Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cap'N Crunch vs. King Vitaman!


This is it -- a titanic battle of two classic breakfast cereals. In one corner is the Morning Marauder, the Commander of Catastrophe, the man with a mustache that just won't quit...


And in the opposite corner, standing regal like a lord of old, we have the Emperor of Eats, the Tyrant of Taste, the man with a cape that makes Ric Flair jealous...


When it comes to tasty breakfast cereals, two of my all-time favorites have to be Cap'N Crunch and King Vitaman. Both are highly similar in taste and method of production. Once and for all, I'm going to pick a favorite.

So, beyond the taste, what does Cap'N Crunch have going for it?

  • Introduced in 1963 by the Quaker Oats Company.
  • Developed by Pamela Low and based upon an old recipe of her grandmother's, which involved a butter and brown sugar concoction poured over rice. Low was a flavorist with the Arthur D. Little consulting firm and also worked on other famous treats like the Almond Joy and Heath candy bars.
  • Made from a corn and oats recipe that's cut into small squares and baked.
  • Cap'N Crunch's full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch, so he gets points for having a really cool name.
  • Has been produced in over a dozen varieties, including Galactic Crunch (space-themed marshmallows), Halloween Crunch (green ghost Crunch Berries) and the ever popular Crunch Berries (multi-colored fruity orbs of joy).
  • The hat that Cap'N Crunch wears is borrowed from Napoleon Bonaparte, which makes him a total boss.
King Vitaman is no slouch, though. Let's check the stats.
  • Introduced in 1970 by the Quaker Oats Company. I guess that makes the Cap'N and the King cousins!
  • High in iron and other essential vitamins, like Vitamin A and B12.
  • The recipe uses roughly half of the sugar found in other typical breakfast cereals. That's always a plus.
  • In the 1970's, the television commercials advertising King Vitaman were crafted by Jay Ward Productions, whom also produced the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon.
  • During periods when Quaker wanted a real-life person to portray King Vitaman on the cereal box, they employed classic vaudevillian actor George Mann. Mann was more famously known as half of the classic acrobatic comedy act Barto and Mann. Vaudevillian actors don't get enough respect.
  • The cereal pieces are shaped like tiny, golden crowns. Every time you take a bite, you're literally eating like a king.
  • Also made from corn and oats -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
When it comes down to choosing between the Cap'N and the King, the flavor really doesn't enter into the equation for me. Both are fairly similar and highly tasty, with Cap'N Crunch being more corn-ish and King Vitaman having a bolder natural sweetness. For me, the deciding factor between the two has to be their texture and consistency. In my experience, Cap'N Crunch tends to stay crispier for longer. Yet, once it becomes saturated, it falls apart. Alternatively, King Vitaman will become softer quicker, but doesn't implode like Cap'N Crunch does. Cap'N Crunch also has a tendency to sometimes make the inside of my mouth sore because it's so hard. I've never had that issue with King Vitaman. In my fair assumption, that makes King Vitaman the winner!

All hail the King of the Morning!


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