“You come at the king, you best not miss”
Please welcome the return of Cereal Reviews, a blog feature that I haven’t updated since the worst dregs of my depression in fall 2017. I will do my best to recapture the spirit of the original run of cereal reviews without the aid of the malaise and mental anguish of said depression.
I bought what I thought was Cookie Crisp at Ralph’s, and it turned out to be Chips Ahoy Cereal. This was an embarrassing gaffe. Anyone of pure heart and sound mind should be able to tell the difference between the two: Cookie Crisp is a cereal where the pieces are tiny, cereal piece-sized cookies, and Chips Ahoy Cereal is a cereal where the pieces are tiny, cereal piece-sized cookies.
Cookie Crisp falls, undeniably, under the umbrella of Night Cereals, a concept I learned from Twitter user @i_zzzzzz. Chips Ahoy, as precisely the same thing, also falls under that umbrella. I had a bowl last night and I had a bowl this morning, and I must say that the nighttime experience was superior to the morning-time experience. However, no flavor can erase the shame of knowing I had two bowls of cookie-based cold cereal within a twelve-hour time frame.
I’ve eaten Cookie Crisp for years. Cookie Crisp is a cereal for children, of little utility to adults like me who could easily purchase a box of chocolate chip cookies and eat them for breakfast. I suppose the shame keeps me from doing that, but pretending I have shame actually makes me feel worse. I know damn well I’d eat a cookie for breakfast had I a cookie to eat for breakfast.
Chips Ahoy Cereal has that wall to climb, as well as the added wall of being a carbon copy of the cereal I ate for years. I bought it on accident. I bought it on accident.
And yet, Chips Ahoy Cereal absolutely scales that wall. Chips Ahoy surpasses Cookie Crisp in every possible way. It’s more flavorful. It tastes slightly more like the typical cookie. Ultimately I think it’s lower in calories as well. I can’t fathom buying Cookie Crisp instead of Chips Ahoy any time in the near future. This cereal was good enough that it wallpapered over years of misled shameful brand loyalty to a dog in a shirt. I dedicated in a small way, a chunk of my life to Cookie Crisp, if you’d asked me a week ago if I’d ever pick a different cookie-themed cereal ever again in my life, I would’ve told you “no”. Not fiercely, not out of any real sense of loyalty, but just out of some inability to conceive of someone doing this incredibly low culinary art any better than General Mills had.
Sometimes the painkillers make the pain even worse.
Okay that quote doesn’t really fit but I wanted to put that quote in, there’s no way I’m going to write something about Chips Ahoy for any reason and not also acknowledge the Hold Steady song of the same name
My life is, in an incredibly small and shameful, shameful way, slightly different thanks to the upset that Chips Ahoy Cereal won over Cookie Crisp cereal pulled this morning. The cereal game has changed significantly.
On July 2nd, 1881, President James Garfield was approached by a man named Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau pulled the trigger on his pistol, angry about not receiving credit for Garfield’s victory in the previous year’s election. Garfield’s tenure ended after four months with a bullet in the back.
In 2018, Chips Ahoy approached Cookie Crisp on the cereal aisle shelves, never receiving credit for revolutionizing the packaged cookie scene that allowed Cookie Crisp to thrive. We can only pray that Crisp’s reign ends like Garfield’s.