Favorite Cereals: My thanks to Pamela Low

I am a lover of sweetened cereal.

Ok- I’ve admitted my addiction. I don’t think there is a class or weekly meeting I can go to for that. Whenever there is a new cereal that comes out, I have to buy it just to see how it tastes. I don’t go for those with mashmellows as the gimmick, that is a cheap way out.

Give me those with new flavors or strange new mascots. Quisp and Freakies were some of my favorites. I also enjoyed Pink Panther Flakes till my mom quit buying them cause it turned my urine a red color. Anyone remember the cereals with Donkey Kong, GI Joe, Strawberry Shortcake, C3P0, ET, Batman, Boo Berry, Ghostbusters or even Cröonchy Stars featuring the Muppets Swedish Chef?

One of the most popular, even today, is Cap’n Crunch. And if you have ever had a bowl or eaten one lately then give a moment of silence to Pamela Low as she has taken her Final Taxi.

Pamela was the one who invented the taste for Cap’n Crunch after much research. The cereal is a sweetened corn and oat breakfast cereal manufactured by Quaker Oats Company. Cap’n Crunch was introduced in 1963 and today is the #1 pre-sweetened kids cereal in the U.S. The mascot of the cereal is a character named Cap’n Crunch, whose full name is Cap’n Horatio Magellan Crunch. The cereal pieces resemble yellow, slightly-flattened boxes, intended to look like treasure chests.

Low worked for the Arthur Little consulting firm in the Boston area when she was asked to help find a flavor for the corn-and-oat cereal. She had studied microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but drew upon a recipe that her own grandmother, Luella Low, used to serve at her home. It was rice with a butter-and-brown sugar sauce that she made. Low remembered that taste and applied it to her work on Cap’n Crunch.

As a flavorist, Low, also tinkered with flavors for snacks such as Peter Paul Almond Joy and Mounds. She also tried to improve the taste of at least one brand of beer.

When people talk bad about her invention, she defended the notion of pre-sweetened cereal. “Give the kids plain cereal and see how much sugar they put on it.”

So Pamela Low help get me started on my cereal kick but what cereal do you remember eating when you were growing up?

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One Response

  1. My brother Randy loved Quisp too, remember its counterpart Quake? I loved Quake! My mom never understood why we needed two different boxes/flavors. I think Quisp lasted longer than Quake, so I felt like I lost that cereal game. We both liked Capn Crunch. My own kids like it now. Where in the world did you learn his “full name”?

    A lover of words, I also liked Alphabits. I was always sure I could read an actual sentence if I just looked hard and long enough at my bowl.

    I am with you, the marshmallows and even the colors in some cereals never impressed me at all.

    Funny, these days I stay away from sugar for the most part!

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