It’s time to talk about the real problems. We need to address the real issues.
Sometimes I like to reminisce about the good times, when I was young and innocent and lived in Europe; the land of beauty, history and culture. And good cereal.
When I was 19 I went on a gap year to Poland, Warsaw. The city where I was born an lived for the first 12 years of my life. I lived with my childhood friend in a flat still owned by my mother. I ate forest fruit and good bread for a negligible amount of money. A basket-full of forest berries cost around $4 Australian dollars. A loaf of the best bread you’d ever taste cost around 50 cents. Vodka cost, like, $7 dollars a litre. And yet it was the cereal that still brings a nostalgic tear to my eye.
Here in Australia you don’t know what you’re missing. Perhaps you’ve been brought up on Weet-bix and Milo – you might think that Coco Pops are the height of sugary goodness. Well, I do hate to break through the sweet, sweet veil of Australian ignorance, but you are so… wrong.
I’m not being dramatic when I say that on the first week on my return to Australia, when I went grocery shopping and stopped by the cereal aisle, I wept. I genuinely teared-up and had to move along to a less triggering section of the supermarket.
My father had recently sojourned in Poland to visit our family. I only asked him to bring me back one thing – polish cereal. I got my wish. But oh, how I now wish that I had managed to ignore my half-forgotten thirst for good cereal.
I strongly believe that Australian cereal is so lacking in variety and sugary goodness in order to control our obesity rate. In a way, I do understand this; a quarter of Australian children are overweight and the highly processed, energy-dense food we consume is a major factor in driving obesity.* But all the reason in this world cannot substitute for what I’m aware that I’m missing.
Let me introduce you to some of the highlights.
This is what I asked my father to bring me back from Poland. Words aren’t enough to fully describe this breakfast cereal. Imagine a bowl-full of crisp but slightly milk-softened cookies that sweeten the milk slightly, but not overmuch. I’m not a poet but after 7 years of abstinence from this cereal, I was prepared to write sonnets. Or at least an article.
Cini minis, also known as Cinnamon Toast Crunch:
Liiiiisten, I don’t think you understand what it means to be passionate about cereal. You’re Australian. You only know the taste of soggy wheaty mediocrity. But Cini minis is sort of like a breakfast churro – this is the closest gastronomic experience I can compare Cini minis to. I once knew happiness and its name was Cini minis.
Chocapic is a lot like Milo, if Milo was any good and chocolaty enough. Have you ever tried a spoonful of milo and thought ‘this could be so good, if it was executed well enough’ . The feeling you were imagining then is exactly Chocapic. I mourn and commiserate with you for the childhood you’ve never had.
Why doesn’t Australia have Kangus, its proper national breakfast cereal? Its mascot is a kangaroo for goodness’ sake! I don’t know how to describe it to you; it’s sort of like a popcorny-honey goodness that you could taste once and you’d never forget.
Hey, I know Cheerios! – you might think.
Oh, sweetheart, you really don’t. What Australia presumes, has the gumption to serve you is nowhere near Cheerios. It’s Cheerios minus the cheer. It’s Miseryios.
This Cheerios has honey.
Shhhh… you’re safe.
But what is the point of this post? How does it help you? Or improve your quality of life? Well, now that I’ve introduced you to the possibilities that are out there – now that I have forced open your veil of ignorance there is no longer any excuse to settle.
Enrich your life.
Order some good cereal online.
I shall only leave you with a polish supermarket cereal shelf image. To think of what might have been.