Cereal Ice Cream: a crunchy substance melted with creamy sweetness. Perhaps it's the next food buzzword for college students. At least at Stanford, some students are starting to pick up the trend in our cafeterias.

The rise of cereal-infused ice-cream in the 2010s seemed at first to be one of many instagrammable food trends destined to fall as quickly as it has risen to prominence on our “Popular” pages. Starting as “Cereal-milk” soft serve in 2008 at Christina Tosi’s first Milkbar dessert shop in the East Village of Manhattan, the phenomenon soon spread beyond the chain. Other shops- like Mott Street’s “Milk and Cream” were capitalizing on it in new ways- like blending a cereal of the customers choice with ice cream in specially-designed machines.

I visited the shop shortly after it opened in the mid 2010’s, and I remember it fondly as a formative food experience. Gimmick, excess, breakfast cereal, and huge amounts of sugar added up to something genuinely delightful. With dense cubes of cake and a cookie straw sticking out of a mound of my newly created flavor (vanilla + cocoa puffs), it was about as silly and theatrical as dessert gets, and yet grounded in familiar flavors– the best of what “ made-for-Instagram” food has to offer.

For Stanford students looking to enjoy cereal-flavored ice-cream, there is, of course, Milk Bar’s SF location, as well as ice cream shops like “Milk Bomb” who are taking cereal milk in their own directions, like to-go pints and donut-topped parfaits. Or, you can just do what I do, and smash the cafeteria’s cereals into some soft serve until your slurry-of-choice is achieved. (My favorite combos at the moment are vanilla/cinnamon toast crunch, and chocolate/lucky charms)

Several factors account for the trend’s staying power- it’s variable and customizable, it’s nostalgic, and, unlike many recent dessert trends of the era (think, nonfat froyo and charcoal ice-cream) it actually tastes good. If you’re going to indulge yourself, or your feed, in an ice cream trend– cereal-milk has this editor’s seal of approval.