When two brothers from Belfast were setting up a café in Brick Lane late last year, little did they expect it to go viral. Having opened in December, it seemed that no one could believe the siblings’ café would focus on only serving cereal. Stocking boxes of cornflakes from near and far, this was definitely not going to be your usual East End artisan coffee house. With the tongue-in-cheek ‘Cereal Killer’ as their moniker and a whole host of ‘premium’ milks to pair with their array of colourful boxes, news of the café spread like wildfire. Critics unsurprisingly dismissed the café as a novelty in which the morning staple became over-priced and characteristic of gentrification. In spite of this, the café has placed itself firmly in Shoreditch’s landscape as a worthwhile attraction.
Capturing the attention of a generation obsessed with Buzzfeed and all its nostalgic quizzes, the café’s success has spawned a copycat venture in Melbourne as well as the recent opening of Porridge Café. Located down the road from Cereal Killer, who could have thought that the biggest threat to the area would be a territorial barmy over breakfast foods? One must also wonder, what next? A café stocking every flavour of Nutri Grain bars? Or one dedicated to crackers of all shapes, sizes and toppings?
Perhaps Cereal Killer should be seen alongside the numerous food fads which continuously emerge and disappear. From everyone’s sudden obsession with burgers, to gourmet fried chicken and the unavoidable allure of cupcakes, gastronomical trends are forever provided as a source of mouth-watering indulgence. The sensation that was ‘the Cronut’ perfectly sums up our inability to resist these silly little snacks merely because they’ve been marketed as innovative and unlike anything else you’ve ever tasted.
Just as no one wants to be seen wearing last season’s pair of ‘It’ shoes, being up to date with the latest fashionable foods is guaranteed to ensure you follow the crowd. You’ll soon find yourself tweeting about smoothie recipes or putting pictures of your many different kale and quinoa combinations on Instagram. Of course, people have been praising the benefits of these types of foods for decades, but it’s only in recent years that a fear-of-missing-out (commonly experienced by anyone with a social media presence) has inflicted itself upon cuisine.
As if in response to all this fuss over food, a café dedicated to crisp sandwiches opened its doors earlier this year. Developed from a joke on a satirical website, Simply Crispy can be found serving the Belfast residents their beloved snack. You can even get Monster Munch croutons – the side dish that has been lacking from every meal you’ve eaten since birth.
Whether or not you religiously follow these fads, there’s no harm in trying something unusual once in a while – especially when they’re so ridiculous, you’d have to try it to believe it.
Written by Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell
Image via theguardian.com