New book takes trip down cereal aisle to extol cold cereals

By Ryan Morgenegg

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 14 2012 4:18 p.m. MST

"THE GREAT AMERICAN CEREAL BOOK," by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, $19.99, 368 pages (nf)

I'm addicted to cold cereal. I can't help it. It's the perfect meal. Fortified with vitamins and minerals, cereal comes ready to eat. All you have to do is grab a bowl and pour some milk for an instant dose of edible bliss. At one time in my past, the kitchen cupboard was stuffed with over 40 different cereal boxes. When I ran for student government in high school, I even used a cereal to promote my campaign. Over the years, cereals have come and gone. I always wonder what happened to Fruity Yummy Mummys.

Being a cereal crazed connoisseur, it was with great excitement that I recently discovered a new book detailing the history of the cereal industry in the United States complete with pictures of all those fun and interesting boxes from across the years.

"The Great American Cereal Book" is a literal tome of cold cereal goodness. Packed with a detailed description and graphics for almost every cereal ever made, the book itself looks like a cereal box — complete with nutrition facts and ingredients on the spine.

Did you know that after milk and soda, cereal tops the list of supermarket spending? It seems Americans love their cold cereal. Not many products get their own grocery aisle at the store.

Part history and part reference book, "The Great American Cereal Book" starts with the first cereals ever made and continues to the present day. Each page gives fun and specific details about a cold cereal: Who produced it, when it was started, what's in it, if it's still around and some of the marketing gimmiks used to promote it. Have you ever heard of Elijah's Manna? It was a cereal made in 1904, but came under pressure by religious fundamentalists because of its name. It was later changed to Post Corn Toasties.

Have you every heard of Mr. T cereal or Dunkin' Donuts cereal? Do you remember Oreo O's, Crispy Critters, Quisp, Quake or Smurf Berry Crunch? How about these slogans: "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!" "They're GR-R-REAT!" "The breakfast of champions" or "They're magically delicious."

The book is a fantastic trip down memory lane and is a "must have" for any true cold cereal enthusiast. All the fun from your breakfast table is in the book and in full color. It contains more than 350 pages and is the most comprehensive book on cereal to date. If you're a cereal fan, you'll love it. Now pass me that box of Cheerios.

Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.

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