A Cereal-ous Controversy

      Regardless to if your affinity for cereal is a nutritious breakfast of Strawberry Special-K, or a midnight craving for Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, cereal is a classical dietary staple in our culture, loved and cherished amongst pretty much all (normal) people. However, this article is not necessarily an argument about the classic breakfast/late-night snack we know and love but the specific science of it’s preparation, which determines the quality of our beloved go-to. It has come to my recent attention that there are strong opinions surfacing on when the appropriate time is to pour milk into a bowl of cereal. Those with the most adamant opinion however, all appear to be on the same side of this issue. My voice of reason is not here to disparage the tendencies of this tenacious majority, but to help this alliance of people see the consequences of their disputable and questionable actions that are causing such a cereal controversy.

     Many say the only logical and “normal” way to pour a bowl of cereal, is the put the cereal in first. The selection of people that claim this, have a strong distaste towards anyone who does not see the majority’s view. This uneducated mass of people that come off in a cult-like manner, I refer to as “Cereal Killers”, due to not only their inability to comprehend the correct crunch to milk ratio, but also the lack of intention to learn any better which deteriorates from the purpose of the breakfast related portion of humanity. People of this sort are unable to fathom what they are missing out on, and us who know better cannot blame them for their improper cereal etiquette. On a poll I recently conducted, out of 30 people, 95% agreed that the appropriate way to eat cereal was to pour the milk into the bowl only after the cereal has already been put inside of it.

    The complication with this improper norm, is that once the milk is in the bowl, the bottom portion of cereal immediately begins the process of absorption. In other words, the amount of time it takes for cereal to lose it’s delighting crunchiness due to the increase in moisture. Now this happens regardless to whether you put the cereal in first or not, and yes, the amount of time the cereal will be in milk is exactly the same. The difference, is when you pour milk into the bowl which is already filled with cereal, it not only starts this process in the bottom of the bowl, but it also initiates this process for the cereal on top where the milk was poured, leaving cereal even on the very top of the bowl soggy and saturated by the time you get to eat it. When I presented the notion of cereal being put in the bowl first to my dad, his reaction was a slur of Italian curse words followed by a detailed explanation of how aggravated he becomes when a few of his Frosted Flakes are facing sideways and cause milk to splash up into his face like he is on a log flume when he pours the milk over them. My hard-headed, old school father later thanked me for changing the way he makes his bowl of cornflakes.

    To fix this problem, a few very intelligent cereal enthusiasts, like myself, have thought thoroughly enough about this issue to find a simple and proper solution. We are a group of individuals that proactively think outside the box (of cereal) in order to not only fix the societal problems of the world, but to educate others that have not been granted the gift of child-like curiosity that allows them to endure the trial and errors of a problem to find a better solution. This small group of only 5% of people, stopped one day and decided to go against the norms of society and stand up for their God given right to have a perfect crunch to liquid ratio in their bowl of cereal.

At least we're not this guy:

      The science of this perfect bowl, starts with putting your milk in first, to how ever much you prefer. Although argued by milk-first opposers, this is an adequate way to measure precisely how much milk you know you are going to need, and saves you from the waste of throwing away a half a bowl of strangely discolored, stale smelling, leftover cereal milk. Cows around the world are uttering words of praise to us outside the box thinkers. Not only is milk first an advantage economically and environmentally, it also increases the flavor of your cereal leaving you with a higher quality experience of taste. When the milk is poured over top of the cereal, it does two things. It begins the saturation of the milk on top, which we previously noted makes the entire bowl soggy before you get the chance to enjoy the cereal’s crunch, but this also sets off another process that deteriorates from your meal. Once the milk begins saturating the bowl of cereal making it lose its shape and density, it begins to expel the milk that the pieces of cereal can no longer hold in. The milk it expels has soaked in a large amount of the flavor the pieces of cereal inhibit, and is now being discarded back into the milk portion of the bowl. Regardless to breakfast-related ideology, Cereal Killer or Outside the Box-er, who actually drinks the milk leftover from the cereal? Something I am sure both aspects can agree on, no one.

     Now lets discuss the advantages of not pouring the milk over the cereal. Milk being put in the bowl prior to the cereal creates an exclusive space that stays completely dry between the surface of the milk and the the surface of the cereal. This zone is the designated area that allows for an entirely crunchy and flavorful bowl of cereal, and can only achieved when milk is inside of the bowl prior to the cereal. The method to eating the cereal, is to start on the bottom, first eating the cereal that is already engulfed in the milk, while it still inhibits its delicious crunch. This allows cereal to withstand a precise crunch to liquid ration throughout the entire bowl as you eat it. Once the cereal that was once on the top of the bowl reaches the bottom, it has not been in the milk long enough for it to have become saturated and soggy enough to lose it’s flavor and crunch. The end of your bowl is now left with little to no atrociously flavored milk to waste down the drain or chug while simultaneously pinching your nose.


     In a world where we are surrounded by conflicting moralities, something we should all be able to come to a consensus on is the way to make cereal efficiently. The unaccepting portion of the population will read this and ignore the advice given to them, settling with dull tasting bowls of soggy disappointment due to their unpersuadable opinions. Those that accept the change with an open minded act of defiance to society’s breakfast normalities will endure a much more pleasant breakfast experience. Changing your cereal making procedure will open your eyes to how luda-crisp it is to put the cereal in first and will solve this quandary once and for all. As an advocate of pro-crunch bowls of cereal, my job is to guide you in Life, and Cheerio morning up with a proportioned bowl of your favorite breakfast. Disclaimer: Rice Krispie’s are NOT included in this argument due to the fact that the lack of this cereal’s taste depends on the nostalgic snap, crackle, and pop that occurs specifically from the Krispies being doused in milk. 

And if all else fails and peace ceases to come to existence on the issue, there is a sliver of hope for the future of us all: