Like many of the Retro Junk community, I was a child of the 80's. While He-Man, GI Joe, Transformers, comics and sports occupied most of my time, mornings were always dedicated to breakfast. Weekly grocery trips were deemed successful if I was able to bring home a box of cereal with an elusive prize or set of cards inside. With two younger sisters, my kitchen always had more than one cereal option available. Cap'n Crunch, TMNT/Spider-Man Cereal, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Ice Cream Jones, Trix, Fruit Loops, and Fruity Yummy Mummy the list could go on and on. However, I want to focus on one cereal in particular and a recent trip that was made to a discount grocer. That cereal? The almighty Cookie Crisp.
First though, we need to discuss the long history of Cookie Crisp. Introduced in the late 1970's by Ralston, the original Cookie Crisp box featured a wizard known as Jarvis. From 1977 to the early 80's, Jarvis tried to make breakfast magical by peddling three varieties of Cookie Crisp the traditional Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Wafer and Oatmeal Cookie Crisp.
Beginning in 1981, the mascot again switched, this time introducing the Cookie Crook and Officer Crumb, the Cookie Cop. For much of my childhood, it was the misadventures of the Cookie Crook that filled my Saturday cartoon commercial blocks. It wouldn't be until the early 1990's that Cookie Crooks dog, Chip, would be introduced.
The late 1990's would lead to many changes for Cookie Crisp though, as in 1997 Ralston sold their cereal line and character trademarks to General Mills. This would include Cookie Crisp and Chex, their two major cereals. After obtaining the Cookie Crisp license, General Mills made Chip the primary mascot of the cereal. In 2005, Chip was redesigned again, bearing no resemblance to the original Chip. Even bigger though, was the recipe for the cereal changed, altering the flavor of the cereal and preventing me from enjoying the sweet taste of Cookie Crisp ever again, or so I thought.
In an effort to save money, my wife and I often frequent a discount grocery store for many of our frozen and boxed grocery needs. Like many discount stores, this chain purchases large grocery lots and discounts the price to move large quantities of merchandise. As a cereal connoisseur, I will often try out different cereals from various companies. On one such trip, this box caught my attention.
As you can see in the image, the presence of Hebrew drew my eye immediately. Living in the Northeast US, it's not often that you see Hebrew written on anything, especially a cereal box. The other thing that caught my eye was the manufacturer a giant Red "R" logo and text indicating Ralcorp Holdings.
Within seconds, it donned on me that I might've just found the Holy Grail. After valiantly protecting the box from all potential takers, we proceeded through the checkout and I carefully prepared the item for it's long transport home. The trip home seemed to take longer than normal and the ritual of putting away the groceries seemed even longer. Once everything had been sorted and stored it was time to open this treasure from the Holy Land.
(The other Monday cereals available)
As the cardboard was ripped away and the plastic bag was parted from side to side, the smell of the cereal began to fill my nostrils. Pouring the cereal into a bowl, I could tell that the texture looked the same as well. As the first scoop hit my taste buds, my mind wandered to early times, days when Spider-Man and X-Men cards adorned Cookie Crisp boxes. This was it the same cereal that I had grown up with. This wasn't the newer, General Mills blend, THIS was the Ralston Companies recipe. Needless to say, I was elated to have found a product I believed to be long gone.
Much as this site reminds us of days gone by, the smell and taste of food from our childhood can instantly take us back to our past. The memories triggered may remind us of Saturday morning cartoons, digging for a special prize or arguing with a sibling over pouring the last bowl. Perhaps, even a small story about such an adventure can trigger memories from others. I hope everyone enjoyed this tale and remembers that if you ever see Monday Cookies for sale, don't hesitate to purchase it. Unless, of course, it's the last box, as that should be reserved for me.