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The Olympics are over (sniff sniff, sigh), so I will take this opportunity to fill you in on what I’ve been doing on a daily basis here in the UK.
When I first arrived in London, my eating habits…well let us just say they were not normal. Everything is expensive here, and my initial reaction to this was to spend as little money as possible on the only thing I was buying at the time: food. Logical, but stupid. I think I lived off crumpets and peanut butter for three weeks. When Claire began chiding me for getting skinny, I found a grocery store with reasonable prices in order to begin eating like a normal person again.
Having decided to vary my diet outside of my two core food groups, I began exploring some of the odd foods along the aisles of London’s markets. Some items that are quite common in the States are nearly impossible to find here (corn meal), while there are quite a few foods not available in the States (such as crumpets, or rennet extract…). Many products are similar to US counterparts, but are made under different names, especially in the realm of cereals. “Ooo, a project!” I thought, and quickly decided to begin comparing US vs. UK cereal doppelgangers.
First up, Golden Grahams. One of my favorite sweet cereals at home. The UK clone was disappointing; the flavor was bland, the crunch was bland, and they were not as sweet as they are in the US. I would be okay with a little less sugar, but they taste as if a few crates of cardboard got mixed into the batch. Weak sauce, UK.
I moved on to Cinnamon Toast Crunch this morning with a little more hope (how could they mess up this culinary masterpiece?), until I saw the name: Curiously Cinnamon. Not confidence-inspiring. This UK clone fared a little better than the Golden Grahams, but not much. Again, the flavor was a bit bland, the delightful crispy crunch was not there, and there was a distinct lack of sugar crystals on the outside of the squares. As anyone knows who has poured the dregs of a bag of Cinnamon Toast Crunch into an eagerly-awaiting bowl, one may watch in delight as the massive pile of cinnamon-sugar crystals shooshes out, making the bowl extra-delicious (or sickening, depending on how many previous bowls of cereal any remaining milk has experienced). I predict that this phenomenon will not occur when I reach the end of the box of Curiously Cinnamon cereal. Most disappointing.
More thrilling, insightful, groundbreaking cereal comparisons to come! Or perhaps I will stick to documenting our travels…