Picture a bowl of cereal. Imagine you’ve just filled it with milk, and you’re about to dig in, but your phone rings. You leave your breakfast at the table. When you finally come back, an hour has passed.
You look at the floating beige particles in the gray bilge. Do you eat it?
That’s like me asking if you ever think to yourself, “Hey, let me alter this food’s best state and make a mushy swamp disaster instead.” That kind of behavior is just unacceptable.
See, I’m fine with drinking the leftover milk after all the cereal’s been eaten. That tastes good. What’s not okay is eating the particles of now-dog food that have eroded via milk while you were too busy to eat them.
Some people literally have phobias of soggy food, and hey, I can’t blame them. People often eat dry cereal as a snack or any variety of milk-less ways because, let’s face it, it tastes better than wet cereal. Even cereal bars – you don’t dip them in milk. Why? Because it would be gross.
Now what about different pairings, like cookies and milk? I’m okay with cookie dunking, but you have to be quick about it. In and out. There’s nothing worse than a too-soggy cookie. Even if you want to argue for soggy, it’s a scientific fact that humans crave the crisp. Are you going to go against science?
Our crispy addiction comes from a combination of factors – the satisfying sound of crunching, the way insects and plants crunched in our teeth millions of years ago (and still now, if you’re daring enough), and the fact that we needed to convince ourselves (when foraging) that icky insects didn’t taste so bad after all.
Also, when we learned to cook, food got a little bit tastier and a whole lot crispier. We started to equate that sensation of crispiness with heating our foods, and then with flavorfulness. So crispy=tasty was in our brains right when we were getting good at fire.
We’re wired to love salt and fat, and that’s why we love the crispy foods. Go on, imagine a wet potato chip. A soggy potato chip. Even if all you spilled on it was water, you probably won’t be inclined to take a bite.
Instinctively, our bodies know that salt, sugar, and crisp is where it’s at. Soggy-lovers obviously are a weird, icky mutation.
Think about popcorn for a (hot) second. Can you polish off a large before the movie is over? Yeah, that’s one of the special scientific crispy attributes: when food is crispy, we don’t mind that the taste doesn’t vary as we continue to eat it.
Even our ears like the taste. Think “crispy.” Think “crunchy.” It just sounds good.
So now, all you “soggy cereal” people, take a moment. After seeing these pictures, don’t you feel like some french fries? Second, if I could give you a wet piece of toast or a bag of pretzels right now, which one would get you more excited?
Say what you want: crispy love is in our DNA. Don’t believe me? I couldn’t finish writing this article without getting out the Popcorners.