Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch the new Oreo? The new pumpkin spice? The new sriracha? The new activated almonds?
Yes, like all those hip and trendy flavors (well, minus maybe the almonds: I’m just fascinated by nuts that unlock monkish hidden powers when soaked in water), Cinnamon Toast Crunch seems to be popping up more and more, not just as a cereal, but as a phenomenon. A condiment abstraction, if you will.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites! Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack! Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake! Cinnamon Toast Crunch the Flamethrower! Quite frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen actual Cinnamon Toast Crunch branded bread yet, made specifically for use in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch Toast Toaster.
Regardless of how long it takes to reach Cinnamon Toast Singularity, these new Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds are here to cinnamon swirl us one step closer. It’s one of two new Blasted Shreds cereals, and it aims to remix boring old shredded wheat biscuits by fire-hosing it with enough flavored powder to build a sweetened sugarcastle. Or perhaps a sugarhospital.
Anyways, let’s carve a new belt notch and carve into a box!
Wow. Prospective Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds eaters better arrange their taste buds into a phalanx formation and prepare for battle, because even veteran sweet teeth will be walloped by just how sugary this cereal is.
The good news is that the thick, uniform coating on every Shred brick tastes exactly like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. More specifically, it tastes like the hyper-granulated powdered drifts that accumulate at the bottom of every bag. Nostalgic and definitely tasty, the flavor breakdown is 70% sugar, 25% cinnamon, 5% browned butter, and 5% math-defying pixie dust.
What’s tough is the longevity of the flavor, a product of what I like to call the “Cinnamon Toast Half-Life Theory.” Let me explain: after thinking about why Cinnamon Toast Crunch is so good, I realized that the fragile rice base of the squares, which practically dissolve in your mouth after two chews, is designed to be that way, because the blast of cinnamon flavor swirled into each bite also fades faster that Marty McFly in the darkest timeline.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch is designed to be a glass cannon cereal, which is why these Blasted Shreds struggle: you have to chew each thickly thatched bale of wheat with the stamina of a grazing cow, and after those first delightful cinnamon embers die, you’re left with a mouthful of one-note, pretty cloyingly sugared wheat mush. And not the savory toasted shredded wheat of Frosted Mini-Wheats, either, but a pretty ho-hum and generically whole grainy one.
It’s not inedible, but it’s less “the taste you can see” and more “the taste you can feel coursing through your veins.”
Milk is a welcome addition, because it supplies creamy nuance to that otherwise off-puttingly sweet aftertaste. Better yet, the Shreds get just the right amount of soft and squishy, but not soggy, with milk only penetrating the first layer or two of wheat, leaving each piece’s crunchy inner sanctum untouched.
So while the first 5 seconds of every Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds spoonful is divinely potent, its slow-chewing shredded wheat base isn’t as logical of a vehicle for CTC flavor as its namesake cereal’s fragile squares. I still liked this one better than Peanut Butter Chocolate Blasted Shreds, but I just wish CTC had better infused cinnamon flavor into the Shreds’ wiry wheat core.
Or General Mills could just make Golden Grahams Blasted Shreds and I’ll call it even.
The Bowl: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds Cereal
The Breakdown: Sweet, sweet, Cinnamon Toast Crunch dust nostalgia fades quickly fades into sugar-wheat pulp. It’s an unbalanced cereal, to be sure, but still worth it for any cinnamon sugar junkie.
The Bottom Line: 7.5 cosmic cinnamon concepts out of 10