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:
1. 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.