Thursday, May 14, 2009
Cereal Profiles, Entry 4
Most definitely one of the all time best sugar cereals out there. Cap’n Crunch’s reputation for cutting the roof of the eater’s mouth has not impeded myself, nor most of America, from enjoying it.
Cap’n Crunch holds a strange place in the realm of sugar cereals. Cap’n Crunch, the original brand, has no real bells and whistles. There are no fruity colors, just a bland consistent yellow. There are no extraneous pieces; i.e. fruit pieces, marshmallows, kiddie shapes, etc. The only thing that qualifies Cap’n Crunch as a CHILDREN’S cereal is the Cap’n himself. I believe this is where one of the distinctions between children’s cereal and sugar cereals may lie… but nonetheless, the only thing that qualifies Cap’n Crunch as a SUGAR cereal is that, well, it’s really sweet and sugary.
As far as mascots go, Cap’n was kind of run of the mill as well. He really didn’t have any long lasting feuds going on with other cartoon characters, nor “the kids” who ate his cereal. He was always kind of just there getting in random adventures, being the Cap’n and reminding us we should go pick up his cereal.
Here’s a break down of the current major brands.
There’s not much to say about plain old Cap’n Crunch Cereal. Chances are you’ve already tried it. It’s a very simple formula. Tiny squares of crispy cereal with sugary goodness embedded in every layer and fibre of it. They are in fact so crunchy that, besides been well known for shredding the roof of your mouth as mentioned before, they were once advertised as never being able to lose their crunch. As a kid, I once let a bowl of Cap’n Crunch sit out all night soaking in water (I was old enough to know that I wasn’t going to go near a bowl of milk that sat out all night) just to see if the bits would indeed stay crunchy. Truth be told I don’t really remember how the test ended up, but I have vague recollections of it being a gross mess in the morning. It’s structural integrity held up on the inside while the outer layer did, in fact, begin to get soggy. You have to give Cap’n Crunch some credit for that.
Cap’n Crunch Berries:
This is a mixture of original Cap’n Crunch mixed with pieces of several different colors and flavors. The original Cap’n Crunch bits are, as one would expect, identical to the bits found in the standard Cap’n Crunch cereal box. The fruit pieces are different, being slightly larger and more round in shape. This cereal is for the truly experienced Cap’n Crunch eater. I started eating these long after I got bored of the original brand, and binged on them for a few months. The eating experience is pretty intense: the fruit flavors are kind of weird. While the flavors mix well with the original Cap’n Crunch flavor, they add a definite zing and punch to the flavor that overwhelms your mouth and ultimately destroys all memories of what eating the original Cap’n Crunch is like. The “fruit” flavor doesn’t really taste like any fruit. It is somewhat similar to the flavor of Trix Cereal, but much more intense. The more you eat it, the more it feels like you are chewing impossibly crunchy shreds, spoonfuls of sugar and a spoonful of very concentrated, highly condensed flavoring. It’s a good cereal to do a brief stint on, but it tends to wear on you. And it turns your milk pinkish purple.
Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch:
Effectively this is the same cereal as Reese’s Puffs cereal. I was disappointed to find that the creators of this Cap’n Crunch brand even abandoned the classic shape of bit, using the size and shape of the fruit bits found in Cap’n Crunch Berries. This makes it so that they visually look identical to Reese’s Puffs. However, it does maintain the quality of crunchiness that you expect of a Cap’n Crunch brand, while Reese’s Puffs are known for having a crunch of less character and integrity, falling into sogginess quickly. Strangely, these slight differences are enough to propel the peanut butter Crunches a few solid tiers above the eating experience of Reese’s Puffs. I tried these for the first time tonight, and I was surprised to find myself throwing back 3 – 4 bowls where I had expected to just try one for experiential measure.
I highly recommend you check out the wikipedia page on Cap’n Crunch for a list of some other combos that were tried out in the past. Some really weird stuff that I wish I could have tried. One last brand that I must mention that I did get to try was the limited run Christmas Crunch. This was the same formula of the Crunch Berries substituting the normal colored bits for red and green bits and changing the flavor slightly.
The Snackmaster as (a very scary looking) Cap'n, sans moustache.