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I recently received a copy of The Great American Cereal Book to review from Abrams Books. Written by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, this book is 368 pages full of cereal history. Ellis is a cereal expert and editor of a long-running cereal publication and that expertise shows in this book.

There is not much of a narrative in the book. There is a lot about the early days of cereal beginning in 1863, but the true impressive nature of the book comes in that it is a list of every American cereal produced and contains hundreds of pictures of actual product.

As a kid, I didn’t get a lot of sugary cereals growing up, but I’m very familiar with them as I pined for them thanks to Saturday morning commercials trying to push them on me. In a way, I feel like looking through this book is like many of my trips to the grocery store with my family when I was in grade school. Oh, that cereal looks good! I wish I could try it. Sadly, much like the answer I got 25 years ago, the answer is no. But this time it’s because a lot of these cereals are no longer in production.

Cereals are huge and there have been thousands of different types with hundreds of different franchises from Star Wars to Batman getting their own cereal. I have to admit that I was slightly blown away at just how much a part of American culture this stuff really is. This is a great book for anyone looking to walk down memory lane…or in this case, the memory cereal aisle.

By | 2017-03-17T00:51:14+00:00 February 6th, 2012|Categories: Article|Tags: , |5 Comments

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Nerd Lunch co-founder and podcast co-host


  1. CT February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Since I didn't grow up eating these cereals, I find I don't have much of a taste for them. So while I like the idea of going and getting Fruit Loops and Sugar (or Honey) Smacks anytime I want to, I never have the desire. Fast food on the other hand, that's my vice and guilty pleasure.

    Plus, I seem to have become somewhat lactose intolerant so eating a dish where I pour milk all over it first does not agree with my innards.

    I do love Rice Krispies treats though. That's probably my only real cereal outlet at this point.

  2. Jack February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Wow, you found Sugar Smacks? Must have been pretty stale! These things have been Honey Smacks since the 80s, along with [Sugar] Frosted Flakes, [Sugar] Corn Pops, and anything else with the satanic word "Sugar" in the title. Intellectual Fascism (sorry, of course I mean Political Correctness) at its best.

    I've been keeping a low profile lately, because every time I comment, the subject just dies. This is a test to see whether the jinx is broken yet…

  3. Fitz February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Or Sugar Smacks!!

    I know what happened in our childhood. The exact same thing I did to my boys: I bought the Sugar Smacks the other week and totally deprived them. It is a vicious cycle.

  4. Sue London February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Awesome! I love cereal. Much like you there were a lot of them I didn't get to try as a kid because my parents were into health food, but that just means that now I buy my own damn Fruit Loops whenever I want to (like yesterday).

  5. Chrisloc1701 February 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I love cereal, and I just ordered this book. I am from Canada but we do share a lot of the same cereals so I'm very interested to check out this book.

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