Like many of you out there, you grew up eating a bowl of cereal in the morning as part of your daily schedule, and I am willing to bet you circulated some Kellogg's cereal into the mix. My favorite cereal as a kid was Frosted Flakes - pure sugar goodness. I mean Tony the Tiger said they were GRRRREAT right?
Now as an adult, my taste palette has become more complex and while I still love the taste of Frosted Flakes, eating pure sugar for breakfast doesn't work for me anymore. I love the combo of sweet and savory now and haven't really found that in a cereal, until I paid Kellogg's NYC a visit in Times Square.
I follow master pastry chef Christina Tosi and am obsessed with everything that this woman creates. I've purchased all her books and have tried to bake many of the delicious cookies, cakes, crunches etc that she has shared with the public with her book. It's all delicious. Like me, she has a sweet tooth and has an appreciation for both fancy pastries to good old home baked goods. She has no shame to combine both and I love it. When she posted she was collaborating with Kellogg's NYC, the following thoughts went through my head:
- What? Kellogg's has a CEREAL BAR!? What does this mean?
- Christina Tosi is involved?! What is she going to do?!
- When am I going to visit this place?!
Since I was in NYC for my friend's book launch (shameless plug here to push my friend's fabulous book, "Playing Dead" by Elizabeth Greenwood) I decided to make time to go to Times Square to visit this place to answer all my questions.
1. What? Kellogg's has a Cereal Bar?! What does this mean?
Easy enough to find on their website:
In 2015, Kellogg’s and Journee joined forces with a mission to reimagine a bowl of cereal. Unlike past short-term installations, this new partnership was formed around a commitment to creating a more enduring experience. As Kellogg’s turns 110 years old in 2016, we thought there would be no better way to celebrate than by doing something that the brand had never done before. And so, together, we built Kellogg’s NYC.
2. Christina Tosi is involved?! What is she going to do?!
Once again, easy to find, on their website:
Our first step was finding a location that was accessible to the world and also an appropriate home for the Kellogg’s brand. Times Square, with its infinite energy and iconic status, fit the bill to a T. Next, we needed to tap into the imagination of a chef who could think outside the box. Christina Tosi has been bringing an authentic, fresh, and wholesome perspective to using everyday items and could certainly make a great bowl of cereal even better. Finally, we set out to create an experience that would be just as familiar as enjoying a bowl of cereal in your own home, but with added elements that would surprise and delight just as much as discovering that hidden toy buried within.
3. When am I going to visit this place?
Not as easy bc it was so hot and humid in NYC all I wanted to do was stay inside my friend's beautiful air conditioned apartment in Hell's Kitchen. But, I was determined so I hopped on the subway and made my way out Kellogg's NYC for some cereal in the middle of the afternoon.
The minute I walk through the doors, I am greeted with a cold blast from the AC. Thank goodness bc I was just a ball of sweat and was miserable. I initially had my heart set on getting a sundae, but after scanning the menu, I was drawn to a cereal concoction that had an interesting combination: special k, frosted flakes, lemon zest & thyme. What? Thyme in my cereal? Isn't that meant for meat? No? Christina Tosi came up with it? Ok fine I'll try it. But I'm going to get it with almond milk because my stomach can't deal with whole milk in this heat.
I place my order and am given a little buzzer. Now, see those red cabinets in the back, that is where you pick up your cereal. Pretty cool right? When your cereal is ready, the buzzer will notify you which door to open. I feel like I'm on a game show, but instead of having a high probability of being disappointed from picking the wrong door and getting a cheap duffle bag of nothing, I knew I'd be a winner and get a bowl of crunchy goodness.
Buzz. Door 6 is where my treasure awaits. I go pick it up and sit at a table flanked by some kids playing Pokemon Go and a cute father and daughter from London deciding what to eat. I get a little jealous because she decides to go for the peppermint sundae, but I'm committed to being open minded about my cereal choice.
I open the bowl and take a whiff of my mini-meal. It smells clean and refreshing. The lemon zest and thyme combo take over and I'm drooling. I pour in my almond milk (which was great quality by the way) and take my first bite.
WOW! It is a total dream. The Special K (a healthier cereal) was a good balance with the Frosted Flakes (which provided the sweetness to the cereal mix). Pistachios were the right nut to use for this bc it's not too crunch to take away from the cereal and provided a nice muted flavor to go along with the other ingredients. Lemon zest - I mean, it is the best. Who knew to add it to cereal? Christina Tosi & Kellogg's did. That's who. And finally the thyme...AMAZING! Adding this savory herb was the perfect touch.
Now that I'm back in San Francisco, I was still craving this cereal combo. So what was a girl to do? Make it at home! Kellogg's - you got me hooked on you again!
Here is what I did to re-create my experience back at home for you to try out. Remember, you HAVE to buy the Kellogg's brands if you want the full experience. I've made this like 3 times since I've come home and I love it!!
Kellog's Pistachio & Lemon
1 1/2 cups of Kellogg's Special K®
1 /2 cup of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes ®
1/2 tbsp of lemon zest
1/4 cup of pistachios
A pinch of thyme
Milk of your choice - mine is Almond Milk
1. Combine all the ingredients into a bowl
2. Pour milk
Kellogg's NYC next time I'm in town, I'll be sure to visit you again and try out the Peppermint Paddy Sundae. Thank you for making me fall in love with cereal again <3