There are some foods so synonymous with childhood, so nostalgic in nature, they bring you back at the mere mention of them. For me, no single food sends my memory ablaze quite like Rice Krispies Treats Cereal.
To be clear, I'm not talking about Rice Krispies. But rather Rice Krispies Treats Cereal, which is essentially tiny chunks of Rice Krispies treats -- you know, that marshmallowy dessert you find at every school bake sale.
It's not that I had it so often in my house. In fact, I'm quite sure what sparked the infatuation has much to do with the fact that eating it was such a rarity. Thinking back to the delightfully crunchy and sweet clusters brings me back to those glorious, sitting-in-the-shopping-cart days of the mid-'90s.
Beyond considering it a special occasion to get my hands on a box way back then, what makes Rice Krispies Treats Cereal even more special is that finding it today is nearly impossible. I might yearn for foods from my childhood that have been discontinued, but the fact that this product is supposedly still around only adds to the intrigue.
According to the Rice Krispies website, there are still boxes in circulation, but a search to find a store near me in New York (or near Arizona, which I also randomly tried) deemed unsuccessful. You can order a four-pack on Amazon for $30, but that seems a little sketchy. I mean, where is it even coming from?
Neither of those options compare to the feeling of rolling into the cereal aisle, seeing that purple box and begging whoever was pushing the cart to buy it. In the event they actually said yes (victory!) the especially hard part was waiting until the groceries were unloaded at home to have some. If I were really lucky, I'd be allowed to have some in the car.
Sure, the clusters constantly scratched the roof of my mouth, but I didn't care. Eating the stuff made me feel like I was pulling a fast one on my parents. Because anytime you're allowed to eat what should really be classified as dessert for breakfast, that's a win.
I've done my best to forget about it. I've made my fair share of plain old Rice Krispies Treats, and have even dabbled in Rice Krispies cereal (SNOOZE). But that purple box will always have my heart, and my self-control.