Beyond Cheerios: What's in the Cereal Bowl Around the World
Breakfast cereal, for many, is the representation of childhood. Cereal as we know it is also a primarily Western — and, particularly, American — construction. Many breakfast cereals — the kind that come in boxes and are meant to be consumed with milk — have filtered to other countries from the United States in their original forms or with surprising variations. When we look at breakfast cereals from other countries, they’re not just representative of childhood, but also of globalization. But let’s leave all that smart stuff behind and talk about Captain Crunch’s distant cousins. Here are 10 breakfast cereals kids (and adults) around the world wake up to every morning.
I remember seeing Chocolate Zucaritas (from Mexico) in my neighborhood bodega, and I could tell from the box that it was a mix of Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs. Of course, I bought it. It got me thinking: What delicious variations on familiar cereals does the world outside the United States hold? Many, apparently; I found everything from Strawberry Pops from South Africa to passion fruit-infused fruit cereal from Germany. A lot of these cereals are simply different (and sometimes more delicious) remixes of the cereals we already know. It makes sense: cereal is a food consumed privately in our homes. We don’t seek adventure in these cold, quick breakfasts — they’re all about comfort.[related]
Our first stop in finding the following cereals was a shop in London called Cereal Killer Café. I bet you’ve already pictured it: a restaurant where you can choose from a plethora of cereals, a user-friendly selection of milk (skim, soy, lacto-free, banana, etc.), and toppings that rival the choices at 16 Handles. There are also cereal cocktails with titles like “unicorn poop,” but I digress. A quick scan of this establishment's international cereals got me a handful of countries to start from, and then I looked up the cereals of countries that were not on their list, like Lithuania and South Korea. According to Wikipedia, a cereal called Veggie O’s is very popular in Yemen, and, while it would look great on this list, there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove its existence.
I’ve said enough. The cereal mascots on these boxes can take it from here.
Think Corn Pops, but filled with honey. Miel Pops offer the kind of sweetness Honey Nut Cheerios lovers would appreciate. Even if that’s not your beat, you have to admit it is a great idea.
On first glance, Vitalis Multifruct might not seem too different from American varieties with flakes of corn and dried fruit, but look closer and you’ll notice that it includes passion fruit. Pretty impressive for such a decidedly non-tropical place.