Saturday, September 23, 2006


I learned a while ago that many foods are acceptable when purchased in "off-brand" form. There's plenty of off-brand chips available, as well as juice, condiments, and even home cleaning products. They pretty much offer the same thing you would find in a regular brand, but without the fancy packaging and TV-friendly ad campaigns. But some foods are simply not acceptable in off-brand form. Martha Gooch macaroni, for example, traumatized me when I was a kid, and even now I can still taste that rubbery, not-quite-cheesy stuff that formed hard crusty edges on the side of my plate. It was nasty, but cheap, so we had it a lot while I was growing up.

Well, the other day at Cub Foods I found a box of cereal that doesn't really fit into either category. It's neither gross nor good, and even the name defies comprehension. It's a knock-off of Crispix called "Crispy Hexagons". At first I couldn't believe my eyes, seeing a product whose name was nothing more than the basest possible description of itself. But there it was, a box clad in blue and white with pictures of (what else?) crispy hexagonal cereal pieces, enlarged to show texture. My friend Sarah had told me of this very phenomenon many months ago, but to actually see a box in person was something of a singular experience. And being a fan of Crispix, I snapped it up and eagerly awaited the next morning when I would get to enjoy a bowl of crispy hexagonal goodness.

And the result? A food that is neither especially tasty nor exceptionally foul. It 's the orphaned stepchild of off-branding. A tumor carved from the body of all that is off-brand, and set aside as an anomaly to ponder. I think I'm going to keep buying it, though, possibly because I get a kick out of eating a geometry lesson in the morning, but possibly because I just feel sorry for the poor box. :)


Sarah said...

Dude, what are you talking about!? Crispy hexagons RULE! I buy them all the time. You can't find a better deal than a sweet (!) Cub-brand cereal, and what an enchanting name. I have to admit, I've never had "real" Crispix, and only bought crispy hexagons for the name. But I fell in love and have bought them ever since. They rock!

p.s. I can't believe I told you about crispy hexagons. Why in the world did that come up? lol. Just make sure you NEVER buy Cub-brand Special K (not that you would). It's called "Essentially You" and is disgusting. Definitely a terrible generic. No funny name can redeem that one.

Sarah said...

p.p.s. They are always sold out when I try to buy them, too. So don't feel too bad for the poor box.