It doesn't really matter what bowl of cereal you're enjoying -- whether it's from a box of cornflakes, Cap'n Crunch, Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, or any number of other delicious cereals -- there's just something about drinking it with cold milk that really makes the meal. But why do we add milk to our cereal bowls, and what makes cereal milk so good? Turns out, there might be a science to the whole situation.
Why Do We Put Milk on Cereal?
Most people have experienced the joy of the flavored milk leftover after you've finished a bowl of Lucky Charms or something else with a yummy ingredient like peanut butter, or marshmallows, or brown sugar, or any other number of tasty flavors.
Anti-Soggy Cereal Bowl
The truth is, one reason that particular milk tastes so good is because there is a lot of stuff in cereal in the first place that tastes good, and the flavors make their way into the infused milk after you've finished your favorite cereals.
But there's also a possible scientific reason we use milk with our cereal: it just seems to work better than other liquids such as water.
"One scientific study published in the Journal of Food Science in 2011 even found that the fat in milk attached itself to the surface of cereal, helping to ward off moisture and keep cereal crunchier for longer than if it were immersed in water," Mental Floss reports.
Discover Magazine concurs. "Turns out that milk, due to its fat content, coats the cereal and keeps it from getting soggy as quickly as it does in pure water."
In other words, milk seems to do a better job of keeping the crunchy morsels in your breakfast bowl "fresh," giving it lots of time to leech flavoring from whatever puffs or krispies you poured.
Sure, it's not soft-serve ice cream (although there are ways to make recipes like a copycat Momofuku Milk Bar Cereal Milk Ice Cream recipe with a few simple ingredients, baking sheets, a fine-mesh sieve, a strainer, and a few other items). But cereal milk is, in some ways, an even better treat because it's so accessible!
Come on...you know you wanna snag a box of Reese's Puffs off of Amazon and get some great cereal milk going, don't you?