I wish I could say that living in the United States is awesome, but we're third-world when it comes to our cereal. Where the hell are my Raisin Squares?
To the uninitiated this might look like a dull, health-food cereal, but you're so wrong. Shredded wheat, raisin and milk is a comfort food combination like none other. These simple ingredients combine into an alpha food that's greater than the sum of it's parts.
And now they're gone; and not only are they gone, but they've been replaced by powder.
And I don't even want to think about Strawberry Squares. Did you know those things had genuine Smucker's jam in them?
It's not all bad, though. Kellogg's recently released a new product: Mini-Wheats, with a touch of fruit in the middle!
The fruit doesn't taste as good as my nostalgic memories of discontinued cereal brands, and it certainly doesn't taste like blueberries and strawberries (and, for some reason, they're frosted, which doesn't help at all).
But they aren't bad, and the texture is very close to Raisin Squares, although it's a little bit soggier.
According to my sources, they (Kellogg's) do still make Raisin Squares, just not in the United States. Canadians, for instance, supposedly eat Raisin Squares whenever they feel like it. There's a Kellogg's plant up there that cranks the stuff out.
Now here's the strange bit: Raisin Squares are still made in the United States. There's a plant in Lancaster, PA that still produces the cereal, but only when the Canadian plant is down for cleaning or whatever other reasons. The tragedy is that all of those boxes of Raisin Squares get shipped right out of the country so they can be enjoyed by Canadian digestive tracks while Americans are stuck with those terrible powders (which are actually very popular).
I've also heard that Raisin Squares (and the other fruit-filled Mini-Wheats like Strawberry Squares) were discontinued partly for their lack of popularity, but also because they were the toughest cereal to clean up when a line was run through the plant. Powders are easier to deal with than Smucker's jam.
As I write this, I'm choking on a tiny piece of Raisin Bran Crunch. It's like cereal-flavored glass and, so far, no amount of milk has softened the little bastard. Raisin Squares never treated me like this. Raisin Squares respected me.