Saturday, February 26, 2005

Chocolate Lucky Charms

I saw these in the store the other day. I was just walking through the cereal aisle, and there they were. Is this really necessary?

Some of you might not be aware of the American version of this traditional Irish breakfastfood. Lucky Charms are sugar-coated cereal bits mixed with six different colors of amusingly shaped marshmallows that turn milk grayish-purple. You know it's Irish because there's a happy leprechaun on the box.

Apart from occasionally adding a new color of marshmallow, the recipe has remained unchanged since I can remember, though the cereal is older than me. But this is big: the non-marshmallow bits are now available in chocolate, which sounds extra disgusting. But maybe it isn't. It just seems to clash with the marshmallows, which are different colors that almost suggest real foodstuff. If the cereal turns chocolate, then it's not that different from Count Chocula (which is a traditional Transylvanian breakfastfood, consisting of chocolate cereal bits paired with marshmallows that turns milk grayish-brown.)

I guess what really bugs me is how we're just repackaging old ideas and trying to pass them off as new. I just don't see the point. The world could get by just fine without sugary breakfast cereal, but it would also be fine without these faux "innovations." We Americans are addicted to progress, or at least the idea of progress, so a new take on an old idea triggers something in our brains—even if it isn't a real improvement or a change of any kind at all.

I guess they'll continue to churn out crud like clear beer, Chocolate Twinkies, Lime Coke, "Son of the Mask," etc., as long as they resonate with the American psyche. We crave something new, we crave change, and we're satisfied even with ersatz newness and change. I'm not entirely sure that good or bad could apply to this; that's the culture. Me, I'll stick with my Grape Nuts, which is that wonderful brown, gravel-like cereal that remains unchanged after all these years and which suits me just fine. But you know, maybe a little vanilla extract would perk that stuff up some... or maybe a berry flavor... I should write Post and see what they say...


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