Is Milk a Broth, Sauce or Beverage?

Everyone agrees that milk is a beverage. Well, until such time Grover asked his regular customer, Mr. Johnson, if the milk added to cereal is considered a broth, sauce or beverage.

Milk is not a broth. A broth is a liquid in which meat, vegetables or any other ingredient has been boiled. Meanwhile, milk is also not a sauce. A sauce adds flavor and moisture, although milk adds moisture to cereal. Milk in cereal becomes a beverage only if it’s drunk when all the cereal is gone.

But why stop wondering if milk poured into a bowl of breakfast cereal is a broth, sauce or beverage when you could also ponder if it’s a stock, soup, condiment or seasoning?

Whether you are seriously on the hunt for an answer to Grover’s question during his shift as a waiter at Charlie’s Restaurant or just want to kill the boredom probably consuming you right now, keep reading.

We will help Mr. Johnson, the unwilling recipient of the challenging question, come up with the right answer — if indeed there is one!


Is Milk a Broth?

Sometimes known as a bouillon, a broth is a thin and clear liquid made savory by boiling or simmering ingredients, usually meat, in it. A broth may also have vegetables and herbs. Rice, in some cases, is present, too. Since milk in cereal is neither savory nor has meat boiled in it, it’s not a broth.

The fact alone that broth is something in which ingredients are boiled in it, including especially meat, makes it clear that milk, particularly when added to a bowl of cereal, is far from being it.

Besides, there is no cooking involved with breakfast cereals.

On the other hand, broth requires boiling ingredients in water anywhere from several minutes to a few hours — there are even broth types that need to be boiled for at least 10 to 12 long hours!

Is Milk a Stock?

A stock is similar to a broth in that they are both thin, clear and savory liquids. This is why many people use them interchangeably. However, they are different in terms of the ingredients involved. Since milk added to a bowl of cereal is not a broth, needless to say, it’s not a stock either.

While at first glance it would seem that a stock and a broth are the same, they are two different things.

To make a stock, you will have to boil bones and some meat in water for a very long time, usually six to eight hours. In some instances, you will have to boil a stock for 12 hours in order to extract collagen from the bones.

Is Milk a Soup?

Simply put, a soup is a liquid made by boiling various ingredients in it. They range anywhere from meat, fish to vegetables. A soup can also be either thin or thick and clear or otherwise. It can be served plain or garnished and hot or warm. Because a soup is cooked, a bowl of cereal with milk isn’t soup.

Breakfast cereal swimming in milk — looks like a soup alright.

However, milk poured into a bowl of cereal is far from being a soup, although it’s true that some soup types call for the addition of milk in order to make themselves rich, thick and creamy. But just because cereal is made complete by adding milk to it doesn’t mean that milk becomes a soup.

Is Milk a Sauce?

A sauce is something that is served on or together with food, whose goal is to add flavor and moisture. It comes in liquid form, which can either be creamy or runny. Some sauces are semi-solid, with chunks of ingredients present. While it adds moisture just like a sauce, milk in cereal isn’t a sauce.

More often than not, a sauce is creamy. It’s true that milk is also creamy, which is not uncommon for dairy products. However, milk isn’t creamy enough to be considered as a sauce.

Although milk remaining after all the cereal is consumed can be a little creamier than before.

It’s also possible for a sauce to be runny, such as something that is used for dipping rather than served on top of food. It’s true that milk is a little runny, but it’s not technically a sauce — but it definitely provides some of the things that a sauce does: flavor and moisture. By the way, in many instances, a sauce adds visual appeal, too.

pouring milk

Is Milk a Beverage?

There is no denying that milk is a beverage. However, once it is added to a bowl of cereal or a pot together with other ingredients, such as when making a creamy vegetable soup, milk is no longer a beverage. But it becomes a beverage once more when drunk from the bowl after all the cereal is eaten.

A beverage is defined as any liquid that is potable or drinkable, especially one that has water. Some examples include coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and cocktails.

Based on that definition, milk is a beverage as it has water — milk is about 87% water.

Since milk poured into a bowl of breakfast cereal is consumed together with cereal, just like a broth or a soup, it no longer counts as a beverage. But as mentioned earlier, it is considered a beverage all over again the moment you have enjoyed all the cereal and drink it straight from the bowl, which is then called cereal milk.

Is Milk a Condiment or a Seasoning?

Milk in cereal is neither a condiment nor a seasoning. A condiment and a seasoning are meant to add or enhance flavor. What separates the two apart is that a condiment is usually added after cooking while a seasoning is usually added during cooking. No cooking is involved with adding milk to cereal.

Did you know that moisture is required by your taste buds for them to be able to pick up taste?

Since breakfast cereal is dry, you may not be able to enjoy its full flavor if you snack on it just like chips. But the moment you add milk to it, breakfast cereal becomes more flavorful not only because milk is rich and creamy but also the water in it allows your taste buds to do their work so much more efficiently.

It’s true that milk makes cereal even more appetizing, just like a condiment and a seasoning. However, milk is neither of those because of one thing. And it’s none other than the fact that a condiment and a seasoning are typically added to food that is either being cooked or has just been cooked.

A condiment is something you add to cooked food, while a seasoning is something you add to food being cooked.

Just Before You Pour Milk Into Something

If you had to answer if milk in cereal is a broth, sauce or beverage, the best option would be a beverage. After all, before winding up in a bowl of breakfast cereal, milk is a beverage. What’s more, there’s such a thing as cereal milk, which is being used by many patissiers and bakers in making some desserts and baked products.

Above, we discussed all possible answers and learned that none of them fit the bill exactly.

Instead of wondering what milk becomes the minute it ends up in a bowl of breakfast cereal, perhaps a much better way to spend your time would be finding out which between crunchy and soggy cereal is better.

Can you eat cereal without milk?

Besides being a breakfast food, cereal can also be a snack. It can be eaten like chips — and just like most chips, the majority of cereal options are also high in unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and processed starch. Cereal can also be added to homemade smoothies, energy bars and a host of baked goodies.

What can you add to cereal other than milk?

Plant-based milks are some wonderful alternatives to cow’s milk that can be poured into a bowl of cereal. Some popular options include soy milk, almond milk, peanut milk, oat milk and coconut milk. Some people have tried adding apple juice to apple- or cinnamon-flavored breakfast cereal.

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