I don't know if I could live off of cereal - but I'd make a damn good go of it.
What other meal takes less than a minute to prepare? You can get a good chunk of the vitamins and minerals you need every day. And you can find an incredible variety across this one genre of food. (Genre?)
With that in mind, I'll try something a little different here: cereal reviews, categorized by manufacturer. To keep this list somewhere north of bearable, I'll only include products from the big four companies - Kellogg's, General Mills, Post and Quaker. Bolded are my favorites.
-- All Bran: I want to say I had this once. Once.
-- Apple Jacks: Nothing tastes better than the milk after a bowl of Apple Jacks. Getting to that point, however, is less satisfying.
-- Cocoa Krispies: See above, but with a much better beginning.
-- Corn Flakes: Even with sugar, they're bland. But I guess that's what they're designed to be.
-- Corn Pops: I like this one a lot, but the pops are too airy. As a result, it's not very filling.
-- Crispix: My tastes trend towards sugary, not Crispix-y.
-- Crunch: I'll take my Raisin Bran without the extras, thanks.
-- Froot Loops: Come on - not liking Froot Loops is un-American.
-- Frosted Flakes: I'm hit or miss with this. But it's usually a solid choice.
-- Frosted Mini-Wheats: Underrated cereal. The fact that they're 'mini' helps a lot too; I never cared for the logs that popped out of the un-minis.
-- Honey Smacks: I can get into these, but burn out on them just as quickly.
-- Mini Swirlz: Never had 'em. If I want cinnamon buns for breakfast, I'll make them myself.
-- Raisin Bran: I am a complete and total brand snob when it comes to Raisin Bran. Another highly underrated cereal.
-- Rice Krispies: A good all-around choice, and a dash of sugar isn't necessary either. Makes a super dessert treat, too.
-- Scooby Doo Berry Bones: Must've been one of Shaggy's well-I-was-high-when-I-thought-of-it creations.
-- Smart Start: Call me a dumbass.
-- Special K: The cereal designed for hot women in bathing suits. Of which I am neither.
-- Apple Cinnamon Cheerios: A good choice. Good taste and, as Cheerios are, good for me too.
-- Basic 4: It's like the Fantastic Four, except they're not really fantastic.
-- Berry Berry Kix: Kix-ed to the curb.
-- Berry Burst Cheerios: The "O"-shaped Cheerios try to contain the overwhelming flavor, but alas, they simply cannot.
-- Berry Lucky Charms: You know, maybe General Mills isn't paying their marketing department enough. Come up with a new brand already!
-- Boo Berry: Clearly, they've made a major play for the berry-flavored cereals market.
-- Cheerios: Sure better than the Berry option. Makes for a perfect morning with a bowl of Cheerios and the right amount of sugar.
-- Chex (and its six sisters, like Chex Frosted and Chex Honey Nut): Back in the day, I remember buying Graham Chex. That brand didn't last long, and I didn't stick around with Chex long either.
-- Chocolate Lucky Charms: As if regular Lucky Charms weren't sugary enough.
-- Cinnamon Toast Crunch: I remember the cartoon chef getting on my nerves in CTC commercials when I was young. But I remember it all these years later, so it must be a victory for the marketing folks - even though I've bought less than five boxes in my lifetime.
-- Cocoa Puffs: Good choice, though also a little airy and unfilling. Advertising efforts at a standstill after Sonny finally got to taste them - where does the story go from here? Hmm.
-- Cookie Crisp (and its three sisters): A children's cereal predicated on robbery. Wonderful. Though in fairness, it looks like they've got a new mascot these days.
-- Count Chocula: Best in limited quantities. Marshmallows don't taste as good to me as Lucky Charms; still the best of the monster cereal gang.
-- Dora the Explorer: Uh, no.
-- Fiber One (and its two sisters): I'm regular enough, thanks.
-- Franken Berry: Because Berry Berry Kix, Berry Burst Cheerios, Berry Lucky Charms and Boo Berry just weren't enough.
-- Golden Grahams: Among my very favorite cereals, and has been for a long time.
-- Honey Nut Cheerios: This can get me by in a pinch, but not for more than a day or two.
-- Honey Nut Clusters: Ditto.
-- Kaboom: Imagine my excitement when I imagined a cereal based off the Atari game. Sadly, that's not the case.
-- Kix: Underrated choice, though one we don't get often.
-- Milk 'n Cereal Bars (three options): This is supposed to be a cereal?
-- Oatmeal Crisp (three options): Anything touting its grain probably won't make the cut for me.
-- Raisin Nut Bran: I'd probably like it, but I'm a brand snob, remember?
-- Reese's Puffs: Too early in the day to enjoy chocolate and peanut butter.
-- Total (and its four sisters): An OK choice if you're looking for a healthy breakfast. But who wants that?
-- Trix: Too sweet for me. I can't stand it anymore.
-- Wheaties: The best non-sweetened cereal on the planet. And it's not close.
-- Yogurt Burst Cheerios (two options): The "O"-shaped Cheerios try to contain the overwhelming yogurt, but alas, they simply cannot.
-- Honey Bunches of Oats (and its four sisters): I used to like a variation they had, but none of the current combinations sound very appealing to me.
-- Grape Nuts: Don't think about the name too long, or your head might explode.
-- Raisin Bran: Brand snob.
-- Shredded Wheat (and its two sisters): Actually not as bad as its bland name might imply.
-- Toasties: Corn Flakes rip off. If I don't eat the original, why would I eat a knock-off?
-- 100% Bran/Bran Flakes/Fruit & Bran: Take a guess.
-- Honeycomb (and its sister): Haven't had in years, but I recall it being slightly above average.
-- Golden Crisp: When I'm in the right mood, there are few better picks. I'm just not in that mood very often.
-- Oreo O's: Oreos are for dessert, not breakfast.
-- Waffle Crisp: Strange quirk about me - I like my waffles gooey on the inside, barely cooked. Unless Post is willing to go that far with Waffle Crisp, I'm not prepared to partake.
-- Cocoa/Fruity Pebbles: I like both, but neither are substantial enough to make a filling meal.
-- Cap'n Crunch: I like the taste a lot, but the fact that it never gets soggy bothers me. Sometimes, it feels like I'm swallowing loose screws.
-- Life (and its two sisters): With the addition of Honey Graham Life, I can offically call this my No. 1 favorite. I've loved Life, well, all of my life. Just like Mikey.
-- Quisp: Dear marketers, a crudely-drawn mascot and a name that makes me sound like I have a lisp are not a good combination.
-- Oatmeal Squares: Can't say I've ever had them. They get enough of my money with all the Life we buy.
So there you have it. Long live Life!