This post is either a sign of the awesomeness to come, or the one that everyone will point to when they say “Yeah, I don’t know what the hell he was doing. He lost me with his second blog post!”
Chex brand cereals are one of the cornerstones of Cereal. Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Chex. There’s even weird sweet varieties like Vanilla Chex and Cinnamon Chex, which is to say nothing of the myriad corpses of discontinued varieties that litter the breakfast tables of yesteryear: Oat Chex, Wheat & Raisin Chex, Morning Chex, Honey Graham Chex, Strawberry Chex, Double Chex… and that barely scratches the surface. I could sing you the Double Chex theme song right now. I I love love Double Double Chex Chex better better than than the the rest rest. Wait a minute, this is the internet. You don’t have to take my word for it:
I love me some Chex, particularly the originals: Wheat, Corn and Rice. And one must give credit to the cultural institution that is Chex Mix. I’m not talking about the packaged stuff you buy at the grocery store today, but the veritable cultural phenomenon that was make-it-yourself Chex Mix back in the 1970’s.
Indeed it started with recipes on the back of boxes as early as 1952, but for me it will always conjure up images of home entertaining in the 70’s, complete with strange home furnishings like macrame plant holders and a bizarre obsession with that color that I can only refer to as “seventies orange.” And there’s a darker undercurrent there, with suggestions of things like tuna casseroles, key parties and jello molds.
There’s something oddly sinister about this Chex Party Mix advertisement from a 1976 issue of Reader’s Digest. Don’t tell me I’m wrong.
The Chex cereal brand is currently owned by General Mills, although it was first manufactured by Ralston Purina. And if you’re not caught up on your Ralston Purina history, do yourself a favor and click this link. Good times.
Anyway, in 1983 Kellogg’s decided to challenge General Mills’ $125 million hold on crunchy grain-based lattice tasties, and introduced Crispix. Crispy Times Two indeed. In a single hexagon shaped bit, each piece of Crispix… wait. A singular piece of Crispix is called a “Crispet”. I’m calling it now. So each Crispet is corn on one side and rice on the other. It’s somehow magically fused two separate grains into a single form, yet each grain retains its own identity. Fucking Magical I tell you.
I also remember that early ads suggested that Crispix was somehow more capable of staying crunchy in milk than other cereals. And somehow, this too is true. I posit that the hexagon shape of each Crispet is no mistake, and that there is some dark ritual magic involved. What’s that? You’re not up to speed on your ritual magic? Look it up. I’m telling you, there’s some mystical shit going on with Crispix.
Behold! A single Crispet, its hexagonal shape calling forth a union between complementary forces, in this case Corn and Rice, as opposed to say, masculine and feminine cosmic energies.
Is Crispix superior to all other Chex-type cereals? Probably.
I do love some Chex cereals, but I can never quite seem to bring myself to pick some up in lieu of that big blue box. Kellogs’ Crispix wins every time.