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Ever eat 800 different kinds of cereal?

The Great American Cereal Book by Marty Gitlin

This is the cover of The Great American Cereal Book by Marty Gitlin

Marty Gitlin of North Olmsted hasn’t actually tried the 800+ cereal brands in his newly published – The Great American Cereal Book – but he has eaten his fair share of them.

Whether it’s Alpha Bits, Fruit Loops or Cocoa Crispies; Gitlin enjoys eating, collecting and researching each one.

Gitlin, 55, grew up in South Euclid in the sixties where he developed a passion for trying at least one bowl of every cereal that came out on the market.

At age eight, a new cereal called Banana Wackies came out. Gitlin says it was like Lucky Charms – only banana-flavored. “I knew I was going to hate it,” he said. “I didn’t like banana-flavored anything as a kid. I was in a quandary but I made my mom get it anyway.”

From that point forward, Gitlin tried almost every brand that hit the market through his teenage years.

Gitlin stocks about 40 boxes of cereal in his house at all times. He arranges them by his favorites with his “first team” on the top shelf. “I’ll only move one up to the first team if I like it a lot,” he said.

Gitlin typically eats about 10 or more bowls of cereal a week – one every day for breakfast and sometimes one in the evening.

The Great American Cereal Book shares a lot of information and trivia about the 800+ cereal brands that have hit American shelves over the years.

Gitlin said he wanted to make his book a fun read. “I wanted it to be colorful and alive and funny.” It looks like an actual cereal box with “nutrition information” on the spine. It covers 800 cereal brands with 350 photos of box covers, memorabilia and ads. Some of the brands date back more than 100 years.

Each brand includes information as to when the cereal was “first poured” and a “milked until” date along with any slogans that were used to market the product.

Gitlin started gathering information for the book in 2002 – researching such cereal giants as General Mills, Post and Kellogg. He found facts that even diehard cereal lovers wouldn’t know. For example, one out of every 11 cereal products purchased in America is a Cheerios product or derivative.

The book has turned out to be extremely successful. It has been featured in the Readers Digest, Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Oprah.com.

The Great American Cereal Book has ranked No. 1 on Amazon’s Americana category and rose into the 400s on their overall book sales list.

So next time you’re sitting down at the breakfast table to enjoy your favorite cereal – have a copy of The Great American Cereal Book by your side to pass the time away.

So what's your favorite cereal and why? Please click the comment link to the right of this article's title.