Review: Nature’s Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Cinnamon & Cashew Granola

Nature's Path Organic Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Cashew Granola Review – Bag

We should all be thankful for nuts.

Yes, from squirrels and industrial fasteners to Eddie Murphy professors and Link from The Legend of Zelda in a Deku forest, the humble nut has helped us do a lot of cool things—whether it’s put together cars or make a whole movie based on flatulence jokes.

Heck, without the nut, my favorite breakfast pastries would just be called “do’s.”

Nature’s Path obviously understands the under-celebrated nut, because their Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Cinnamon & Cashew Granola, which has a name so long that typing it is giving my fingers biceps, is the nuttiest granola I’ve ever had. And I don’t mean nutty like “gee lads, let’s get nutty and do backflips off a suspension bridge,” though putting chocolate and cinnamon together is pretty bold.

But is the taste of these nutty nuggets worth toasting, or Comedy Central Roast-ing? Let’s find out. Continue reading

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News: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios are Coming Soon!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios Cereal Box

(Image via General Mills)

By golly, someone is finally challenging Reese’s Puffs’ munch-worthy monopoly in the “chocolate and peanut butter cereal” market.

But wait…the call is coming…from inside the house?

Yes, instead of Kellogg’s, Post, or Quaker taking Reese’s Puffs head on with Chocolate Peanut Butter Krave, Pebbles, or…Corn Crunch, General Mills is just releasing another choco-PB cereal: the appropriately named Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios.

Dang, I would’ve preferred “Reese’s Doughnut Crunch.”

The only reason I can see for doing this is so that Reese’s Puffs have a thematically appropriate tag-team partner when Vince McMahon inevitably starts a Cereal Royal Rumble. My money is on Cap’n Crunch and Count Chocula, as they’ll doubtlessly just tear their opponent’s mouths to shreds.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerios, which is flavored with real cocoa and peanut butter, isn’t the first time we’ve seen those respective flavors in Cheerios. We’ve had Chocolate Cheerios, Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios, Peanut Butter Multigrain Cheerios, and plain ol’ Peanut Butter Cheerios (only abroad, with an appropriately nutty mascot). But this is the first time they’ve been paired together.

No word on when Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios will hit shelves, but I hope they debut alongside the return of Banana Nut Cheerios late this October, so I can mix them together and make a Bluth’s Frozen Elvis Banana Cereal.

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Review: Malt-O-Meal Chocolatey Chip Cookie Bites Cereal

Malt-O-Meal Chocolatey Chip Cookie Bites Cereal Review – Bag

“That dude seriously needs to cool it with the cookie cereal.”

actual quote (I wish I were joking) overheard from two girls at Walmart who watched me buy a 2-pound bag of Malt-O-Meal Chocolatey Chip Cookie Bites, ponder my life, then go back to grab a box of Cookie Crisp, too

 

Yes, I didn’t plan to spend $10 on crunchy, artificially chocolate chip cookie-flavored ellipsoids, but here we are. At least they didn’t see me haul this plastic leviathan onto my balcony and grumble “stupid shiny cookie bag” as I struggled to get a good photo.

But enough public embarrassment. Let’s talk Malt-O-Meal. I don’t always pay attention to the brand—let alone buy it—since their (admittedly very affordable) cereal always seems to taste a little too cheap, with the heavy bag imparting some chemical chintziness into every piece. But when I heard* that Malt-O-Meal, who has already Malt-O-Meal-ified just about every other major cereal, from Cap’n Crunch to French Toast Crunch, was wading into a hitherto untouched cereal frontier, I had to try it for myself.

Even if my apartment’s limited storage space forces me to (literally) spoon with the cereal bag to make room. Continue reading

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Spooned & Spotted (Canada): Post Cookies & Cream Cereal

Post Cookies & Cream Cereal Box (Canada)

Whether they’re called Twist & Shouts, “Lickety Splits, or…*shudder*…Creme Betweens, off-brand Oreo cookies just feel uncannily wrong to eat. Even Hydrox, being the original chocolate sandwich cookie, just feels like the snack equivalent of a cheap bootleg VHS with hilariously mistranslated English to Chinese and back to English subtitles.

“Oreo: the treat that lactose loves to be smothering!”

And that’s how I feel about Post debuting Cookies & Cream Cereal in Canada, too. Though it’s ostensibly the same cereal they released as Oreo O’s in the States earlier this year—which was, in turn, ostensibly the same as Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal, which is also a Post holding—I can’t help but think that my brand-loyal taste buds would reject these crunchy cookie rings faster than my brain rejects the blasphemous existence of “Low Fat Oreos.”

I don’t know why Post couldn’t bring the Oreo O’s name to Canada—maybe border patrol would’ve “confiscated” them for “thorough gastrointestinal inspection”—but thanks to reader Jas A.’s above photo, we know that our northern neighbors will at least get to experience the cereal’s deliciousness in a comparatively anonymized form.

And hey, the box art is actually pretty cool! We don’t get enough purple candy stripes in the cereal aisle (come on, Raisin Bran: live a little!), and the cereal name’s stylized font looks like something that would be cross-stitched, framed, and hung above the toilet in a motor home. Which works here, because in my mind, nothing says “haphazard family camping trip” quite like generic cereal eaten out of flimsy paper bowls with lukewarm 2%.

Thanks again to Jas for the photo. If you’d like to share a cereal photo from anywhere in the world (even from my own backyard—I’d be impressed), mail it on over to our Submissions page for a chance to see it on this site!

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Review: Count Chocula Monster Cereal (2017)

2017 Count Chocula Monster Cereal Review – Box

I feel like I’m starring in a movie trailer for an unnecessary 2017 reboot of a classic ’80s film. You know, the kind of trailer that inevitably starts with all the wizened and crow-footed stars of the first movie reuniting in their old haunt to topically argue about how things just aren’t as good as they used to be and crack jokes about iPads?

Yeah, that’s how I feel about buying my 2017 box of Count Chocula, because those trailers always open with someone muttering the same line: “Well, here we are again.” Or maybe, “Hello, old friend.” Or even, “Y’all haven’t aged a day.”

Even though a year has passed since I’ve tasted the Count’s sweet cocoa spoils (not counting the expired box I found in my pantry and begrudgingly—though not regretfully—ate on the 4th of July), I feel like this caped chocolate cruncher has never left my side. Like a warm memory or a Tamagotchi that just won’t die, the nostalgic spookiness of Count Chocula—who’s been on shelves for 46 years now, despite being an ageless vampire—is resonant enough to keep me thinking about old elementary school Halloween parties and goofy candy corn cupcakes all year long.

So while I’m sure I won’t find much new to say about Count Chocula’s taste that I haven’t said in previous reviews, I owe this trusty Hershey’s syrup-blooded bloodsucker his annual tribute. Let’s sharpen our canines and start munchin’! Continue reading

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Review: Halloween Chocolate Fudge Printed Fun Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Halloween Edition Printed Fun Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts Review – Box

Halloween is about the little things.

Ask any full-blooded (or at least fake-blood-slathered) Halloween lover, and I’m sure most will agree. While haunted houses, parties, and handing out candy on The Big XXXI Day itself are the holiday’s main events, savoring little spooky moments is the key to feeling merrily macabre from the start of back-to-school season ’til the end of back-to-the-cardboard-box-ghouls-in my basement season.

These bite-sized boos can be anything—or anywhere. Glimpsing a well-loved plastic goblin in a thrift store. Marathoning all the Halloween movies and spending the next week fearing any mention of William Shatner. Camping out in a Spirit Halloween with an industrial carton of Whoppers and flipping through old Goosebumps books until the staff gets scared of you.

Or maybe it’s just eating one (or thirty one) of Kellogg’s “new” Halloween Chocolate Fudge Printed Fun Pop-Tarts. It’s long been a Pop-Tartian tradition to adorn their Chocolate Fudge flavor with full Hallo-regalia (why Chocolate Fudge, I don’t know—maybe because it’s pretty much a king-sized candy bar that’s socially acceptable to eat for breakfast?), but previous years have only seen this ghost-er pastry wearing orange frosting and crunchy sprinkle shapes.

But now Kellogg’s has beautifully spurned their sprinkled tradition in favor of something somehow even better: printed scary shapes on every neon orange-blasted, baked fudge rectangle! Drink that box art in for a minute while I grab the plates, glasses of milk, and altars to worship that top cartoon ghost at.

He looks like a spectral Pikachu tail. Continue reading

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Spooned & Spotted: New Looks for Old Cereals

New Rice Krispies Cereal Snap, Crackle, and Pop Designs

Aside from hunting new cereals, Pop-Tarts and Hostess snack cakes (my secret passion—Chocodiles used to be my fudge-slathered white whales), one of my oldest grocery store past times is looking for box art variations of breakfast mainstays.

Sometimes the differences are nuanced and small, like earlier this year when French Toast Crunch’s plain red box adopted a drop shadow, but sometimes classic cereal boxes we’ve come to love dramatically evolve overnight, like metamorphosed sugar-encrusted butterflies emerging from their cardboard chrysalises. As we’ll soon see, French Toast Crunch just did that, too—and so did another long-beloved morning mainstay.

But before we judge those, let’s appraise Snap, Crackle, and Pop’s recent Rice Krispies plastic surgery, which I noticed while trying (and failing) to find those elusive new Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies TreatsContinue reading

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Review: Quaker Corn Crunch Cereal

Quaker Corn Crunch Cereal Review – Box

There are some cereals you’d never expect to have a cult following. Honeycomb and Alpha-Bits are good examples. They’re classics sure, but unlike Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s sect of cinnamon sugar swirlers or Cap’n Crunch’s church of masochistic roof-of-mouth manglers, you never really hear people say Honeycomb or Alpha-Bits are their favorite cereals.

That is, until Post changes those cereals’ formulas, and I get gobsmacked by hundreds of torched and pitchforked comments from angry breakfast lovers blaming me for ruining their childhood memories.

Sorry, Bertha from North Dakota. I swear I just make dumb cereal jokes, not actual cereal.

Honeycomb rants aside, another cereal with a shockingly devoted fandom is Quaker’s Corn Bran Crunch. As one of those closet Corn Bran Crunch geeks, I wrote up a glowing tribute review to the stuff a while back, and the article’s popularity revealed that many share my niche passion for fibrous corn cuboids.

As comments kept rolling in, my fellow quirky Quaker-ers kept me posted on a developing narrative for our beloved Corn Bran Crunch. Tragically, the stuff disappeared for a while, and inquiring fans were told that a production error had put Corn Bran Crunch had put the cereal on hiatus.

But then it returned, and after the initial glorious hysteria wore off, something was very clearly different. The Bran had ran away somewhere down the line, leaving behind Corn Crunch, which, despite its alliterative name, allegedly tasted far different.

Continue reading

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