Is Cereal A Soup? – Arguments To Blow Your Opponent Out Of The Water

  • Time to read: 5 min.

Finally, you’ve found it, the only blog post on the internet that’s going to help you win the heated debate you’ve just been having with your friends on your stag weekend (or anyone for that matter).

Because clearly, you know the answer to the question “so, cereal, it’s soup, right?”. Well, at least you think you do, you just need some eloquent comeback before everyone that thinks that the soup (or cereal) has gone right through you and that’s why you’re in the bathroom so long.

So, let’s keep this short!

Is cereal in fact undeniably a type of soup? Well, here’s the direct official overview of the debate, then as you read on, I’ll reveal exactly how you can destroy your debating adversary, no matter which side your croutons fall on.

Whether or not cereal falls under the definition of soup is hotly debated with proponents arguing this liquid-based repast can be considered so. Opponents argue that as it is milk and grain-based and routinely served cold it remains apart from the soup definition. Ultimately each argument is correct when correctly made.

Ok, so I know that I may have just taken the wind out of your sails, and what I’m saying is basically there’s no clear-cut answer. Never fear! Read on and I’m going to give you the arguments to win this debate, no matter what your current opinion may be.

“Is cereal a soup?” – The breakfast club argument

One of the strongest arguments for cereal NOT being classified as a soup, according to, is precisely down to how it’s normally consumed. We eat cereal as the first meal of the day and this isn’t a common time to eat soup, which normally comes as part of lunch or dinner.

Counter-argument: In several other countries and regions, Asia for example, soup is routinely eaten for breakfast as a staple to the meal.
Just because in the West we choose to eat it for breakfast, doesn’t mean it’s not soup. It’s a liquid we eat from a bowl with a spoon, so it’s soup. Also, the student body worldwide fuels its study sessions on cereal throughout the day.

Right, how’s that? Do you think it’ll win you the debate? No, well, try this one as well.

“Merriam -Webster defines cereal as…” – The dictionary hypothesis

It’s always a good idea to bring a dictionary to a cereal-soup fight, just for this very situation. If you look up ‘soup’ in the dictionary it will tell you that this dish is:
‘a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food’

Cereal, as in the one with the puzzles on the back of the box, is usually served with milk and hardly ever with meat, fish, or vegetables. And everyone knows that cereal doesn’t stay solid for very long. It can’t be soup!
Counter-argument: There are plenty of soups which are milked-based. Take broccoli Cheddar soup, for example, or Eastern European MILK soup (Check out this great recipe here ).

And of course, we can’t forget all of the famous soups which have grains as a key ingredient such as barley soup. Lastly, I’m sure you’ve heard of that famous Russian dish – Milk Pasta soup, right?
Ok, we must have them on the ropes by now (assuming your opponent isn’t in the next stall reading this post too!). Just in case, here’s another one to keep in your back pocket, so keep on reading.

“Is soup cereal”? – The only logical answer

When in a tight spot, go straight for the jugular, logically! If you’ve been hit with the previous argument and you are still saying cereal IS NOT soup, chuck this one out there.
Even if some soups are made with milk, and some Russian families choose to eat wheat-based pasta in milk too, breakfast cereal is not a soup ingredient.

If cereal is soup, Saint Augustine would tell us that equally soup is cereal. When I say that I’ve had soup for breakfast you don’t automatically think corn flakes.
Counter-argument: Soups can come with several different ingredients, including milk and grains, and can be served both hot and cold. The core attribute of any soup is that the liquid becomes flavored by the ingredients placed in it.

Any kid knows that a bowl of Cocoa Puffs turns chocolatey brown and the milk takes on the aroma and flavor of the cereal. It behaves in exactly the same way as all other soups.
Hopefully, by this point in the debate, you’ve managed to get the upper hand with whatever stance you’ve chosen to take. And, if some of my counterarguments have got you worried, remember what Joe Klaas said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

Final thoughts

If you’ve skipped to the end, you’ve just missed the best arguments to win your case, so scroll back up for another look.

In closing, here is what your conversation sounded like from the next table.

It’s a debate that has been raging for years: is cereal a soup?

On one side of the argument are those who say that cereal is, in fact, a type of soup. They point to the fact that both items are made up of grains and water, and they share many other similarities.
On the other side of the argument are those who say that cereal is not a soup, and there are several reasons why.

Firstly, while both items may be made from grains, cereal is typically eaten with milk while most soups are not. Secondly, cereal is often served cold while soup is typically served hot.
Finally, many people believe that the two items have different purposes – cereal is meant to be eaten as a breakfast food while soup is meant to be eaten as a lunch or dinner food.

If you really keep stuck and the debate isn’t going your way, you can always raise an alternative question “Is a hotdog a sandwich?” and win that argument by checking out my other post on that question here.

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