The Top Ten Cereals of All Time

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We love cereal. When you read the blurbs below you will come upon descriptions that compare eating a bowl of cereal to heaven or angels singing. We stand by those descriptions completely and feel no shame in how absurd they might seem to others. To us, cereal is one of the great inventions of mankind. It is efficient, cheap, flexible, and above all else, ridiculously tasty. This Top Ten was a labor of love, with intense debate, robust disagreement, and a shared sense of profound duty. We did not take our charge lightly. We never do. We spent countless hours crafting and forming this list for you, our dear readers. We hope that perhaps, one day, when you are part of a conversation that turns to the world of cereal, this Top Ten list will be a light and boon to bolster your position in the debate. So, read on friends and enjoy a bowl of your favorite cereal in honor of this momentous occasion. We proudly present to the world The Top Ten Cereals of All Time!


original-crunch10. Cap’n Crunch

O Captain! my Captain! our tasty trip is done,
Your crunch has weather’d every bite, the prize I sought is won,
The end is near, the slurp I hear, the taste buds all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady spoon, the final bite is nearing;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the sweetened drops of dairy,
Where in the bowl my Captain lies,
Extraordinary.1

– Phill Lytle


honey_smacks9. Honey Smacks

Puffed wheat covered in sugar. What could possibly be wrong with that? Honey Smacks has so much sugar per serving that Consumer Reports recommended that parents find an alternative cereal for their children. Look, I get trying to be healthy and all that, but cereal is not a health food. And cereals that are really healthy taste like dirt. Or worse. Parents just need to step up and actually parent: Don’t let your kid eat ONLY Honey Smacks. After doing some research for this blurb, my respect for Honey Smacks has increased tenfold. They haven’t succumbed to the “healthification” movement that has plagued our great nation. No, they still have way too much sugar in each serving. They still feature a weird frog as their spokesperson. The only thing that could improve their standing in my eyes is to change their name back to Sugar Smacks and just embrace the fact that one serving of their glorious sugar covered wheat puffs contain as much sugar as a glazed donut. – Phill Lytle


trix8. Trix

You know that silly rabbit, the one whose always trying to get a bowl of Trix only to be foiled by pesky kids? My heart aches for him. Do they think Trix are just for kids? I think not. Me and the silly rabbit, we’re bros, we’re pals. Trix, the object of our great desire, first popped onto the scene in 1955 and have since popped their lasting iconic stamp on the breakfast cereal world. While not my personal veeeery favorite of the many outstanding cold cereals out there, it is a very worthy addition to our apex of cereal greatness. I don’t know about y’all, but these fruity balls of deliciousness have an open invitation to my breakfast bowl today and forevermore! Don’t you worry none, silly rabbit, you’ll foil them pesky kids one day. – Benjamin Plunkett

 


post-cocoa-pebbles-cereal-11-ounce-boxes-pack-of-4-0-07. Cocoa Pebbles

The voters who were most passionate about Cocoa Pebbles were too lazy to write a blurb for it. We gave it a really small picture as well because…laziness. –


 

screen-shot-2015-07-31-at-11_29_35-am6. Lucky Charms

This cereal has captivated me since the 80s. And like many classic cereals, it had some rad commercials back in the day. I mean, that Lucky the Leprachaun was such a rascal, trying to keep his delicious blend of toasted oats and marshmallows away from those kids. What a selfish jerk!  And who could forget those epic moments when Lucky Charms shocked the Saturday morning cartoon crowd with new marshmallows?!?!?  I remember being totally blown away when they added the red balloon. Like, “Let’s miss the rest of Thundercats and run to the Turbeville IGA right now and get some” excited. And then, they added the yellow star inside the red balloon!  A MARSHMALLOW INSIDE A MARSHMALLOW.  HAVE WE DIED AND GONE TO CEREAL HEAVEN?  For real, who were these wizard level magic marketing geniuses? Thirty years later they still have me hooked, and thanks to YouTube, I’m just a click away from hearing those nostalgic words that deeply altered my childhood: Frosted Lucky Charms, They’re Magically Delicious! – Gowdy Cannon


81gmr7fqgol__sy679_5. Peanut Butter Crunch

I did no research for this blurb (see my previous blurb on Honey Smacks for a blurb chock full of research). I wanted to write this one from the heart. When I take a bite of PBC, my soul smiles. The crunchy, peanut buttery goodness explodes in my mouth like the singing of a thousand angels. It is one of the few cereals that retains its crunch throughout the entire bowl. No soggy nonsense for PBC! In a world of chocolaty and fruity flavors, PBC blazes its own trail with its own unique peanut butter flavor. There are some that don’t like peanut butter flavor very much and therefore reject PBC. It would be wise to question their judgment and sanity. PBC is sweet enough for kids to enjoy and tasty enough for grown men to savor. PBC is a joy to eat each and every time. Down with the haters of all things peanut butter and up with Peanut Butter Crunch! – Phill Lytle

 


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4. Froot Loops

It is usually the case that the most iconic cereals have the most memorable commercials. That is why old Toucan Sam (“Follow my nose! It always knows!”) is always synonymous to Fruit Loops to me. And I’ll tell you something else, he’s trustworthy that old bird. The nose surely does know in this case. Thank you, John Kellogg for giving us many years of doughnut-shaped fruit-flavored joy. Thank you for these crunchy rings of truth…yes, they ring true. You have earned a place on the Christmas card list of our hearts and a spot on this here Rambling Ever On Top Ten list. And Sam, may your nose ever know..and grow and glow…and stuff. – Benjamin Plunkett

 

 


3. Frosted Flakes

Dr. John H. Kellogg invented Corn Flakes in 1894. They had a terrible taste, but a lot of things were terrible in 1894 so people did not seem to mind. It took another 58 years and two world wars for the fine folks at Kellogg’s to realize that by coating their corn flakes with sugar the taste would be greatly improved. Sugar Frosted Flakes were born in 1952 and the world has never been the same. They removed the word sugar from the name in 1983 so now they are simply known as Frosted Flakes. Thankfully they did not remove any actual sugar from the product so they are still delicious. It also doesn’t hurt having the greatest product spokesman in the history of cereal. Tony the Tiger has convinced generations of children that Frosted Flakes are indeed Gr–r–reat! – Michael Lytle

 


2. Apple Jacks

There are plenty of cereals that are shaped like the letter “O”. None of them are as delicious as Apple Jacks though. This cereal was invented by an MIT professor and he put his vast brainpower into creating something unforgettable. What sets Apple Jacks apart from all its “O” shaped cereal brethren? Many have speculated that it is the slightly darker flecks of flavor in each Jack. Are those flecks bits of real apple? Maybe. Others have theorized that the flecks might be angel tears or perhaps even the shavings off of the horn of a unicorn. Whatever they are we are thankful for them this holiday season. – Michael Lytle

 

 


1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch

CTC is the Elvis of breakfast cereals.  It’s the 1972 Dolphins.  I have never seen it beaten in a tournament.  I’m sure it has happened but I have participated in or observed at least 10 cereal tournaments and it is undefeated.  A friend in Virginia says the same thing.  It’s the undisputed champion of this category to me.  There’s not much you can about it that isn’t obvious; that’s part of the beauty of the draw to it.  They took sugar and cinnamon and made it into a cereal.  No Toucan Sam or Dig Em or Silly Rabbits or Snap or Crackle or Pop.  No timeless commercials.  No convoluted jingle.  Just two main ingredient that cause many people to describe this cereal as you would a drug.  More than any other cereal, I can put down half a box without thinking by eating it out of the box with no bowl or no milk.  And I am definitely a bowl and milk guy.  But CTC is special.  And I can’t see it being anywhere on this list other than #1.  Long live the King. – Gowdy Cannon

 

 


 

  1. Inspired by the classic Walt Whitman poem “Oh Captain! My Captain!”

Ben Plunkett

Greetings from the booming metropolis that is Pleasant View, Tennessee. I am a man of constant spiritual highs and spiritual lows. I pray that I serve God at my highest even when I am lowest.

39 thoughts on “The Top Ten Cereals of All Time

  • December 9, 2016 at 9:34 am
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    What happened to Life and Golden Grahams?

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    • December 9, 2016 at 9:35 am
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      I fought hard for both of them. But the other voters did not agree. I hate it. They deserved better.

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      • December 9, 2016 at 9:41 am
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        It is the frustration with group voting. Things like this really show how diverse humanity is. We are all men, all around the same age, similar life experiences, culture, etc and we argue like it’s politics just about every tournament. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “How can someone really believe that?” and how often it’s been said about me!

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      • December 9, 2016 at 9:57 am
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        I love Life (both the cereal and actual life). Can’t really remember what went down, but can’t imagine myself voting against it very often.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:37 am
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      Ah,…Golden Graham’s. Definitely top ten worthy.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 9:42 am
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    BIggest surprise to me: the title game run of Apple Jacks. I love them, but I always assumed most would think they are a poor man’s Fruit Loops. But no, REO has very sharp taste buds and it got its due. It really is different than FL in key ways.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:42 am
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      Seriously, that is shocking. Also shocking (disturbingly shocking actually) is that Reese’s Puffs isn’t in the top 10.

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      • December 9, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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        I think Reese’s Puffs might be my new favorite cereal; but, if I remember correctly, I was not yet introduced to its glory when we voted on this.

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        • December 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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          Reese’s Puffs is like a science project gone wrong where a misguided Dr. Frankenstein tried to combine Cocoa Puffs and Peanut Butter Crunch and ended up with something horribly disfigured.

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          • December 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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            Phill, I have not disagreed with much of your writings on these lists, but in the words of my Psych friends, Shawn and Gus “C’mon, Son!”
            Your tastebuds have let you down in a most nonsensical way. I am deeply saddened by this news.

        • December 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm
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          Oh yes, Cousin Nathan, step into the light of the PB and chocolate-y goodness that is Reese’s Puffs.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 9:59 am
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    Life was defeated by Honey Nut Cheerios – a worthy opponent. HNC was then beaten by Lucky Charms, which is insane.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:39 am
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      What!!?? HNC lost to Lucky Charms. That’s poor judgment.

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      • December 9, 2016 at 11:42 am
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        Lucky Charms over HNC was one of the best, wisest votes in the history of competition.

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        • December 9, 2016 at 11:44 am
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          I don’t think I want to live in a world where Lucky Charms is considered a finer meal than HNC. I want no part of your “wisdom,” Gowdy.

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          • December 9, 2016 at 11:46 am
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            David, I’m with you 100%. I rue the day Lucky Charms defeated HNC.

          • December 9, 2016 at 11:51 am
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            Good fortune was with us that day, my friends.

          • December 9, 2016 at 11:56 am
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            Agree to disagree!

  • December 9, 2016 at 11:05 am
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    This list looks like it was voted on by 10 year olds. Which is probably why I liked most cereals listed, nutritional value obviously played little to no part. I am stunned that Rice Krispies nor Honey Nut Cheerieos made the top ten. Insane indeed.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:07 am
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      Charles, both of those would be in my Top 10. Yea Top 7. Although I add sugar to RK every time. And the occasional banana.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 11:32 am
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    I see you have begun to outsource work to your kids….

    :-)

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:36 am
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      Ha! My kids love cereal. My middle son would probably not survive if cereal did not exist. But, I am a huge fan as well. And as I said in one of my blurbs, cereal that is meant to be healthy is usually tasteless garbage and should be avoided at all costs. Cereal should taste good, first and foremost. After that, we can discuss the various health merits of each one, if we are so inclined.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 11:52 am
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    This Top Ten list may be my favorite so far. While I may disagree with some of the selections (No Reese’s Puffs!), the blurbs were truly great. Very well written. I was cracking up at some of them, knowing that there is no way other than to use celestial words to describe some of these cereals.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:55 am
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      My favorite blurb is the one for Cocoa Pebbles.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:56 am
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      Thanks! We really do put some thought into them and I”m sure at times they get skimmed. Writing about the two I wrote about was so easy.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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    I’ve always preferred Fruity Pebbles to Cocoa Pebbles. I’ve also always notices that FP stay crunchy longer than their cocoa cousin.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm
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      however, the resulting chocolate milk is infinitely better than fruity milk…

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  • December 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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    The silly rabbit has actually had Trix, once. The clever folks at Big G had a marketing campaign ca. 1984 to allow fans to vote on whether to give the rabbit a taste. I proudly voted to let him have a bowl.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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      I did not know this fact. We need to vote to let him have another. Share the love!

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  • December 9, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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    I feel like the voting bracket was skewed. 3 fruit flavored cereals and not one is Fruity Pebbles? 2 versions of Capn Crunch? Although I agree with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I demand a recount! And if that doesn’t work, I will take my case to the electors. I’ll be in my safe space with some Frankenberry.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 11:24 pm
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      Great comment!!

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  • December 10, 2016 at 2:30 am
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    Everything is in place except for HNC!! It belongs in the list!!

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    • December 10, 2016 at 8:56 am
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      I agree. I hate it that it went up against LC so early. It is clearly Top 8 to me.

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  • December 11, 2016 at 9:31 pm
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    I just finished getting my kids in bed after an eventful Sunday night at church. I am now sitting down to a gourmet supper of “Reese’s Puffs.”

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  • December 16, 2016 at 4:41 am
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    I’m an Australian and I read with horror your list of cereals. All of them have as much nutrition as the box they come in….and heaps of sugar to boot! Don’t you have any healthy cereals in the USA? Healthy and delicious….like my personal favourite All Bran….pour the milk over and leave for five minutes or so so that it gets soggy…delicious! And it is low in salt and sugar and about the highest in fibre. Also Sultana Bran is great. Things you mentioned like Froot Loops and Coco Pops (maybe slightly different name over here) I allowed my children to try ONCE when we were on holiday…they are not real food.

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    • December 16, 2016 at 8:02 am
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      I won’t speak for all of my cohorts here but I personally eat these cereals (the ones I eat on this list, which is about 4 of them) more as dessert than part of a meal, per se. So I look at Cinnamon Toast Crunch the same way I look at eating a cookie. I want it to be sweet and will eat other things for nutrition. The vote here was for taste above all.

      Apparently the consensus among the 9 of us who voted is that in the US, healthy cereals do not taste good. Honey Nut Cheerios, which is advertised as helping lower cholesterol, was high on many of our lists but got a bad match up in the tournament and didn’t make the Top 10. That would be the sort of exception.

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    • December 16, 2016 at 8:53 am
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      I’m sorry our list caused you to react in horror. I feel a little horrified reading about your favorite cereal…and soggy no less! :)

      And yes, the USA has a lot of “healthy” cereals. They are either tasteless or worse. I’m sure that’s the case with healthy cereals all over the world though. There are a few exceptions though.

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    • December 16, 2016 at 9:43 am
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      I personally like many healthy cereals. Get them all the time. However, I still think all of these cereals have all (or most) healthy cereals beat as far as taste. And apparently my fellow warriors agreed with me so its all good.

      Reply

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