’s texture can be described as dry, crunchy, chewy, juicy, hard, soft, creamy, moist, and the list goes on and on. In summary, it is a major factor in how we decide which foods we eat before we actually eat them. We are serious about texture!
This discussion on breakfast cereals lead to an even deeper discussion that ultimately proved that our preferences in food (and their textures) were developed in all of us at a very early age. Our despise for things “soggy” and overly “creamy” have shaped not only our current eating habits but also determines whether or not we are willing to try something. Cereal in our families, as in many others, was always readily available. It became a food to be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Especially in college when you needed something quick; or HELL you just didn’t feel like cooking anything. It acted as a meal replacement in some cases. Through the years, we have tried just about every cereal in the market.
On one particular evening, as my husband drowned his Special K in 1% milk, I looked in amazement and could only imagine how disgusting it would be when those crispy little flakes lost their firmness…lol! Side note: I hated 1% or 2% milk and swore to only drink whole milk when I was younger; now I can’t stand the stuff. I have always eaten my bowls of cereal in small portions and this was not because I was watching my weight. I had it all figured out…I knew exactly how much time it took for my cereal to go from crunchy to flimsy. Hence, the smaller the portion, the less chance it had to go all wrong. I was never into the really fruity cereals or those that had tons of those chalk-tasting marshmallows. You will find that those didn’t make my cut (ex. Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles…you get it). For me, the cereals I loved were either:
1. Hard, firm, or crispy
2. Had chocolate as the main ingredient
Usually, we are pretty close in our opinions when it comes to most things food; but our obsession with texture is where it ends with this post. After reviewing Urban Girls’ list of cereal I (Swanky Girl) was wondering, who is this chick and what has she done with my friend. I was speechless to find out our favorites were so different. The cereal I loved growing up had to follow 3 rules:
1. I had to like the taste
2. They could not get soggy fast (so you know Rice Krispies did not make this cut)
3. They could not cause my milk to completely change colors
Our Likes and Dislikes
That seems pretty simple right??? Well as luck would have it, there were not lots of cereal that really could pass the test! I hated cereal that was too sweet (so Captain Crunch was out of here), I hated any chocolate cereal (too sweet and changed the color of my milk), and depending on the day this list could increase. And as an adult my rules have pretty much stayed the same; but I have since added the cereal as a kid we labeled the “adult cereal” (Grape Nuts and Corn Flakes).
And this ladies and gents takes us to our trip down memory lane. This is where we humor ourselves on the fact that we despise soggy food. Cereal has become such a major part of our lives and we have actually found some great ways to incorporate them into our recipes making them great “adult friendly” treats. For example, Rice Krispies treats (love them), muffins, cereal bars and trail mixes. So, what were your favorites when you were younger? Do you find that your texture preference started as early as ours did? Click on a picture below to see which cereal got a thumbs up or a thumbs down.