9 degrees of crunchy: for many, granola is way of life

For many, granola is more than a mere snack or breakfast food, it is a way of life. But just as there are different types of granola, there are similarly different types of people that consume various versions of granola. On a sunny autumn day, we (Lisa and Elsbeth) rode our bikes to Andy’s Market in an attempt to reconcile the crunchy breakfast food with its greater cultural implications.The Pioneer

While Andy’s carries 21 different kinds of granola in bulk, our wallet and stomach sizes limited us to a sampling of nine different types of granola: seven from Andy’s bulk section, one box and the dining hall granola.

With three types of milk, a glass of water to cleanse our palates, and four years combined knowledge of the ins and outs of Whitman culture we put in a Grateful Dead album and began tasting.

Pumpkin Flax Seed
Tastes: nutty, warm, vanilla-y flavor; fairly sweet but also not very dense; contains pumpkin seeds, no actual pumpkin flavor
Pair with: rice milk
Stereotypical connoisseur: the girl who likes to hike in flip flops (hiking boots are just so encumbering and unattractive)

Raisin Spice
Tastes: surprisingly zesty, spice-y, coconutty (not over-powering), fairly dense, raisins were sparse
Pair with: regular milk
Stereotypical connoisseur: metro boy who likes to wear scarves and plays beirut with Black Butte Porter

Triple Chocolate
Tastes: like a classy chewy bar in elemental form
Pair with: eat it plain
Stereotypical connoisseur: the girl who takes out her boy frustrations on the Environmental Studies field trip by snacking on granola instead of chocolate

Soy Plus
Tastes: a bit like old Berry Kix (has similar texture, but with added oat clusters); despite the healthy name, it’s basically a glorified sugar cereal
Pair with: rice milk
Stereotypical connoisseur: the guy who went to Andy’s with his girlfriend and got Soy Plus because it would give him huge muscles and his girlfriend insists it will make him healthy, but he keeps eating it because his mom only let him have Berry Kix for special occasions

Cranberry Orange
Tastes: very orangey: reminiscent of the old scones at retirement homes
Pair with: soymilk
Stereotypical connoisseur: your grandmother/the still-living members of the class of 1929

Tastes: very apple-y and cinnamon-y (crazy, we know), very sweet, crunchy
Pair with: regular milk
Stereotypical connoisseur: Apple Jacks-loving frat boy who adamantly recycles his beer cans

Raisin Muesli Granola
Tastes: less sweet, softer texture, very juicy raisins, good variety of textures, subtly oat-y, most cereal-like of granolas
Pair with: soymilk
Stereotypical connoisseur: Elsbeth Otto

Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Granola
Tastes: healthy (but not in a bad way), nutty, less sweet, crunchy
Pair with: soymilk
Stereotypical connoisseur: the westie that didn’t have time to make their own granola this week

Bon Appétit Granola
Tastes: excessively coconutty, crunchy, uniform flavor and texture
Pair with: regular milk
Stereotypical connoisseur: freshmen

Lisa’s top three:
1. Pumpkin Flax Seed: it almost beats brunch, almost.
2. Apple Cinnamon: it’s like a pie but it’s healthy!
3. Nature’s Path Hemp Plus: don’t diss it ’til you try it!

Elsbeth’s top three:
1. Raisin Muesli: the only granola that wasn’t too sweet to eat by itself for breakfast, although best mixed with Cheerios.
2. Raisin Spice: amazing flavor, makes an excellent snack as well, although I just wish it had more raisins to increase the variety of the texture and balance out a bit of the tanginess.
3. Pumpkin Flax Seed: if fall in Walla Walla were a granola, this would be it. So delicious.

You may not be perfectly embodied in any of these granolas, but hey, give it a try: getting crunchy feels so good.