Despite the recent dawn of October, this review isn’t Halloween-themed. It is nostalgia-themed, though, and Halloween is a season of eternal nostalgia draped in a thin veil of sheet ghosts and dollar store cobwebs. There’s no better way to ring in the Month of Spook than by reviewing a cereal that’s as golden as the childhood memories it conjures up.
It’s Post’s much-beloved Waffle Crisp. I’ve been meaning to review Waffle Crisp for some time, and since I reviewed my other favorite childhood cereal last week, I wanted to keep the nostalgia ball* rolling with another classic I remember munching with reckless abandon before elementary school. My 8-year old self was convinced that if I poured my mountain of crunchy waffles high enough, I could hide in it and skip class.
*Oh, and if you’re wondering what a nostalgia ball looks like, it definitely looks like one of those foam Nerf Vortex footballs.
Despite its aerodynamic holes, every gloriously goldenrod, cheerfully checkered Waffle Crisp piece is surprisingly beefy and dense. Chewing through a spoonful of these weighty squares feels like crunching through King Midas’s personal stash of Rubik’s Cubes. Waffle Crisp is crunchy enough to make French Toast Crunch’s weak little bread slices feel inadequate.
Sorry FTC, but there’s a reason you’re not called “Texas Toast Crunch.”
But Waffle Crisp’s bodybuilder physique isn’t all show; the cereal’s delectable smell is no slouch, either. From the moment you open the bag, Waffle Crisp’s infectious faux-maple scent intoxicates you. And it’s a clingy scent, too. I ate one dry handful of Waffle Crisp in the morning, and by 4pm, my mitts still smelled like they had high-fived a pancake.
The taste is an even mixture of golden maple and butter-flavored syrups. It’s certainly more “artificial Log Cabin” than “actual maple tree log,” but I couldn’t care less—the toasted brown sugar notes, the comically fake amber flavor, and the caramelized batter aftertaste all make for an delightfully excessive spoonful of syrupy sugar. Waffle Crisp even provides that authentic post-waffle hangover, where a sticky haze of butter and oil lingers on your taste buds like a midnight drunk in a Waffle House.
That sensation is a guilty pleasure for me, and the only guiltier Waffle Crisp pleasure I have is drowning the stuff in milk and adding an additional drizzle of maple syrup. Milk makes each waffle’s bottom soft and chewy, while the top keeps its crispiness. It tastes like the last bite of a well-browned Belgian waffle—you know, the bite that’s saturated with syrup, whipped butter, and even a little melted whipped cream.
Any added maple syrup seeps into Waffle Crisp’s tic-tac-toe pores, and if you choose to use genuine maple syrup for your hedonistic cereal dressing, you get the best of both syrupy worlds: dark and moody and floral and saccharine, all at the same time. It feels like a scene from a Requiem for a Dream remake directed by Aunt Jemima.
Many seem to think that Waffle Crisp has been discontinued, and its availability may be regionally dependent, but these syrupy squares do still exist, even if they can be hard to find. If you’d like to wake up to maple-scented mornings and can’t find this stuff, I recommend checking Walmart for Post’s Good Morenings Waffle Crunch cereal. It’s the same stuff, just repackaged without the glorious cartoon whimsy of Waffle Boy. I guess you’ll have to close your eyes and imagine your own animated, anthropomorphized griddle cake adventures.
Whatever form you find it in, Waffle Crisp is (Mrs. Butter)worth the quest. Dipping your spoon into a bowl of Waffle Crisp is like taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth. You’ll be reinvigorated with schoolyard energy. You’ll cast away the work week’s worries and watch Nickelodeon. Maybe you’ll even build a tree fort in the backyard and spend the evening making technicolor Play-Doh cookies for Storm Shadow to sell at Cobra Commander’s bake sale.
Waffle Crisp helps keep my imagination crisp. No matter how old you are, you should try it again—no matter if you’re a 700-year old vampire, a 3,000-year old mummy, or an ageless Lovecraftian horror.
The Bowl: Post Waffle Crisp Cereal
The Breakdown: Bursting with youthful fake syrup, these aerated golden nuggets are irresistibly addictive milk and maple receptacles. Waffle Crisp’s only flaw is that it isn’t Oreo O’s, and since it beats out French Toast Crunch (which I gave a perfect score last year) in the maple cereal game, I have no choice but to say…
The Bottom Line: 10 unreleased garlic toast cereals out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 120 calories, 1 gram of sugar, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving)
***BONUS: While we’re (sort of) on the topic of Halloween, check out this amazing throwback Halloween Brew Waffle Crisp box Cerealously’s friend Gabe Fonseca recently unearthed from his cereal archives. When I die, I want bat-shaped Waffle Crisp and scary sprinkles scattered on my grave instead of flowers.***
You can have the Monster Cereals, I'll take old school Halloween Brew Waffle Crisp with Sprinkles any day… pic.twitter.com/yRuljalQey
— Gabe Fonseca (@MrGabeFonseca) September 5, 2016