This Croatian Instant Cereal Always Makes Me Feel Like a Kid Again

For me, there’s nothing more nostalgic than a bowl of Čokolino.

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December 19, 2022

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Whenever I think back to the days of my childhood, I can’t help but fondly remember all the mornings I spent sitting at my kitchen table eating Čokolino. The chocolaty instant cereal, a fixture in supermarkets throughout Croatia, was a beloved staple of my younger years, and whenever I’m feeling super nostalgic, I still run down to the closest Euro Market and grab myself a box.

It’s hard to describe the effect Čokolino had on me as a child, and admittedly, still continues to have on me as an adult. I think part of it has to do with the actual process of making it, which is, in and of itself, quite magical. Čokolino is very similar to American Cream of Wheat — in its simplest form, it consists entirely of finely flavored wheat flakes that turn into a thicken hot porridge when you add boiled milk to it. Watching this transformation always gave me such joy when I was a pint-sized foodie, and I can still hear the sound of my mother scolding me and twin sister, Nicole, as we crowded around the oven waiting for her to pour the milk into our Čokolino-filled bowls.

Though it’s clearly marketed for children — there’s even a tiny bear cub on the box — Čokolino is something that I can confidently say I’ll keep eating well into my elderly years. Not only is it delicious and comforting, but from a personal standpoint, it was also my very first introduction to Croatian food. Though I didn’t grow up in Croatia, enjoying Čokolino every week ingrained in me an appreciation, and an excitement, for the country and my Croatian heritage. The simple act of eating a bowl of it inspired dozens of conversations about Croatia with my dad and mom.

Talking about how much I loved Čokolino was also an easy way to become fast friends with other Croatian-American kids, since it is a product we all love. It’s been really fun to watch my younger cousins enjoying Čokolino. As their faces fill up with awe and excitement as they eat it, I’m instantly reminded of a younger Michelle feeling the same exact way. Little moments like these make me appreciate the days of my multicultural childhood even more.

Today, the hot cereal comes in eight different flavors — fudge-like Čokolino (my personal favorite), rice-based Rižolino, appley Keksolino Jabuka, honey-infused Medolino (my second childhood favorite), creamy Karamelino, vanilla-based Grisolino, fruity Frutolino and the hazelnut-flavored Lješnjak Čokolino. Do yourself a favor and buy a box — your inner child will thank you!

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