To acquire wisdom, one must observe

The Hoot’s favorite cereal

Aaron LaFauci – Honey Bunches of Oats

I’m into health cereals. I don’t know if Honey Bunches of Oats is actually good for you, but it has crunchy stuff in it and isn’t neon. I think that crap is granola? On the other hand, the cereal flakes themselves are injected with grams upon grams of sugar, and I suppose its fiber content is mediocre too. You know what? I fully admit to the possibility that my favorite cereal is a marketing scheme. The box it comes in is colored with warm orange and yellow tones strangely reminiscent of Honey Nut Cheerios. The rustic jar of honey on the front cover invokes an agricultural familiarity, but I’m not even sure honey is all that great for you. Well, it doesn’t have a crazy toucan on the cover, so my parents probably thought it would be better than all the other marshmallow laden options.

Heart health aside, the cereal is fantastic when mildly soggy. The granola chunks are like grainy milk-sponges, and the flakes soften as they steep in the ever sweetening milk. By the time you get to the bottom of the bowl, the flakes become a kind of mush and the milk tastes fantastic. Don’t go nuts with the milk, of course. This goes for most cereals I imagine, but you want just enough milk to wet the food. I’d say fill the bowl about halfway, then mix everything around for a bit to get it all wet. If there is a considerable amount of milk left in the bowl when you are done, then you’re doing it wrong. Swimming cereal is wasteful.

Finally, tell your boomer parents to stop buying one percent milk. It’s a scam; it’s water, just drink real milk. A little flavor won’t kill you.

Emma Lichtenstein: Froot Loops 

Froot Loops are hands down the best cereal. First of all, their name is easily the coolest with the double O in both froot and loops. Hey kids, spelling is fun! Of course that’s not the only reason they’re great. Froot Loops are absolutely delicious. The cereal comes in an array of fun colors, either giving you a rainbow in each bite or an opportunity to sort out colors. Personally, I like to try to eat in order of color preference, starting with green and ending with pink. 

The cereal is sugary and delicious. It has an amazing crunch when you first put it in the bowl, but even as it absorbs the milk, the sogginess doesn’t ruin the flavor or the eating experience. I’ve found that people tend to stop eating sugary cereals as they get older because they’re not nutritious enough. That may be true, but treat yourself to a bowl once in a while—or eat them dry as an easy snack. I promise they’re even better than you remember! 

John Fornagiel -Dunkin’ Mocha Latte 

I will say, this was actually one of the cereals that I reviewed earlier this year. I had many, many good things to say about it at the time, and I only have better things to say about it now. When I tried it, it was absolutely unique and provided an entirely new cereal experience that I had never had before. However, not only has this become my cereal go-to since then (after, of course, Raisin Bran), but it’s been a hot topic in my friend group and we have all converted to being Dunkin’ cereal lovers. 

There are some solid reasons why anyone would love this cereal. Not only do the kernels of chocolate burst with flavor in your mouth with each bite, but this cereal continues to give even after you finish eating the dry bits. After eating the cereal, the milk literally tasted like a blissful creamy coffee. What’s not to like about that? Not only that, but this cereal provides the perfect medium between two cereal extremes: It is a perfect balance of the way-too-sugary Froot Loops and Honey Bunches of Oats, and the way-too-bland Cheerios that people seem to love.

Sasha Skarboviychuk: Oatmeal Cinnamon Cheerios

I find 96 percent of American cereal way too sweet. Like I would rather eat chocolate chips in milk than that sugary garbage. So for the longest time my go-to cereal was plain Cheerios, because that was the only cereal that was not too sweet (though even I will admit that it is quite bland). But one fine day, we were at the grocery store, and I saw these Oatmeal Cinnamon Cheerios. I was intrigued; it sounded like everything I like in one cereal. I love oatmeal and cinnamon, and well, Cheerios are pretty good too. So I decided to try it. It was surprisingly good and not too sweet, though I still like to mix it with regular Cheerios to make it less sweet and dense. The Oatmeal Cinnamon Cheerios are surprisingly filling, especially compared to regular ones. In terms of taste, I am not even sure how to describe it. The cinnamon is obviously there, but it is not too overpowering (which it often is), while the oatmeal is probably what makes the cereal so filling. Overall, if you want a cereal that is not too sweet and filling, you know what to buy next.  

Thomas Pickering – Raisin Bran

Crunchy, chewy and sugary! Look, I don’t know if you plebs have ever had the pleasure of being in quarantine, but let me tell you your best friend will become your right (or left) hand real fast… from all the cereal you’ll be eating, of course! So why not enjoy some Raisin Bran? It’s got the crunch from the flakes and the chewy sugary goodness from the raisins for a powerful morning. I mean, for real though, have you ever wanted to drink 14 5-Hour Energies and fight God in a Walmart bathroom? Because that is how forking good this cereal will make you feel. You’ll be able to conquer any challenge because the freaking Sun is force feeding you TWO scoops of raisins into your mouth every morning. Who doesn’t want that? I mean TWO scoops! How could it get any better? But even when all else fails and you have no other cereal options, what really sets this one apart aside from its texture and its wonderful sweetness is its ability to help you pick up the editor of the news section of your local paper. Just trust me on this one, OK? Then you can eat more Raisin Bran, have the strongest one arm ever from lifting so many spoons and arm wrestle the ghost of Hulk Hogan into the underworld.    

Victoria Morrongiello – Cheerios 

Wow, I genuinely feel so ill-equipped to write this op having to follow the ode to Raisin Bran I’ve just read. I never feel like I have anything of value to say in this section to begin with, but jeez, how do I hype up cardboard cereal after that? 

Because yeah, Cheerios have no flavor, but that’s their thing, you know? They’re there for you when you’re sick and can’t eat any more chicken soup, when you just need something bland to hold you over when you can eat real food again. I’m not talking about that Honey Nut or Multigrain Cheerio nonsense, I’m talking about the OG Cheerios in the bright yellow box with a red heart bowl on the front. That’s the stuff right there. 

What’s the first cereal you give babies? Cheerios. Before races when I can’t stomach the thought of food? Cheerios. When I’m feeling nauseous because of period cramps? Cheerios. When I’m nervous for an exam? Cheerios. When I was still hungry because the food at Sherman was subpar (Pre-COVID-19) and I wanted more food? Cheerios. 

Cheerios solve so many problems, so naturally they’re the best cereal. Even if they aren’t “sugary goodness,” they’re just what you need them to be: “meh.” 

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