FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: One Cereal to Rule Them All

In last week’s FRIDAY OPEN THREAD, I made many enemies by using my authority as the First Lunchables Child to rank cheeses. It wasn’t all bad, though. The next day, my Dungeons & Dragons pals came over and we descended into The Sunless Citadel to find this warlock who was making apple tree people out of apples and while we were doing that, we ate about ten thousand cheeses to test out my ranking! (I was wrong about manchego, but I was right about string cheese — I’m sorry). My partner, Stacy, and I were talking about my cheese ranking this week and she was shaking her head at me and then she said, “Please never rank cereals; you will get murdered.”

I’ve never met anyone in my life who loves cereals as much as Stacy. She could eat cereal for every meal of the day if there was any nutritional value whatsoever in a Fruit Loop. And boi, does she have opinions. Golden Crisp are infinitely better than Honey Smacks, for example, even though they are the same cereal. She loves Frosted Flakes and she also loves Lucky Charms, but she thinks the co-cereal, Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes, is an abomination. She doesn’t love chocolate cereals — Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Krispies — except for Count Chocula, which is one of her all-time favorites.

Me? I only really like one cereal: Plain Cheerios. I think it is the best cereal ever created. It’s not sugary-tasting so you can eat some fruit or have some juice with it. But also it’s kind of sweet, so you can also complement a bowl of Cheerios with something savory. It tastes good in every kind of milk, including cow, almond, and oat. The box has a heart on it, so you know it loves you. And I swear Cheerios don’t get soggy as fast as other cereals do so you don’t gotta gobble it down like a cartoon wolf!

However, I know that not everyone shares my correct opinions. And so, today, I invite you to make the case for why your favorite cereal is the best cereal. You may include the cereal’s mascot’s excellence for bonus points. For example, Caticorn seems like it would taste horrifying, but the mascot is worth one million points.


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 958 articles for us.

107 Comments

  1. THE GRAND CRU THOUGH

    Plain cheerios are great, I will agree with you there. I also enjoy a honey nut cheerio. My favorite was always the Reese’s Puffs cereal that was like cocoa puffs but they also had peanut butter balls. We were only allowed to get them sometimes because my mother preferred we eat “healthy” (lol) cereal like Frosted Mini Wheats and Kix (both of which i also enjoy. Even Berry Berry Kix, though I preferred plain.) I also love Raisin Bran (don’t @ me). I love me some Frosted Flakes (and regular Corn Flakes) and Trix (only the fruit shapes), and Rice Krispies and Cinnamon Toast Crunch…Wow I now can’t think of a cereal I DON’T like and yet I haven’t bought cereal in ages… brb gonna go clear out the cereal aisle.

    OH jk the worst cereal is Captain Crunch because that was basically like eating corn-syrup-flavored thorns.

  2. I… don’t really eat cereal any more, but when I did ‘grocery store brand Reeses Puffs’ were the best. They were cheaper than Reeses Puffs, but somehow tasted better. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was pretty okay too, although I’d fall into the habit of just crunching on that dry.

    My breakfast now a days is usually coffee with a bit of half and half, and some almonds or whatever nuts I have in my desk at work.

  3. Gonna indulge in some shameless bragging. My wife makes the best granola (I know, the most lesbian thing). It’s sweet and nutty and fruity and never the same way twice. In fact, I’d say it’s a perfect representation of her.

      • I would love to share her recipe with you. I have to preface this by saying that she got it from an old girlfriend of mine, so also gay.

        @theheatherhogan (and anyone else interested), here you go:

        Ingredients

        2 cups regular oats
        1/2 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nut happens to be in the cupboard. I am partial to pecans or walnuts)
        2 T wheat germ or flax seeds (optional)
        1/2 t salt
        1/4 t cinnamon
        1/3 cup raisins
        1/4 cup sunflower seeds
        1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
        1/4 cup dried cranberries
        2 T sugar or agave nectar
        5 T blackstrap molasses, honey, maple syrup, or combination
        3 T canola oil or butter
        1 1/4 t vanilla

        Preheat oven to 325. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and toss. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes until slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from baking sheet to bowl and stir in raisins. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until well mixed and pour over the oat mixture, coating it thoroughly. Spread it evenly over parchment paper and bake 15 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break into small pieces.

        Cook’s notes: When you double or triple the recipe, use less sweetener and bake a tad longer (her notes say 20 minutes for the second baking, but you know, ovens vary). The wife also uses less oil or butter than this original version calls for. This is an incredibly adaptive recipe, the ingredients of which are determined by what we have on hand. She always substitutes raisins with some other dried fruit because the kiddo hates them. I love the surprise of that first bite when I get to figure out what hides in those warm, crunchy nuggets.

        Let me know if you try it out! We could start a Lesbian Granola Recipe: The Chart!™

  4. I can’t be arsed to try the cool picture trick so i’m just gonna list my favorite cereals. It’s basically a four-way tie and what they all have in common is that they are all chocolate-y and all currently out of my reach because they’re only sold in countries I’ m currently not residing in:

    – CoCo Pops Rocks
    – Milo Cereal
    – Carrefour Xtrem Chocolat Noir
    – Albert Basics: Cocoa Cereal Pillows

    Why do I like these? They’re CHOCOLATE-Y and they go so well with milk. It’s my perfect weekday breakfast and anytime snack.

  5. Cheerios are perfect. I sometimes also get the store brand PB Cheerios.

    So like, I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER CAP’N CRUNCH. I would eat the whole box with in a 24 hr period if not for the one flaw it has, which is that it will tear up your mouth to shit. Even just one bowl of it will leave you with regret in the form of aching gums.

    PB Cheerios or Barbara’s PB Puffin cereal are both decent substitutes but y’all I still sometimes suffer for my cereal.

    Also, and I hate that it’s marketed like a diet food thing but, I love Special K red berries. I like the texture of the flakes and honestly you could probs put freeze-dried strawberries in any cereal I already like and I’d be on board.

  6. I don’t actually have a most favorite cereal, I have trouble compromising and choosing just one. My top favorites, in no particular order, are:
    Corn Pops: It’s the cereal I remember the most form the time I lived with my aunt in Wisconsin when I turned 10. I hadn’t tasted anything like it before, and that’s what they had at the hospital when she gave birth to my cousin.
    Lucky Charms: I’m my head they are the happy middle between kids and old people cereal. Plus it has rainbows.
    Cheerios: Simple, tasteful, perfect. F-ing difficult to find in my local supermarket.
    Corn Flakes: The grown up version of frosted flakes which are too sweet for my taste, except when found in “Bon Yurt”.

    Though Bon Yurt isn’t techically a cereal, I firmly believe it is the best type of cereal on the go. If you are like me, and rather sleep than have a nutritious well prepared breakfast, it is a life saver.

  7. I don’t really have a favorite cereal. BUT this thread did remind of the time in college that my friends and I absconded with a significant amount of cereal from the cafeteria, sorted it by color, and arranged it into an American flag to make a very hazy point about consumerism and patriotism. Fruit Loops are the easiest to sort and Fruity Pebbles are the hardest, if you were wondering.

  8. STEEL CUT OATMEAL! (Does that count?)
    Also, when I’m feeling down I get a big bowl of Life and pour a little bit of honey on top. This is basically all I ate for two weeks straight while I wrote my undergrad thesis and I think it gave me superpowers.

    Also, hot tip: squirt chocolate sauce on your chocolate cereal then pour milk on top. You’re welcome.

  9. I right now a bit partial to Trader Joes branded shredded wheat cereal(it’s sugar-free) with lightly sweetened cashew, pea(for the protein) or almond milk. There are times I’ve had two bowls, while sober, and like I want more. I also like Honey bunches of oats, rice Krispies(any flavor) chocolate pebbles too. Related, I was watching the try channel(the one where Irish people try different drinks and food), and one of the episode this week had them trying the more out-there American cereal, like, maple bacon, chicken & waffle(both from Post), Frosted Flakes Banana cream pie, and generic brand smores cereal. They found the banana cream to be the worst with the smores being the best. I kind of want to try the chicken & waffles one(it’s meat-free)? Link to the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEFISEHMyWA

    How is everyone’s week going? Mines has been solid. I was talking to a really cute gal on bumble, she asked my favorite lipstick brand and shade. I replied then asked her what her fav is, but she never replied back this was like Tuesday. Ugh. Should I say hi or just play it cool and not say anything? My ex(bff who would tell people we are in a relationship) from the years I thought I was cis-het invited me over to her house Saturday for a dinner party her and her husband are hosting. I thought about going if my bff was back in town, but she’s not. So, I told her I don’t think I can make it, but said she save a plate for me and will miss the new me. Like it’s not th new me, I came out to you in a few different ways and at one point said you want me and another dude in bed. Uh, I said, “no, still like women, but I think I am a trans woman.” She didn’t get it and friendship went downhill from there the same month. Yeah, it is cool to have more friends, but not cis-het women who don’t get it. ugh

    Spent my Sunday outdoors. I thought it would have been an easier trail, but with the fires in the area, & sand I hiked with my bike like 40% of the way up the 5.5 mile incline after going downhill first. The views, on the other hand, were great as usual. Plan to do different route this weekend to give my legs more practice going up-hill. I am sure after 6 months I can improve enough to do those queer and trans group rides in the area.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • Okay that Irish People Try American [various foods] thing is delightful and interesting thing I learned about chicken and waffles a couple years ago.
      It’s not originally a Southern dish, it’s Pennsylvania Dutch and legend has it came to the South by way of a restaurant or boarding house popular(and available to) with musicians of Southern extraction traveling the circuit that had a cook or was owned by someone of Penn Dutch extraction.

      What circuit this was said to be I can’t recall but they brought it back to the South with them.
      The tale sets it before Jim Crow but that means little, plenty of places were exclusionary before that it just wasn’t federally enshrined.

      I’m feeling a little jealous looking at that gorgeous picture, I haven’t gotten to visit any mountains or hills in so long.
      It would make en excellent drawing study.

      • That’s interesting Pennsylvanian Dutch. It actually makes some sense since the Belgic people are known for waffles, thought not really fried chicken, like the south is(or Roscoe’s house of chicken & waffles is here). This has me wondering if the original version of this was with chicken over an open fire.

        Thank you! I am fortunate enough to live by the mountains that I can am able to do this. I am sure going to a park with some trees or pond would be a good drawing study too. I started following this PNW bikepacker/reviewer on youtube who usually brings paintings supplies with him on his trips. Like this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WklwIuoF3k

        • Nope.
          Chicken schnitzel IS a type of fried chicken and Pennsylvania Dutch were from lands that would someday be Germany and Austria ect. The “Dutch” bit is linguistic tangly thing let’s just say it’s related Deutsch and Medieval Latin is a wild place.

          Fried chicken in pieces has been around since Ancient Roman times, and there’s colonial American published works with fried chicken recipes with a citrus based marinade that suggests chickens were much more gamey and frying woulda been a good way to keep things moist. Open fire like a roast or something would have made them tougher.

          Food history’s a wee hobby of mine and I hope I condensed things in a way that makes sense.

  10. I LOVE cereal. I knew it could never work for long with my ex because she did not view cereal as a meal. Every time I suggested cereal for dinner she’d say nah, so when she went away on vacations or weekends or had a late class I took great pleasure in pouring a huge bowl and going to town. My all time faves used to be Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Life, and Reese’s Puffs. Now I can’t eat gluten so I’ve had to find new faves…those include Panda Puffs, Peanut Butter Puffins, and Annie’s Chocolate Bunnies. I could eat cereal for every meal and every snack and this thread makes me so happy.

  11. I used to eat cereal like a loon. It would literally be the only thing I ate all day everyday but then I turned 30 and the fun of sugary cereals was ripped from my aging hands. It’s an 11-way tie and which one I purchased most often solely depended on which was on sale on the designated day for grocery shopping.

    Honey Kix
    Honey Nut Cheerios
    Frosted Cheerios
    Froot Loops
    Vanilla Chex
    Cinnamon Chex
    Frosted Flakes
    Special K cinnamon pecan
    Special K vanilla almond
    Quaker Oh’s
    Golden Grahams

    Now I eat Raisin Bran sans raisins because raisins are food herpes.

  12. I bought Quisp for the cute retro mascot, and the cereal was great too!

    Honey Nut Cheerios hasn’t been the same since they reformulated the nuts out of it. Plus, the glaze used to lead to the delightful discovery of “stained-glass window” Cheerios occasionally. Mmmm, those were the best.

    The good thing about plain Cheerios is that you can customize with sliced bananas, cinnamon-sugar, or my favorite: brown sugar sprinkled on top.

  13. Cereal is a racket.

    The cost of Fruit Loops per gram is about as much as a lovingly crafted homemade granola with good quality nuts and dried fruit. They get you when you are young so you develop an attachment to it, but it’s too expensive for what it is and mostly nutritionally bankrupt.

  14. Heather is correct, it’s plain Cheerios for the win, now and forever. Second place Wheaties and third place plain Rice Krispies.

    When I was a kid I wasn’t allowed to have cereal with more than 3 grams of sugar per serving, so I now do not have a taste for sugary cereals.

  15. CORN POPS, preferably with heavy cream instead of regular milk.
    I was a sugar and cream obsessed child who wasn’t allowed to have either who has grown into a sugar and cream obsessed adult with a cholesterol problem, but like, no one can tell me what to do now?

    Now I’ve switched to Crisped Rice Cereal + peaches (tj’s in a jar) + a dash of heavy cream. Is that better? Worse? Who’s to say?

  16. Sometimes there are things that could be a chapter of my life story or at least a subplot carried thru-out it.
    Cheerios and cereal are one of those things.
    Long story short child-hood dairy allergy in the 90’s led to the nasty unflavored soy milk of the era from Wholefoods in it’s quirky Mid-City location and to get us kids to eat it with our cereal my mom gave up on plain cheerios and let us have the sugary kinds until working with the weak teeth from my dad’s side gave us cavities.

    (My fave was Fruit Loops and adult me likes them crumbled over yogurt.)

    Then we starting eating dry plain Cheerios for breakfast, my mom likely figured if it worked when we were toddlers why the hell not when were 6 and 7.

    Fast forward to freshman year of high school it’s not called homeroom anymore but independent study, works pretty much the same. Our I.S. teacher is pretty lenient about us snacking as long as it left no mess and wasn’t honey nut Cheerios because they “smell like stale pee” so I ask about plain Cheerios and she blurts “Why would anybody eat those? They’re tasteless.”
    Multiple classmates agree with this, but it’s okay I’m use to being weird, also am kind of freshly out of the phase where I freak people out for fun and am sort of enjoying my momentary notoriety.

    Now we’re in this irritating phase of my life were my immune system is picking fights me and sometimes I can’t eat hot food because angioedema makes everything from lips to throat hurt or giving me some sort of gastro-intestial distress and so Cheerios are my hero.
    Honey nut for my trail-mix when things are running smooth, and plain Cheerios in bulk when hot food hurts or I feel puke-ish/barely tolerate food.

    And a bit before this pumpkin spice cheerios for gf cheesecake crust so loved ones can consume a dessert they never thought they’d get to eat ever again.

    Next we she debate road trip snacks, I’ve just discovered biltong and love it.
    Also I make my own dried apples.

  17. I love cereal, I’m the type of person that puts it in snack sized baggies, like a toddler, and has it for a snack.

    In no particular order my favorites are:
    – Life
    – Honey Nut Cherrios
    – Honey Bunches of Oats
    – Alpha-Bits (yes really)
    – Kix and Berry Berry Kix
    – Cookie Crisp
    – Fruit Loops
    – Oh’s
    and I like oatmeal but I only eat it when it’s cold.

  18. I’m not sure if granola counts but I will crush it up and eat it like cereal, with soy or almond milk and it’s rad. Must have raisins or some other form of dried fruit.
    Otherwise, I don’t like wasting sugar on cereal; many more things to max my sugar intake on tbh

  19. OMG why is everyone wrong?! The best cereal is OBVS lucky charms. It was the most delicious as a kid, and continues to be delish. Also it’s so gay – i would go so far as to say that it is my root. I mean the little leprechaun dude is so earnestly gay. he was always near rainbows (and sometimes even an early iteration of the philly pride flag). the new boxes have unicorns on them with unicorn marshmallows. ALSO. the marshmallows were so good they even decided to sell them separately. This isn’t about nutrition. this is about what gives us joy in life. lucky charms has never disappointed. and while i love a good fruit loop or cap’n crunch, those give you those weird cuts on the roof of your mouth. Lucky Charms all the way.
    I made a mini collage of pics but don’t know how to attach it. just google image search lucky charms. there is even a pic of the little dude staring off into space dreaming about – i imagine – something wonderfully queer.

  20. Y’ALL. Please. They’re FROOT Loops 😉

    Tops:
    French toast crunch
    Count chocula (stacy knows)
    Froot loops
    Trix (the old kind! I think they changed their recipe mid-00’s?)
    Lucky charms
    Blueberry chex
    Golden grahams

    Honorable mentions:
    Frosted mini wheats
    Corn pops
    Captain crunch
    Coco puffs
    Rice krispies
    Raisin bran crunch

  21. *cracks knuckles* I’ve got some UK opinions to come at you with.

    Curiously Cinnamon, which is like cinnamon toast crunch but also not?

    but not when it has these creepy fuckers on the label

    these which are a bit like no marshmallows lucky charms i guess? i put blueberries in them a lot

    SUGAR PUFFS because they are so unhealthy and have a big cuddly monster that says “tell them about the honey mummy”

    even if they have rebranded them

    as a kid i was so in awe of american cereals, especially oreos with marshmallows! but they don’t seem to make those any more

    i will also eat anything with big crunchy clusters

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