Cruesli au Chocolat

The best breakfast cereal in the world is Chocolate Cruesli.

The slogan in French is “le plaisir croustillant”, which is roughly “crunchy pleasure” or maybe “pleasure that crunches”. It’s nothing like Cocoa Krispies or those other fake chocolate cereals – it has real pieces of chocolate in it. Just holding the box, you can tell by its weight that this is no ordinary cereal.

And – one of life’s great injustices – you can’t get it in North America.

I’ve checked everywhere: dozens of U.S. grocery stores, numerous Google sessions (could only find a Dutch store that will ship it for an arm and a leg), international food markets, Trader Joe’s (see below for a decent alternative) — I even made my family wait while I ran down the aisles of a Canadian grocery store during a brief visit to Toronto.

I don’t get it. It’s made by Quaker, which is an American company (owned by PepsiCo). There’s got to be a market for it. My family’s Cruesli consumption alone could keep a grocery store or two in the black. I even write Quaker an impassioned annual letter. No reply.

So, I have to resort to stockpiling. And begging friends and family to send or bring some from Europe. Two of my brothers were missionaries in France and I would send them $20 to ship me some on occasion. One of the young men from my old ward was a missionary in Paris and sent me a couple of boxes. I got some in Barcelona. And in Amsterdam and Paris on business trips, much to the confusion of my co-workers.

Here are a few photos of my relationship with Cruesli au chocolat over the years:

1993 - It's too small to see, but many of the boxes on the top shelf are Cruesli
1993 – It’s too small to see, but many of the boxes on the top shelf are Cruesli

 

1994 - Elder Tobler shows off his cereal collection
1994 – Elder Tobler shows off his cereal collection

 

2005 - Cruesli collection in our crummy but memorable room in Barcelona
2005 – Cruesli collection in our crummy but memorable room in Barcelona

 

2008 - My suitcase in a Paris hotel
2008 – My suitcase in a Paris hotel

 

2011 - 4 very expensive boxes (after factoring in train fare) gathered during a 4-hour layover in Paris. Every grocery store in the area was closed except this one, so I was stuck with generic. Still delicious.
2011 – 4 very expensive boxes (after factoring in train fare) gathered during a 4-hour layover in Paris. Every grocery store in the area was closed except this one, so I was stuck with generic. Still delicious.

 

2015 - Speed Tour of Paris with a stop at Carrefour for 5 boxes.
2015 – Speed Tour of Paris with a stop at Carrefour for 5 boxes.

Alternatives

Just the Clusters1. You can try mixing 50% Trader Joe’s Just the Clusters chocolate almond cereal and 50% Quaker Simply Granola cereal. It’s not the same, but can help with withdrawal symptoms.

2. A friend in Germany sent me some “Vitalis Knusper” cereal, Dr. Oetker brand. It tastes great! And it’s easier to find online. The “Double Chocolate” version is available at Germandeli.com. The regular version (not double chocolate) isn’t an exact match for taste, but it’s good in a pinch.

Warning: do not get the Vitalis cereal called simply “Schoko Musli”. It tastes like dirt. I spent $40 on a few boxes before realizing my horrible mistake. Fortunately, it’s pretty good added to no-bake cookies, so it wasn’t a total loss.

 

Speed Tour of Paris

On the way back from India last week, I had a 7.5-hour layover at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. I arrived at 6am and then rushed through passport control to the train station (which is conveniently attached to the airport). I took a train to Gare du Nord and walked to Sacré Coeur to take a quick tour and snap some pictures. I had planned to make this my only stop, wandering around Montmartre a bit until I found a grocery store where I could get a stash of Cruesli au Chocolat cereal. But before long it turned into a challenge to see how many sights I could see before I needed to head back to the airport. I didn’t want to spend more money on a subway pass, so this was all on foot and took about three hours. I mapped it out on mappedometer.com and it looks like it was about 5 1/2 miles.

 

I was already kind of cutting it close to get back to the airport by the time I heard this band performing in the Chatelet train station, but I had to stop and get a quick video. I tracked down the band name later, which is Les Musiciens de Lviv, a Ukrainian band that has been playing Paris metro stations for years.

Happy Easter!

In the Orsay Museum in Paris, there’s a smallish painting by Eugène Burnand that really stands out for me. It’s Les Disciples Pierre et Jean courant au sépulcre le matin de la Résurrection (The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Tomb On The Morning of the Resurrection).

Pierre et Jean courant

I love the look of hope, and maybe a tiny bit of worry, on the faces of the apostles.

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. – John 20:4