This morning I celebrated the birth of our nation with a big ass helping of Frosted Mini Wheats (Maple & Brown Sugar edition). The site of those sugary nuggets tumbling into the bowl had me feeling giddy and I eagerly coated them with 2% milk. As I shoveled the last scrumptious morsels of rectangular goodness into my face I began thinking: what else epitomizes democracy and free will, the very cornerstones of our nation’s founding, better than cereal? Honestly, when one walks down the cereal aisle, the options are endless, and quite frankly, sometimes overwhelming. I firmly believe that if John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were to take a gander down the cereal aisle at the local Food Emporium, they would be overjoyed at the abundance of choices with which Americans are blessed. If forced to make a choice themselves, I believe they would go for Cheerios, the most fundamentally sound cereal on the market. Rich with nutrients and solidly composed of honey and oates, Cheerios are quintessentially American and would have JA and TJ ready to engage in semantic battles in no time.

I then began thinking of all the cereals that I’ve consumed in the quarter century I’ve spent on this earth. For nearly a decade of my childhood I was a loyal customer of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was one of the few cereals my mother and I could agree upon. From her perspective it was healthy enough, and from mine, Cinnamon Toast Crunch had just enough brown sugar to earn credibility amongst my peers. As I slowly gained autonomy from my mother’s dictatorial breakfast food decision making, I began to venture into more sugar coated cereals, namely Cocoa Puffs and Frosted Mini Wheats. There’s nothing better than eating a cereal that leaves the milk a completely different color than when you began eating. As I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve begun to appreciate the merits of a healthy breakfast and have gravitated towards more fiber-rich cereals like Kellog’s Smart Start and even Raisin Bran, a cereal that I detested as a child. I believe that if my ten year-old self saw my 24 year-old self eating Raisin Bran, he would kick my ass. But now there’s a variation that includes crunchy bits of granola that livens up the taste. When I’m feeling adventurous these days, I’ve been opting for Cocoa Krispies, which much like this blog, explode with flavor.

As many cereals that I’ve eaten in my years, there are so many that I haven’t even tried. I’ve never spent much time with Cap’n Crunch, Count Chocula or Kix. Never explored Life, Apple Jacks or Chex. Never tasted Honey Bunches of Oates, Boo Berry or Smacks. There are so many in fact, that one could probably pick one cereal to eat each year for the duration of a lifetime and still not try all of them. That’s what I call choice. God Bless America.

Let me know what some of your favorites are and if you’re bored, check out a full list of cereals here at Wikipedia.