Alpen Original


The Cereal Quest: Day 8 – Alpen’s Debut




Today was a day I was dreading, I don’t want to dwell on history but the 2 previous times I have had Alpen I have fainted, my body does not agree with it.  Genuinely I am putting myself at risk having it, my wife had previously banned me from having it for the last few years and is only lifting the ban for the quest.  She is awesome.

On a side note I was pleasantly surprised to find that yesterday 3 people from Holland read Day 7 and 16 from America so ‘hallo’ and ‘hello’ (again).

Anyway for those less experienced in the world of Alpen Muesli let me try and explain it in the best way I can.  Essentially a lot of things that are individually pointless, wheat flakes, rolled oats (who rolls oats?), raisins, hazelnuts and almonds, are chucked together with a mysterious cream coloured powder (which doesn’t appear to be in the ingredients list and doesn’t seem to ever be questioned) and magically work really well together to create something useful, much like hair.

Now as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and what a great first impression you get from a lovely box of Alpen:

Just look at that nice bowl brimming full of muesli goodness, I found a bowl of similar size to help give a bit of perspective.  Then I saw this on the back of the box:

Thats right, “this pack contains approximately sixteen 45g servings”, amazing, 16 of those servings on the front of the box, I hear you say…….think again, I measured out 45g, lets see what that really looks like…..

Take time to compare the serving on the front of the box and then the real 45g serving in my bowl.  I know, disappointing.

But as for my quest, how did it taste in comparison to Weetabix?  It tasted like I had never eaten flavour before, amazing, I don’t care that they trick you on the box, I couldn’t give a monkeys, I love the taste (albeit rushed, not due to excess sogginess, due to my daughter trying to get them) the texture.  Best off all up until the time of me writing this (6.20pm whilst my daughter watches ‘In the Night Garden’, which if anyone can explain the storyline please feel free to) I have not fainted.  Not fainting today makes me feel like I have climbed mountains (maybe the Alps), to quote a song that I can’t be bothered to Google “what a feeling!”.


The Cereal Quest: Day 9 – Full of Surprises

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Today was day 9 of the cereal quest and it was a good day and started well, my wife let me lie in until 9.00 which was the first lie in for ages (9.00am is a very late lie in when you have a 17 month old).  Then I get up and enjoy another lovely bowl of Alpen.  Before my ravenous consumption of the Alpen I perused the box to find an interesting bit of information, Alpen which is “Authentically Swiss” is made in……Kettering.  I looked up to find out a bit more about Kettering and browsed their local news, wondering if there might be anything about Alpen or their love of all things Swiss on there but there wasn’t, at least I didn’t see anything, I was distracted by a sad news story about a couple of horses that got hit by a van, it would appear that local Kettering folk are less worried about the horses, especially one local man who commented on the story saying, and I quote “what are bloody horses doing on roads anyway? these prehistoric creatures should never be allowed out. Who owned them ? Gyppos?”. Nice.

I worked out that for Alpen to be nice you have to have at least one raisin on for spoon, when you bite in to that juicy raisin it is a lovely surprise.

Today was full of surprises, we went down to our village Christmas fete and within a minute of being there an elderly lady held up some mistletoe, kissed me and then asked for a quid, thats the way we roll out in the sticks.  Other surprises included England beating New Zealand at Rugby, Bournemouth winning, my wife allowing us to go to the Chip Shop for dinner and my mum surprising me by buying an awesome handmade bird table, this was surprising in two ways, firstly I wasn’t expecting it (which is pretty much the definition of a surprise) and secondly because I realised that I am now of the age where I can use the word ‘awesome’ to describe a bird table.


The Cereal Quest: Day 10 – Allergy Advice

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This morning I had another bowl of ‘authentically Swiss’ Alpen. It tasted good. Yet again I looked at the box to read a bit more, expand my knowledge etc, only to find a list of the main ingredients which include hazelnuts and almonds and then a notice saying, ‘not suitable for people with nut allergies’. How thick are people with nut allergies? I ate some dry roasted peanuts the other day and even on there pack it had a warning for nut allergy sufferers, it’s madness. I was thinking to myself, surely there isn’t anyone in the world who can need things spelling out to them so simply, then I remembered my sister, the one that last week told me fish don’t die.

Today she was taking Mum on a mini cruise to Belgium (my sister llikes cruises as she worked for a cruise company selling cruises for quite a while so is quite knowledgable), I offered to take them to the cruise terminal, my sister told me I didn’t need the sat nav, she knew where it was. As we were travelling along chatting my sister told us, Belgium wasn’t a country, in fact it’s in France. This is the girl who used to sell cruises to people, offering them advice about destinations, and she was very good at it! As we approached Southampton where the cruise terminal was I said to her, “right, where am I going here?” she replied “look for a big boat and aim for it”, brilliant. This is why manufacturers need to spell simple obvious things out to people, in case my sister ever becomes allergic to nuts.

You may be pleased to know that I have now had Alpen for 3 days and still not fainted! Maybe Weetabix was the perfect warm up act for it? Time will tell.

Until the morrow!


The Cereal Quest: Day 11 – Busy

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This morning I wanted to be in work at 7.00am. This meant leaving at 6.20am so to avoid waking up my daughter by being noisy I skipped breakfast (well I stopped at McDonalds on the way to have a double sausage and egg McMuffin, rude not to) and I took my box of Alpen in to work with me to have later, I made sure it was strapped in as securely as possible in the passenger seat using the lap section of the belt. Truth be told if going by height the box needed a booster seat but I didn’t have one about my person.

This journey is where I realised another thing that’s going in Alpens favour. Driving along nice and slowly (friends will verify this, all they ever seem to do is moan about how slow I drive) in my Zafira approaching a roundabout at around 21-24mph ready to continue straight on when a BMW driver (who as we all know tend to buy a big car to fill that gap in their life where something more meaningful should be, in this case I would guess this man was called Brian and I am guessing he was missing…..friends, possibly a beard trimmer too) who seemed to be going straight on and thus not coming near me decided at the last minute to keep on going round the roundabout as I was just about to continue on, i could have easily hit him but I slammed my right foot down on the brake pedal like my biggest enemy’s face was under it and brought my car to a stop. The force of me braking propelled the open box of Alpen forward, it was similar to the way people fall asleep in cars and then when you brake their head drops forward trying to pull away from the body except my Alpen didn’t bang it’s head humorously on the window, in fact despite rocking forward and falling on the front passenger seat it didn’t even spill. Imagine my little friends Rice Krispies on this journey, they would have gone everywhere, dispersing themselves in every nook and cranny, Snap would be lying wounded in the foot well with Crackle clinging on to the glovebox handle for dear life and Pop getting smashed to bits in the air, yet again thank goodness for the mystery powder at least I’m sure I think this is to do with Alpens mystery powder, I think it keeps things calm and organised within the box.

I eventually ate my Alpen for Linner (lunch dinner, might of made that term up which must be a sign of coolness), it tasted good and gave me plenty of energy for football tonight where I scored the winning header, coincidence? I think not.

Question for you, an wonderful man I know has suggested some Polish cereal, is this allowed?

Until the morrow!


The Cereal Quest: Day 12 – Running Low





So this morning I was up early again, this time not due to work, but because Isla wouldn’t sleep so I ended up watching Mr. Tumble at 6.00am. He was very happy, I was less happy and perhaps too tired to ‘take my finger and touch my nose and blink 3 times’ to send his spotty bag somewhere (that
reference will mean nothing unless you have a young child). After I had given Isla breakfast I poured myself another bowl of Alpen, my fifth serving thus far, then I realised I had two issues; 1) there is a big lack of raisins in this bowl of Alpen, a big lack and 2) the box was starting to feel light. Hence this photo, which as you can clearly see after only 5 of the previously approximated 16 servings is looking very low. This is not good, not good at all. I feel a bit like I’ve bought pick and mix at the cinema and it’s all jelly snakes, once their gone I’m stuck with nothing, (the jelly snakes being expertly represented by raisins in this situation).

I am going to have to hit the shops again tomorrow to pick up whatever is on offer to help continue the quest.

The lack of raisins near the bottom of the pack is very frustrating, now not many people can claim to have never opened a box of Frosties early to get the free ‘Spokey Dokeys’ in days gone by but this isn’t theft as my wife doesn’t like raisins and my daughters hands still lack the dexterity to enable sorting and filtering small muesli ingredients (which perhaps should be an exercise in the baby development book you get from midwives, anyway I am going to investigate further to see if this is a common problem.

Good day to you!


The Cereal Quest: Day 13 – End of the Alpen Era

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So today bought what (at least according to Alpen themselves) was a premature end to Alpen in The Cereal Quest, 6 days and 6 servings down and the box, like old mother hub bards cupboard was bare.  Now to make things very clear, I have definitely not been having huge portions as each time I eat Alpen I am in fear of them attacking my body, on the box Alpen claims ‘approximately’ 16 servings, well put it this way, I am ‘approximately’ attractive.

Alpen has come and gone very quickly and was delightful, much like Harold Bishops brief return to Neighbours last year.  Let’s not forget that it came and brought me sweet flavourful relief from the, at times, tedious Weetabix.

Unfortunately Alpen and me have left on bad terms, to an extent there is good that has come from experimenting with Alpen, I have found out that I can now eat it without fainting, that is great news, but what has left a bitter taste (not literally) is the fact that there were far fewer raisins near the bottom of the box and you got a massive 10 servings less than it claims you should on the box.

Here are Alpen’s Vital Statistics:
Cereal Cost:  £2.79
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 46.5p
Pros – Full of flavour for the first few servings.
Cons – Very expensive per portion, only lasts 6 days, uneven distribution of raisins.

Moving on to tomorrow, what will tomorrows cereal be?  Well I popped out at lunch with no cereal in mind, I figured, get whatever was on offer, to my disbelief their was not a single offer on cereal in the cereal section at Tesco so I had a free choice didn’t I?  No, something caught my eye, here is what I saw:

exactly, as I am sure you have spotted “Limited Edition” I thought, I had better get in quick.  So I can reveal tomorrow I will start on ‘Froot Loops’, which I can tell you I have never had, they are big in America but who or what isn’t?  To me I don’t like the idea of fruit flavours in my cereal, and at the age of 27 am I too old to try a new flavour?  Something my taste buds have never tasted, it will be like what I imagine seeing a new colour will be like, we shall see tomorrow (the cereal, not the colour, there is no new colour).  Truth be told they appeal to me from the outside about as much as gherkins do.

Until tomorrow…

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