This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
In the world of argument, we have numerous existential questions that saints and Sufis strived their lives to answer. 'Who am I?', 'Did I exist before my existence?', or 'what is the meaning of life?'. Are we going to answer these questions today? Of course, NOT.
Today we are going to ask the important question:
Is cereal a soup?
The short answer is cereal is a cereal and soup is a soup. According the dictionary cereal is a breakfast food usually made with grains and milk while soup that is made with liquid, meat, fish, and broth.
We are going to explore this question further, and since this is not a conjecture, we may reach an answer. So readers, set your reading glasses on your noses, turn your screens just right at the eye-level, and keep reading to know "Is cereal a soup?'.
What is the difference between soup and cereal
No matter how moot you think the question of 'Is cereal a soup?' is, people have been debating over it for years. People came up with theories to support their side of the debate. They kept pushing their keys in excitement and sometimes anger to prove their point.
So, to settle down and know about both sides of the debate, here's a dictionary definition of soup:
' A liquid food that uses meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and some pieces of other solid food.’
Let's analyze the definition further. According to the dictionary, the liquid is defined as:
'A form of matter that flows freely but has a constant volume, with oil or water-like consistency. '
So, do all soups flow freely? That's not true. Maybe tomato soup can, but what about a seaweed soup or a tortilla soup? Can they flow freely? Got the idea? We have something really confusing as a dictionary definition of soup. Hence the question 'Is cereal a soup?'.
Now, we have the definition of cereal:
'A breakfast meal made from roasted grain, usually eaten with milk.
Both the definitions suggest soup and cereal be foods related to entirely different categories. Here are the differences:
- Soups belong to the savory world, while cereals are normally sweet.
- Cereals are a breakfast staple, while soups are taken as appetizers.
- Soups are cooked, but cereals are not.
- Cereals use milk as a base; soups use broth as a base.
So, do these differences settle the argument once and for all? Actually, No. The pro 'cereal-is-a-soup' camp has a lot to say about these differences. Here's why they think that cereal is a soup:
Why do some people think cereal is a soup?
The 'cereal is a soup' argument has the following points to make:
Cereal is liquid like soup.
We need to admit it. Cereals and soups have almost the same consistency. There's a liquid base in both, while some add-ons to make the body of the dish.
However, you cannot directly drink any of them. Have you ever seen someone drinking soup or cereal from a flask? I know, Right.
The argument suggests that both of them belong to a single food category—Soups.
Both are liquid with some solid parts, and both are taken from a spoon (Some restaurants even put the soup spoons for cereal, so yeah).
Milk isn't the only base in cereal.
If milk is only the base of cereals, What about adding milk to your broccoli soup? Is there a rule of not using milk in the soups?
This camp doesn't know any (Likewise).
There are a number of soups that use milk in their preparation.
Cereal isn't always sweet.
While the other side of the argument suggests that cereal cannot relate to the soup category because it is sweet, the supporters have a counterargument.
They say that not all cereals are sweet. We have a wide variety of savory cereals as well. The most typical of them is muesli and the age-old Porridge. So, cereals can be categorized as soups because you can find many savory kinds of cereal.
Who wants you to eat cereal in the mornings?
The pro' cereal is a soup' camp has a pinching question to ask. Who asks anyone to take cereal only in the mornings? Of course, the advertisers.
If I want to take a bowl of cereal for supper, am I committing some sort of blasphemy? After all, you only live once, so why can't you take a bowl of savory cereal soup at 6 PM?
Ohh My! We are getting convinced.
There's cooking involved in both.
The pro camp says that cereals also involve cooking. Don't the cornflakes get roasted during preparation? Doesn't the milk go through the pasteurization process? Who says that cereals do not get cooked?
All the cereal ingredients are cooked at some point or the other, exactly like the soup.
Why do some people think cereal isn't a soup
Well, this side of the argument takes the dictionary definitions of soup and cereal seriously. They say:
There is no meat, fish, or broth in cereal.
The dictionary definition of soup suggests that the dish has to have meat, fish, or broth. Unfortunately, cereal doesn't have any of these.
At most, you will find vegetable-flavored cereals. Still, there's no involvement of meat, fish, or broth to cook them.
You can make them directly in water and, after all, call them cereal, not soup.
Cereal doesn't involve cooking before eating.
While the pro camp argues that there's a cooking process involved, the anti camp points out the cooking time.
They do not accept the milk or cereal cooking that goes into the manufacturing process.
Instead, they want to see the cereal simmering. They argue cereal should be cooked in broth using meat or fish. If the cereal goes through this cooking process, it can then only be categorized as soup. Rest, there's no chance!
We never eat soup in the morning.
When was the last time you started your day with a Cream of mushroom soup? Sounds weird, right?
No matter how hardcore soup lover you are, you never take soup in the morning. On the other hand, cereal is a delicious and easy way of kick-starting your day.
Since cereals are for mornings, and soups are for the rest of the day, both of them are different.
How can you compare apples with oranges? (Couldn't come up with a more clichèd analogy, so yeah).
Cereal is cereal. Soup is soup.
The anti camp is not ready to include cereal in the soup category. They have taken soup all their lives as an appetizer while cereal as a breakfast dish.
You cannot change their ideals, so cereal is cereal, and soup is soup.
No further discussion!
Is cereal really a soup?
While the points of the pro-camp are quite strong, we are still going to call a cereal a cereal. It doesn't qualify as soup.
If a cereal gets cooked in broth, meat, or fish, only then it qualifies as soup. We aren't going to get fooled by a bowl of grain-based cereal that doesn't have meat's richness.
For us, soups are not a quick fix. Cereals are! Even if we compromise on the time of taking cereals, we cannot ignore the less cooking time. The slow simmering is only and only for soups, not for cereals. The most we can do is use cereal in some soups, but a bowl of milk-based cereal will always remain a cereal in our dictionary.
No matter how many savory variants of cereal are available in the market, for us, cereals will always be sweet!
The debate of cereal soup kept us hooked for a great length of time. As time passes, people are getting more involved in the food. That's why we encounter questions like 'is cereal a soup? '.
However, we have concluded the argument as the two are entirely different. From taste to the cooking time to appearance, soups and cereals are two separate dishes.
We are open to more discussion, though!