Some things that I read in magazines inexplicably stick with me forever.  I once read that morning breakfast cereal shouldn’t have more than 7 grams of sugar per serving.  “That seems doable,” I remember thinking at the time.  “What a reasonable approach- not a crazy diet, just a general guideline.  I’ll do it!”

Have you ever looked at the nutrition facts in the cereal aisle?  This is harder than you might think.  Seemingly innocent cereals (bran chex, you taunt me so!) actually exceed this 7 grams guideline.  So since I decided to adhere to this random guideline from Shape magazine, I’ve eaten pretty much the same thing for breakfast every morning:  bowl of shredded wheat (no sugar!) drizzled with a tiny bit of honey (less than 7 grams sugar!) and milk.

Two days ago, I busted out a small jar of honey that I purchased in Hawaii a while back.  I drizzled some over my shredded wheat and took a bite.  “Ugh,” thought I.  “This honey is strangely bitter and smoky tasting.”  But I got used to it, finished the bowl, went about my day.

Yesterday, same thing:  strangely bitter and smoky tasting, but I can survive.  I brought this honey all the way home from Hawaii, dammit.  I’m going to eat it, and I’m going to like it.

This morning, I went back to regular old grocery store honey, hoping that would solve the problem.  Worse than ever:  bitter, smoky tasting, and just unpleasant.  “Man,” I think to myself.  “Is there something different about this brand of shredded wheat that I just don’t like?”

I looked contemplatively at the bowl.

“That’s odd,” I said.  “Why does it look all curdled in there?  Can honey cause milk to curdle?”

No, honey does not cause milk to curdle.  Keeping milk 4 days past its expiration date causes milk to curdle.  Which means that for the past THREE DAYS I have consumed a bowl of cereal bathed in CURDLED MILK.  As in, gone off.  Funny-smelling.  Spoiled.  I was apparently just too unawake to notice.

So for anyone who was wondering: if your cereal suddenly tastes like campfire, you should probably open a new carton of milk.  You can thank me later.

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