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For decades, foods that were kid-oriented have had the potential to be serious gold mines, with breakfast cereals at the top of the heap. But for every Golden Grahams and Lucky Charms, there have been dozens that have been forgotten to history, many with good reason. Some of these cereals were just plain bizarre, even bordering on disturbing, and we’ve tracked down 13 of them.
13 Bizarre Breakfast Cereals You Won’t Believe Existed (Slideshow)
The earliest breakfast cereals were rather utilitarian affairs. Cold cereal as we know it was invented by John Harvey Kellogg (a name you might recognize) for patients at his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, a place where they could go for rest, exercise, water therapy, a vegetarian diet, and abstinence from caffeine and alcohol. In 1891, he acquired a patent for his corn flakes, a more austere and healthy alternative to the usual hearty breakfasts of the day, which included ham, eggs, biscuits, and the like. In 1895, he took it national, and it took off.
Almost immediately, other companies started turning out their own breakfast cereals. In 1898, a former patient of Kellogg’s named Charles W. Post introduced his own invention, which he called Grape-Nuts, and that was a hit as well. In 1924, the newly consolidated General Mills introduced Wheaties, and in the 1930s, a puffed rice cereal (the first) named Kix went on the market.
In later decades manufacturers began to realize that they were neglecting arguably their biggest market: kids. So they boosted the sugar content, introduced a wacky mascot, and voilà. They were really off to the races: hundreds of different children’s cereals were rolled out from the 1950s onwards, with no real template for what would work and what wouldn’t. Marketing teams and ad agencies devised elaborate storylines for the mascots, often played out over decades-long advertising campaigns. For example, in the 1970s, it was revealed that Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger was Italian-American, and audiences were introduced to Mama Tony, Mrs. Tony, and even his daughter, Antoinette; Toucan Sam’s cousin, Arty Artin, was also featured in several commercials.
It’s a long, strange trip through the decades of failed breakfast cereals; it really seems like they threw everything they could think of at the wall and waited to see what stuck. Many of the ones that didn’t stick are hilariously bizarre, so read on to learn about 13 of them.
10 Bizarre Breakfast Cereals You Won't Believe Ever Existed
For decades, foods that are kid-oriented have had the potential to be serious gold mines, with breakfast cereals at the top of the heap. But for every Golden Grahams and Lucky Charms, there have been dozens that have been forgotten to history, many with good reason. Some of these cereals were just plain bizarre, even bordering on disturbing, and we’ve tracked down 10 of them.
The earliest breakfast cereals were rather utilitarian affairs. Cold cereal as we know it was invented by John Harvey Kellogg (a name you might recognize) for patients at his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich., a place where they could go for rest, exercise, water therapy, a vegetarian diet, and abstinence from caffeine and alcohol. In 1891 he acquired a patent for his corn flakes, a more austere and healthy alternative to the usual breakfasts of the day, which included ham, eggs, biscuits, and the like. In 1895 he took it national, and it took off.
Almost immediately, other companies started turning out their own breakfast cereals. In 1898 a former patient of Kellogg’s named Charles W. Post introduced his own invention, which he called Grape-Nuts, and that took off as well. In 1924 the newly-consolidated General Mills introduced Wheaties, and in the 1930s a puffed rice cereal (the first) named Kix went on the market.
In later decades manufacturers began to realize that they were neglecting arguably their biggest market: kids. So they boosted the sugar content, introduced a wacky mascot, and voilà. They were really off to the races: hundreds of different children’s cereals were rolled out from the 1950s onwards, with no real template for what would work and what wouldn’t. Marketing teams and ad agencies devised elaborate storylines for the mascots, often played out over decades-long advertising campaigns (In the 1970s, it was revealed that Tony the Tiger was Italian-American, and audiences were introduced to Mama Tony, Mrs. Tony, and even his daughter, Antoinette).
It’s a long, strange trip through the decades of failed breakfast cereals it really seems like they threw everything they could think of at the wall and waited to see what stuck. Many of the ones that didn’t stick are hilariously bizarre, so read on to learn about 10 of them.
There was once a time when there were multiple grape-flavored cereals on the market for some reason, and this one differentiated itself by naming itself after a fictional knighted gentleman who enjoyed flying airplanes with no hands. The most intriguing part of the whole thing is this supposed “air car.”
How eating what’s basically a bowl of Cheerios with some “K”s added to it amounts to a super-jacked Scottish man (possibly named Big Otis?) is beyond us. Either way, we have a feeling that this cereal was just OK.
Weird Vintage Recipes You Have To See To Believe
While sometimes I’ll admit people can have strange cravings for weird foods, I tend to think that as a whole, our palates are alright. Sure, perhaps we don’t have the refined taste buds of a seasoned food critic, but at least you won’t find us in the kitchen preparing weird vintage recipes. Seriously: the look of these dishes will have you losing your appetite in no time.
To be fair, everyone has different taste in food. But there comes a time when you realize that the best use for gelatin is to make jello shots — not to whip up weird wiggly dishes that are best reserved for the kids’ table. Sure, an occasional, elegant jello dessert can be a fun dish to serve — but home chefs in the 1950s and 1960s had a whole different idea.
The past can be just as mysterious as the future. It causes us to look at old recipes, and conduct our own empirical research. We ask questions like, “Why are you putting that in a cake mold?” and “Did you really need to put olives on that?” Our parents and grandparents had some strange taste, so we can only look at these vintage recipes and thank our lucky stars that we live in the day and age of hot Cheetos and seasonal lattes, and not these unbelievably odd dishes.
1. Fiesta Peach Spam Bake
Granted, Spam is still widely eaten in places like Hawaii, where Spam musubi is a not-so-unusual sushi dish. Still, I prefer to enjoy our peaches separated from our canned meat.
2. Mayonnaise Jello
Surprise! Did you ever think you'd see something this gross come out of a jello mold?
3. Vegetable "Salad"
You can't get salad this vibrant at the farmers' market nowadays.
4. Tomato-Banana Tarts
We understand that tomatoes are a fruit, and this could technically be considered a tomato salad. and yet this still seems like a cruel and unusual snack.
5. Olive-Topped Hot Dogs
You get bonus points if you can balance the olives on top of your hot dog while downing it.
6. Canned Hamburgers
OK, maybe fast food hamburgers aren't much better, but at least you don't see them coming out of a can. Ignorance is bliss, right?
7. "Sandwich Spred" Salad
Nothing like a fresh bowl of lettuce topped with a nice coating of Sandwich Spred. Zesty!
8. Shrimp Orange Walnut Cocktail
In practice, maybe this cocktail wouldn't taste too awful. But there's something about the mixture of orange and brown in a margarita glass that's just unsettling.
9. Any And All Of These Open-Faced Sandwiches
We have come a long way to achieve today's perfected open-faced avocado sandwiches that populate the chicest brunch locales. But these sandwiches here just seem like a sad and sorry waste of bread.
15 Bizarre Oreo Flavors You Won’t Believe Actually Exist
Nabisco is notorious for releasing a variety of new Oreo flavors for major holidays, change in season, and just because. You wouldn’t believe some of the outrageous flavors they’ve produced over the years.
1. Fruit Punch
Photo courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com
If you’re gonna keep making drinks into cookies, how about hot chocolate flavored? Notice again the “artificially flavoured” marker. Ain’t nothing natural about that.
Photo courtesy of thrillist.com
Yup, that’s right. Limeade-flavored Oreos. They were limited edition in 2014, and maybe that’s for the best. For anyone who doesn’t know, Limeade is basically the lime version of lemonade, which raises the question of why there is no lemonade flavour. Now that sounds good.
3. Banana Split
Photo courtesy of youtube.com
That’s a lot of flavor to pack into one filling. Once cookie is vanilla, the other is chocolate and the filling is strawberry/banana, so when you put it all in your mouth at once, you have a banana split. Kind of. Props to Nabisco for being so ambitious.
4. Caramel Apple
Photo courtesy of browniebites.net
Is it healthy if it’s apple flavored? A caramel flavoured Oreo is an amazing idea, but weirdly enough, it’s never been done. Nabisco seems to skip over the basics and go right for the wild flavours. Caramel apples are great, but only on their own…
5. Candy Corn
Photo courtesy of twotwentyone.net
I can’t imagine this tastes like anything other than pure sugar, considering that’s all candy corn is anyway. Unlike some of the other Oreos we’ve seen, this packaging clearly states that the cookies are artificially flavoured. No natural flavour to be found. Big shock.
6. Key Lime Pie
Photo courtesy of youtube.com
Seems kind of similar to the Limeade one, but the cookies are graham flavored. They really went all out with this one. I’m definitely interested in getting my hands on these. Alternative: make your own key lime pie cookies.
7. DQ Blizzard
Photo courtesy of sweets.seriouseats.com
If an Oreo flavored Blizzard wasn’t enough, they also made an Oreo Blizzard flavored Oreo. Inception! It seems pretty cool but I think it’s just a fancy way of saying cookies and creme, which totally already exists. Nice try, Nabisco.
8. Root Beer Float
Photo courtesy of foodbeast.com
Part of me wants to know what this tastes like and part of me thinks I can live my whole life never knowing. Oddly enough, this isn’t even the strangest drink inspired Oreo.
9. Rainbow Shure, Bert
Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com
Like sherbet. Get it? I highly doubt these taste like ice cream, which means they probably tastes like a combo of strawberry and lime. This is one of their more creative ones. It always impresses me when there are two different coloured cremes. It’s just more fun.
10. Berry Burst Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of fatguyfoodblog.blogspot.com
Again with the ice cream. Cookies cannot be ice cream. That’s that. At least this one has some natural flavoring in addition to the artificial stuff, but they’re kind of ambiguous as to what kind of berry flavor is actually inside the cookie.
Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com
No thanks. What does the green cream even taste like, watermelon rind? I’ve never seen a watermelon flavoured cookie and I think I know why. Some fruits are better in a savoury salad rather than in desserts.
12. Pumpkin Spice
Photo courtesy of sometimesfoodie.com
Could they BE any more basic? There has been pumpkin spice just about anything so I guess it was only a matter of time until they gave in.
Photo courtesy of the-holidaze.blogspot.com
So basically just orange and creme. Hats off to the person who’s job it is to turn really simple flavor ideas into crazy nostalgic Oreo flavours. Sadly, they are no longer on the shelves but they probably make an awesome summertime snack.
14. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Photo courtesy of brandeating.com
This is actually a great idea. The weird part is that a peanut butter Oreo already exists and this one’s filling is a mix of peanut butter and chocolate. The whole filling should be peanut butter and the cookie acts as the chocolate component. Duh.
15. Birthday Cake Golden Oreo Fudge Cremes
Photo courtesy of fatguyfoodblog.blogspot.com
I’m not even sure I know what this means. And why is this Oreo open faced? Nabisco is trying to trick us with a bunch of fancy words that basically mean you get a half a chocolate and vanilla Oreo. News flash, nobody wants half an Oreo. How are you supposed to twist, lick and dunk?
The least-remembered of General Mills “Monster Cereals,” which also includes Count Chocula, Fraken-Berry, Boo-Berry, and Fruit Brute (how’s that for a trivia question?), this frosted fruit-flavored cereal with vanilla-flavored marshmallows was around from 1987 to 1993, and made a triumphant return last Halloween along with the other Monster Cereals, with updated packaging, at Target.
The healthiest and unhealthiest breakfast foods
We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and there is a lot of truth to that. It’s the first meal of the day and the one that fuels us for the rest.
Eating breakfast gives us the energy and nutrition we need to function at the top of our game — and it’s important to start with a healthy one.
There are several unhealthy choices for breakfast that many of us are guilty of making each day. When you’re running out the door and eating on-the-go, it’s sometimes hard to eat a healthy meal. But quick meals can also be healthy and just as easy to prepare.
Try swapping out sugary cereals for ones that are high in fiber and low in sugar with a splash of low-fat milk. Trade out the heavy cream cheese spread for some nut butter instead and get a jump start on your daily dose of protein.
There are several more unhealthy breakfast food choices that you can easily substitute with healthier options. Take a look at some of our picks for best and worst breakfast foods and start your day off right with some healthy choices.
11 Things From The '90s Your Kids Won't Believe Existed
As nostalgia for days gone by seems to be reaching a fever pitch with long-awaited movie sequels and franchise reboots popping up with increasing frequency, it can feel like the '90s were just yesterday. But they weren't. I nearly had the wind knocked out of me when I realized Mean Girls was a decade old, so I can barely fathom explaining the slang and fashion of the 1990s to my child one day. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are several things from the '90s your kids won't believe existed.
It's already difficult enough trying to explain exactly how people functioned before Wi-Fi, Google, and smart phones. But when you try explaining the limited technology and entertainment you grew up with, kids think the '90s were a major bummer. After all, you grew up in the decade that brought you such memorable tragedies as dead Tamagotchis and entire fake families who met an untimely fate on the Oregon Trail.
In a way, it's interesting to think that your own parents probably went through the same experience. The same way you probably rolled your eyes at your parents regaling you with tales of rotary phones and soda pop that only cost a nickel, your kid might find it impossible to believe some of the things that existed in the '90s.
You never know exactly which flavors will appear as part of the daily-changing lineup at San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe, but they always make room for the signature Secret Breakfast. Made with bourbon and Corn Flakes, you’d better get there early if you want to try it it sells out quickly and on a daily basis.ALLEKO/iStock via Getty Images
The sweet-toothed scientists at New York City’s Il Laboratorio del Gelato have never met a flavor they didn’t like—or want to turn into an ice cream. How else would one explain the popularity of their Fig & Fresh Brown Turkey gelato, a popular selection among the hundreds flavors they have created thus far. (Beet and Cucumber are just two of their other fascinating flavors.)