I’ve always considered myself a breakfast cereal maverick, brazenly mixing and matching the puffs, flakes, crunch and krispies of my favorite brands IN THE SAME BOWL. One’s day can’t get off to a better start than pouring milk over a mélange of Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms, with just a hint of Golden Grahams.
So, when I came across Cereal: Snap, Crackle, Pop Culture from author Ed Daly, my interest was piqued! His book is a humorous look at an industry that, despite recent downturns in sales and on-going health questions, remains a multi-billion dollar business in North America.
Daly, a New Yorker, wrote the book while “on hiatus” (read: he was laid off) from his Wall-Street job during the last financial crisis in 2007-2008. His modus operandi behind the book appears to have been quite simple: buy every possible cereal he could get his hands on, consume it, then write about it.
The book contains profiles of 80 different cereals, organized into chapters based on sugar content. Each cereal is rated on taste, sugar, sodium, calories, and fat. While this information is a bit dry (pun intended), Daly’s comedic wit emerges through his running commentary on the products’ box covers, art work, packaging, advertising slogans, and mascots.
As I leafed through the book, I literally laughed out loud at some of his pop-culture references. Knowing that Daly actually spooned his way through each box is an added comedic bonus. It also reveals the transitory nature of the business, as many of the cereals profiled a scant three years ago are no longer available today.
Now, where did I put that box of Flutie Flakes?
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