Hershey’s MilkShake decidedly unmoving

The new Hershey’s Creamy Chocolate MilkShake proved less rewarding than the dollar I spent on it today. The “MilkShake” moniker turned out to be misleading. Contrary to the likely popular belief, the drink is not similar to the standard American milk shake. Instead, Hershey’s has used the term to mean that the milk-based product must be shaken before use.

It’s an interesting marketing ploy. Literally, you expect a liquiform dessert. Figuratively, you get a Yoo-hoo.

Cereal, milk update

My November post addressing soggy cereal received several good responses. The most thought-out idea came from engineer and friend Matt Brake. His suggestion? A split-level bowl. (Internet research produced information about several attempts at this invention in the past. Internet research also found soggy-cereal.com to be a Weblog and mostly unrelated to cereal.)

My mom also wrote in a response: “The way to have crunchy cereal would be to have 2 smaller servings rather than 1 big one. This would require you to keep your carton of milk and box of cereal on the table, so it would be a less refined approach to breakfast–but definitely more crunchy.” Of the responses I received, this solution was the simplest but required the most work. Implementing this technique would mean nearly constant bowl refilling. Could a butler do something like this?

Fighting soggy cereal

Lindsay and I were talking last weekend about the world’s soggy cereal problem. If you don’t know about this problem, you don’t eat enough cereal. Me, I’m a big cereal fan. I’ve been eating Cheerios since I had teeth. There have been sporadic and enjoyable forays into other cereals, but Cheerios has always struck around. As a food product, it’s just the right mix of good and good-for-you. It’s also equally functional as a meal or a snack.

Unfortunately, the sogginess problem has remained just as consistent. General Mills does not tout Cheerios as staying strong under milk, and I give them credit for their honesty. Mixed with Cheerios, milk is instantly on the attack. Within two minutes of pouring, the liquid has won the day. It’s a tragic situation. The cereal comes away as a limp Superman, weakened by a dissolved and delicious white Kryptonite.

“It’d be an improvement if the milk came from the top of the bowl,” Lindsay said. Then a breakfaster could have better access to the milk and thus better control over its distribution in the bowl. This idea was a good one, but how could it be brought to life? Anti-gravity milk research has always been low priority for federal funding, and with the war on terror continuing to draw dollars, change seems unlikely in the near future.

So what are cereal supporters to do? Our suggestion: turn to the spoon. Yes, turn to the sweet food cradle. The world’s spoon industry is a vast and largely stagnant industry. It is ripe for innovation. The time for the Milk-Dispensing Spoon has arrived.

Picture it with me now. Tubing — similar to beer-hat tubing — runs from the milk container to three-quarters of the way down the handle of the spoon. Milk flow could be controlled by an Iglooesque light-pressure tap mounted at the end of the handle.

With this system in place, you could add milk at the times you deemed best. You could also choose the location within the bowl to dispense the milk, enabling you to focus on areas known to have received milk recently. After a few uses, dispensing milk in your bowl would become natural. Pavlovian, even. Want milk? Press the tap. Repeat as necessary.

Such an eating experience would seemingly be fit only for Mount Olympus. But maybe some day in the future the Milk-Dispensing Spoon could appear at your table. How could you explain it to your household? Simply. “I am Zeus,” you could say, “and this is my spoon!”