I have to confess that in my adult life I’m not a big cereal person. It’s just not a food I keep around the house. But when the folks over at Attune Foods sent me boxes of their gluten-free Erewhon cereal, I was pretty excited.
Over the course of a few weeks, I looped in a couple of additional taste-testers (gluten-free, vegan, and omnivorous). With the cereal all eaten, I can now decidedly say: it’s tasty stuff. To borrow some lines from a classic philosopher: I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox. And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse.
The Erewhon line has been around for decades, and was doing the organic thing before anyone knew what that really meant – or why it mattered. For years the cereals were not gluten-free (largely because of that pesky barley malt), but as of November 2010 they became GFCO-certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group and are reportedly tested to <5ppm. They’re still in transition with some of the flavors, so be sure to check the box before you dig in to make sure you’re safe. Our hands-down favorite flavor was the Strawberry Crisp. The flakes are a blend of corn and rice, and they held milk (soy and dairy) nicely while retaining a good, satisfying crunch. There was a generous amount of strawberry in the mix, which kept the cereal interesting. After that, we couldn’t agree on a ranking. For some people, the mix of puffed and crispy rice in the Rice Twice was a standout. My roommate loved the Crispy Brown Rice cereal because it reminded her of Rice Krispies but tasted, in her words, “healthier”. I liked the Corn Flakes because they actually tasted like corn – and they didn’t get soggy, even if I forgot about my cereal for a few minutes while getting the coffee ready. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with chocolate for breakfast. The Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice cereal was gently sweet and chocolatey, and struck a nice balance: it scratched my itch for chocolate, without making me feel like I ate candy for breakfast. Most of the time, to be perfectly honest, I ate the cereal the same way I ate it as a child: as a mish-mosh, with raisins. A shake of flakes, a handful of crispy rice, a little of this or that, some berries if we had them in the fridge…at least this time I didn’t insist on building a protective fortress of cereal boxes around my spot at the table.
One last nice thing I can say about the cereal is that, although we had the boxes open for quite some time and didn’t go to any extra-ordinary means of keeping it fresh, it stayed good and crisp right up to the end. To be frank, I wasn’t expecting this: there aren’t any preservatives and it’s been hot and muggy in Pittsburgh. So, a pleasant surprise and a handful of bonus points to Erewhon.
Have you had their cereal? What did you think?