There’s only a week left until Halloween, but while everybody else in the world is taping fake cobwebs to their walls and putting the finishing touches on their Pokémon Go-inspired “Sexy Pikachu” costumes, I’m sitting here gazing at a bowl of Boo Berry cereal.
More specifically, I’m wondering why there’s never been a movie tie-in between Boo Berry and Ghostbusters. With this summer’s Ghostbusters reboot now merely a bargain DVD bin memory, General Mills missed their chance to throw noxiously green Slimer marshmallows into every bowl of crunchy blue Boo Berry ghosts. The endmilk would’ve turned roughly the shade of the Jersey Shore’s seafoam, and it would’ve been glorious.
But I’ll have to make do with just Boo. Even without nauseatingly aquamarine dairy, Boo Berry still puts on a heck of a breakfast show. Of General Mills’s 3 big Monster Cereals, Boo Berry arguably has the most devoted cult following. He’s the Rocky Horror of Halloween breakfast options, so for the 2nd year in a row, let’s find out why damn it, Janet, everyone loves Boo.
Regardless of what his punny name may have you think, Boo Berry’s ghost pieces are colored more like Violet Beauregarde’s swollen face than the neon blue of Inky: the iconic Pac-Man chaser. And despite their moody indigo hue, the pieces taste more like corn than any sweet, blueish purple fruit. They taste cornier than Count Chocula or Franken Berry, and I’d say that Boo’s corny children are even more maize-filled than a movie theater screening of Children of the Corn on free popcorn night.
I’d be upset about Boo Berry’s cornucopia of starchy vegetable taste, but who knows: maybe General Mills authentically makes this cereal out of blue corn.
Even though this corny criticism is the hard-to-ignore, 800-kernel gorilla haunting every bowl of Boo Berry, I still feel like Boo’s bursts of berry goodness are more potent and pleasant this year than in 2015. I doubt the cereal actually changed—my increasingly rose-tinted love of Halloween may have just, ironically, made the cereal taste bluer—but when I eat Boo Berry in 2016, I sense a more puckering mixed berry cocktail of blueberry and blackberry. Don’t get me wrong: Boo’s berry flavor is as artificial as heck (heck itself being an artificial, kid-friendly version of Hell), but I don’t grab a cereal fronted by a grinning cartoon ghost expecting anything but innocently indulgent, fake blueberry.
If you want real blueberry, grab some Tiny Toast (and maybe wedge a Boo Berry marshmallow in between two crunchy slices).
Speaking of marshmallows, Boo Berry’s white, blue, and purple marbits do help his case more strongly than the other monsters’. They offset the corniness with a whipped creaminess—thankfully, their hybrid flavor tastes nothing like creamed corn—coupling with Boo’s berry glaze to produce a sweet berries ‘n’ cream sensation.
I absolutely recommend adding milk to crank the “berries ‘n’ cream-o-meter” even higher and to make each ghost resemble a cartoon character whose eyes popped out of his head after seeing another beautiful ghost—complete with the quintessential “ah-OOHgah” old car horn sound effect.
The key with Boo Berry and milk is to use a vanilla-flavored milk, like sweetened vanilla almond milk. The milk-soaked ghosts and lavender endmilk end up tasting like the addictive fruit dip you’d find in a grocery store food tray, and it’s one of very few situations where lactose-intolerant cereal lovers get a leg up on their dairy brethren.
This year, I remixed Count Chocula and Franken Berry with strawberry yogurt and peanut butter respectively, but I struggled to think of an imaginative pairing for Boo Berry. So I just slapped a bunch of it on a scoop of Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter and called it a day.
Was it delicious? Yep: like puréed gingerbread men with blueberry buttons. Did it make any sense? Nope: but hey, if you switch the first letters of “Cookie Butter,” you get “Boo-kie Cutter,” which sounds like a straight-to-VHS ’90s horror movie about a serial killer who helps people bet on horse races.
I bet an unsold copy of that movie still haunts an abandoned Blockbuster somewhere.
Boo Berry is still my least favorite tasting Monster Cereal, and unless General Mills reverts to their old oat formula, I suspect he always will be. But Boo Berry will always be the people’s monster champion, too. I’d rather see Franken Berry win this year’s Monster Cereal Election, but if our nation becomes the Boo-nited States of America come November, I still won’t be moving to Canada.
I’ve got my passport ready in case Chocula wins.
The Bowl: Boo Berry Cereal
The Breakdown: Too much blue corn, not enough blue berry: thankfully, Boo’s creamy ‘mallows and milk-friendliness still make for a spooky cult cereal worth eating—it’s certainly better than joining an actual cult.
The Bottom Line: 7 promises to never use the word “cream-o-meter” ever again out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving)