Well, well, well: here we are again, Shredded Wheat.
My first experience with one of Shredded Wheat’s new trilogy of flavors, which not-so-subtly tries top compete with Frosted Mini-Wheats by, well, frosting the brand’s iconic miniature wheat biscuits and stuffing (allegedly) flavorful stuff inside, was cosmically bland. I swore I wouldn’t try another flavor. I started smashing all square and/or thatched things in my apparent. I even told people I was allergic to wheat—just the sight of it, not the taste.
But after being coerced by a trusted source to give this Mixed Berry variety a try, and after (unsurprisingly) failing to find Count Chocula when it’s still hot enough out to boil swimming pools into holy water, I find myself staring at a bowlful of vaguely mauve biscuits.
Alright, Shredded Wheat. Let’s do this. Just don’t forget: bore me once, shame on you. Bore me twice, I’m going to start crank-calling the National Wheat Foundation out of juvenile spite.
Taste aside, the Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat looks like it was dusted with powdered essence of Jigglypuff, sprinkled with a dash of Kirby, and then accented with a touch of Pepto-Bismol. I didn’t expect such youthful frosting from a century-old brand like Shredded Wheat, so I approached my first taste with the same apprehension I would with Steve Buscemi in a backwards hat.
Having bitten that first bite, I can definitely say that Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat is better than Cinnamon Roll. But I can also say that it’s still not that great.
Let’s start with the pros: instead of leading with the taste of a dry, spit-sucking burlap sack full of toasted wheat, Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat starts with pleasantly floral fruitiness. Now despite the box’s clear depiction of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, you’re not going to taste all three distinctly. Instead, the resulting, mild fruit cocktail is that generic berry swirl of store-brand multi-berry yogurt—just far drier. In fact, when you mix in the far-more-yeasty-than-golden-roasted wheat undertones (if Cinnamon Roll was 9-grain, this stuff is Wonder Bread), the whole Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat experience kind of tastes like the crust of a multi-berry pie.
Or at least, a multi-berry pie that was left to cool on the windowsill for an eon or three. I’ve never considered eating cereal with water instead of milk before, but a man’s gotta stay hydrated here.
Speaking of milk, using it is recommended, as it accentuates Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat’s filling flavor that, when dry, is tragically subtle.
See that little rose blossom in the particularly photogenic biscuit on my spoon? That’s the “filling” that the box’s marketing smoke and mirrors would have you believe fills the whole biscuit. Nope. This “filling” is just a lone gelatinous berry chip stuck on the end of each piece. You know, just like the fake flowers they glue on cacti or the “LIMITED EDITION” label they glue on oatmeal flavors that have been out since before microwaves.
Despite its borderline false advertising, these berry filling nuggets actually taste pretty good, and milk really makes them pop. On like the vaguely fruit-fortified wheat base, the filling is a distinctly sweet, syrupy, and candied raspberry. I couldn’t decide whether it tastes more like the filling of a Raspberry Pop-Tart or those Swedish Berry gummies, but after meditating on the filling’s pectin aftertaste, it’s got to be the latter. Though regardless of its goodness, these itty-bitty rasp-innards have a flash-in-the-pan flavor. Before you know it, the fruity goodness is gone faster than Fruit Pie the Magician during his infamous 1907 Raspberry Disappearing Act.
You know, the one where he escaped Houdini’s small intestine.
But I’ve rasped on long enough. Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat will appeal to those wanting a sweeter fruit Shredded Wheat flavor or those who have been dying to see Strawberry Frosted Mini-Wheats and Touch of Fruit Raspberry Mini-Wheats into one. Everyone else is still better off buying Strawberry Toast Crunch, Very Berry Cheerios, or a fruit smoothie IV drip.
I intend to do all three and transcend this earthly bushel.
The Bowl: Frosted Mixed Berry Shredded Wheat Cereal
The Breakdown: A pleasant fruit pie flavor, with a unique gummy candy stuffing, this is probably Shredded Wheat’s best flavor yet—which doesn’t mean much given their continued reputation for plain ol’ plainness.
The Bottom Line: 6.5 fresh Buscemiberry pies out of 10