Can you see why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Instant Oatmeal—or as some call it in Canada: “Croque Cannele Gruau Instantané?”
Of course: it’s got cinnamon sugar amorphous globs in every bite! It’s the taste you can see…still sticking to your ceiling three weeks later if you fling it hard enough.
Wait, wait—that’s the oatmeal’s old slogan. The new one is much better: crave those crazy hot oat lumps!
Fine, I give up. There’s no real appetizing catchphrase for Canada’s second new cereal-oatmeal hybrid. And even if there was, a burnt sienna bowl of microwaved roses by any other name would taste just as sweet. Or in the case of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal, just as bland and disappointing. I know I usually leave my opinion out of each review’s introduction, but I couldn’t resist spoiling my spoiled breakfast from the get-go. This oatmeal has a host of toasty problems, so let’s work backwards and try sourcing its flaws like a paleontologist doing CSI on a pile of raptor skeletons.
Here’s the final product: the cadaver, if you will. It tastes like nothing.
Well, almost nothing. More specifically, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal, with its crunchy cereal bits mixed in, tastes like plain, hot, well-browned oatmeal that a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal shook its dandruff into. There’s a hint of cozy, vaguely snickerdoodlian cinnamon sugar, but it’s swallowed by the oats’ blandly mealy flavor more swiftly than the ‘za slices I sucked down to win my town fair’s pizza-eating contest two years in a row.
Yes, I just really wanted to humble-brag about that.
Worse yet, the cereal bits are so small and crumbly that they lose their crunchiness almost instantly, as the steamy grain Jacuzzi they soak in makes them mushier than microwaved hot dog buns crammed into a rice cooker.
So who’s the culprit here? Did the oats or the lil crunchies kill this oatmeal’s shot at fame and glory? By carbon dating the carbohydrate remains and placing them into a cinnamon centrifuge, I was able to separate the cereal crumbs from the cooked oats.
The crumbs’ background check comes out clean: they’re pretty darn tasty on their own, with a potent spicy-sweet cinnamon flavor that’s glazed with dark ribbons of molasses. When I ate them, two metaphorical thoughts ran through my head, both gross yet painfully accurate: “These taste like the eggs of a pregnant Cinnabon. No wait, these taste more like the post-hibernation boogers of a Cinnamon Teddy Graham!” Knowing the unachieved potential of this delightful dust, I have no choice but to posthumously prosecute the oats for their tragic assimilation of the cereal bits’ unique, nearly gingerbread-y flavor.
But oh, what’s this? The oats left an alibi in their last will and testament! It says that the microwave always had it out for them—that if they, the oats, should die young, then the microwave should be brought in for questioning.
Since the microwave is tethered to my kitchen wall, it wasn’t hard to track him down. But the bugger is good: too good. I did my best round of good cop, bad cop interrogation, but the microwave never said a word. The only way to prove his guilt would be to find out what the oats tasted like before they were doused in water and zapped with invisible murder weapons.
Through rigorous deionization, I was able to revert the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal to its original, dry state, complete with chopped oats and chunks of cinnamon…stuff. And with Wendell, Bob, and Quello as my witnesses, this stuff tasted delicious! The oats on their own are nothing, but the buttery clusters of sweet flavor powder throughout taste like balls of raw snickerdoodle dough.
This means the microwave process was to blame after all for making Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal the most boring I’ve eaten in years. I’ll be sure to lock a certain Mr. General Electric Model #JNM1541DMWW in a maximum security appliance penitentiary until his bulb burns out. But since the final product barely tastes like cinnamon, and since eating just the plain ingredients would give me suffocating dry mouth worthy of a viral video challenge, I really can’t recommend Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal to anyone but brand diehards. Maybe if you made it with cereal endmilk, dusted extra cinnamon on top, or smashed a Hostess Coffee Cake into it, it’d be tastier, but as it stands, you’re better off walking to the closest Cinnabon and asking for a bag of their freshest cinnamon bun eggs.
They’ll know what it means.
The Bowl: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal
The Breakdown: Though its dry components taste like buttery brown sugar nuggets and gingerbread man sneezes, the cooking process vaporizes all potential for greatness, leaving behind a pile of hot, steaming nothingness.
The Bottom Line: 4 medals for pizza sucking out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein per 1 pouch serving)