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Question #92740 posted on 11/04/2019 9:30 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board Friends,

Once I pour milk into my cinnamon-y cereal, is it a beverage, broth, or sauce? Defend your answer, I want opinions!

(No I did not see this question online and steal it, I don't know what you're talking about.)

-Goldie Rose


Dear Goldie,

My first thought when I read this question was that it is obviously a broth. It’s a liquid that picks up flavor because other food sits in it for a while during its preparation process.

And then I read Alta's response about broth being clear and meat-based, and I briefly lost my way. In a panic, I checked search result after search result, looking for something, anything that could bring back my stable sense of reality.1 For a while, I was almost hopeless. I thought that I might have to deal with the terrifying reality that cereal milk could be a sauce, or worse... a soup. Then, when I was about to give up forever, I found THIS:

Via Merriam-Webster: A broth is "liquid in which meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been cooked" (emphasis added).

And so I found my way again, back from the sad, dark world of cereal-milk sauces.

It's a broth.2



Confirmation bias for the win!

Yes, I’m aware that breakfast cereal in milk is not exactly what they meant by “cereal grains“ being “cooked.” I have to stand by it anyway because the thought of anyone consuming cereal milk as it is, without cooking it/adding things to it, just grosses me out. If you wanna use cereal milk as an ingredient, it’s weird, but go ahead. If you want to serve cereal milk as a SOUP, or spoon it over something as a SAUCE, I will still love you, but you’re off the hook to bring something for Thanksgiving dinner.


Dear Golden Girl, 

Your question makes me uncomfortable. 


But since it's my (voluntary) job to answer it: 

Milk with cereal in it is breakfast, plain and simple. If pressed, I might hesitantly and squirmingly respond 'breakfast soup'.

The leftover cinnamon toast milk is a beverage. I mean, it essentially tastes like horchata anyway. 





Dear Heart of Gold,

The answer to your question lies in the ratio of milk to cereal. 

If the concoction is more cereal than milk, it's a soup. It's not a broth, I'm with Alta that a broth needs to be like clear and meat based. It's a soup because, fundamentally, it's a liquid medium that carries and conveys other food chunks. I would compare it to, say, a clam chowder. And before you get up in arms, cold soups exist.

However, if the mixture is more milk than cereal, it's a beverage. I discussed this with Quixotic Mom and we decided that it was like hot chocolate, a smoothie, or a boba beverage. Just because there are bits in there, (marshmallows, fruit chunks, bobas) doesn't mean that it loses its right to be a beverage. That's still a drink, baby!

-Quixotic Kid


Dear Goldie,

It's just gross.

~Anathema has always hated the milk that's left after a bowl of cereal


Dear Goldie,

It's definitely a sauce, and all these people calling it a broth are freaking me out. In cooking broths are usually clear-ish, and the Wikipedia page on broths defines them as "a savory liquid made of water in which bones, meat, or vegetables have been simmered." SAVORY. USED TO SIMMER VEGETABLES AND MEAT. MADE OF WATER. So milk in cereal is definitely not a broth.

Sauces, on the other hand, can be any flavor you want, and can be made of just about anything. True, it's a lot of sauce, but there are a lot of meals that are eaten with a lot of sauce (curry comes to mind). Just having a lot of it doesn't turn it into a broth somehow.



Dear Goldie,

Unpleasant questions like these are precisely why I maintain my stance that milk and cereal should never be put together.


This is just disgusting.




Dear Goldie,

One definition of broth is: "liquid in which meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been COOKED." While broth and soup are both mixtures of food and liquid, I think that a broth needs to be cooked but soup doesn't have to be. So, if you're talking about dry cereal and milk combined, I'd call that a soup. 

If you're talking about what's left after you mix cereal and milk and eat all of the cereal, I'd call that a beverage.

But if I ever heard someone just casually refer to cereal as a "soup" or "beverage," I would be horrified. Would that be a dealbreaker? Absolutely. 



Dear Rosie,

As you can see there is no consensus between the writers. Some say broth, some say beverage. Most agree that the idea of said liquid as a broth is quite uncomfortable. Beverage doesn't quite work either. That's because both of those options are WRONG.

There is only one answer. And that my friends is that the liquid is a sandwich filling. Cinnamon toast crunch pieces are miniature pieces of bread, and the milk is the filling between them.


Maybe you're saying "after the cereal is all gone, what then?". The answer is that after the cereal is gone there are still microscopic pieces of cereal. Boom! Micro-sandwich!


The truth has been served.