Quick! What is/was your favorite cereal? Gross, Frankenberry? Really? It's okay, though, it doesn't matter what it is/was. It matters that you had one you just thought about, along with a pleasant memory. Mine? Corn Pops, unequivocally, soaked in milk for at least three minutes before eating in order to achieve a spongy texture. Think about it: Nobody didn't eat cereal when they were younger. American children, offered the opportunity, can subsist entirely on the stuff; loose Cheerios rattle around the floor of every family car. I've been talking about it for a whole paragraph now, so it's no surprise and a timely delight that Thrillist editorial director and author-about-town Ben Robinson has taken to the airwaves, hosting and producing Heritage Radio's crunchy new show, "Cereal."
"I'd love to say that I was eating Alpha-Bits and they floated into a position to spell out the word 'podcast,' but in reality, that other podcast, 'Serial,' took over everyone's lives, and people wouldn't stop going on and on about it," says Robinson. "One day I made the obvious pun over a bowl of criminally underrated Reese's Puffs: I should start a podcast called Cereal."
Great idea, right? If a friend suggested a cereal podcast, you'd endorse it, especially since Post's Honeycomb recently made a comeback. Wait, can I change my favorite from Corn Pops to Honeycomb?
"The more I talked to people about it and they didn't call me stupid, and I looked back and realized we'd been yapping about Count Chocula for 20 minutes, the more I realized that there was absolutely a show that could happen around it. From there I've been hellbent on finding guests who are ready to take a hyper-intelligent, overserious approach to discussing its nuances and its place in their lives, and so far it's working, somehow."
The guests — chefs, entertainers, writers/editors — definitely handle the subject matter as the experts they are; however, we're all experts on cereal in some respect. Avoiding Mom's rules about it, for example:
"As I said on last week's episode [Lucky Charms with actor/musician Dave Hill], growing up my mother had a hard and fast rule that we couldn't eat any cereals that 'turned the milk colors,' which meant Honey Nut Cheerios were pretty much as far as we could push it. But when I'd be at friends' houses, and certainly at college, let's just say I let loose a little bit and partied. With sugar."
Join Robinson and his merry band of breakfast eaters every week on Heritage Radio as they delve into the history, culture and future of an iconic food, and in the meantime, enjoy the dulcet tones of French Toast Crunch-eating ASMR. Mmm, French Toast Crunch.
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