Introduced by Quaker in the late ’80s, PB&J featured light brown peanut butter puff pieces accompanied by light magenta jelly puffs. Rumor has it that it only reached isolated test markets, and other conspiracy theorists doubt whether it existed at all.
Either way, what we do know is that PB the explorer and his canine pal J, the mascots of PB&J cereal, are now mysterious relics of cereal lore, and they have long left fans of the famous grade school lunch sandwich wishing for a cereal with the same flavor.
But now, Kellogg’s is hoping to satisfy the cravings of PB&J nuts with this brand new cereal. It’s Jif PB&J, and it combines Jif peanut butter pieces with strawberry jelly puffs. So allow me to pretend I’m in 4th grade again, as I open my crinkling bag to review this hopefully nostalgic treat.
(Man, Kellogg’s really missed an opportunity by not packaging it in brown paper lunch bags.)
I marveled at the beautiful combo of rounded brown squares and screaming pink, Kirby-esque orbs. Since I was that dopey kid who spent most of recess trying get the leftover peanut butter from his PB&J unstuck from the roof of his mouth, it’s safe to say I’m excited for this.
Quickly sampling each piece individually, the PB pieces have a smooth, creamy peanut butteriness that is more sweet than salty. The strawberry puffs, meanwhile, are wispy and crispy with a fruitiness that is sweet and juicy, with no tang (Sorry, grape jelly fans. Though I do wonder if the prominent mention of strawberry flavor on the box means a grape flavor might be soon to come). There are also some tropical notes of wild strawberry in these puffs, making their overall taste halfway between Franken Berry and a Crunchberry.
Eaten together, this cereal is jaw-dropping (which made it hard to chew!). The appropriately bread-shaped squares provide a pillowy, floury base. This is then layered with a rich PB&J flavor that simultaneously whispers sweet nutty nothings into your tastebuds while the strawberry puffs slather the PB in an ocean of syrupy fruit
Munched on dry, this dense one-two punch sucks the moisture from your mouth like my 8-year-old self sucking on a Mountain Cooler Capri Sun. That’s why I’d recommend slathering this tasty cereal mix in milk and really letting the pieces soak it up. After awhile, their texture comes closer to the innards of the glorious yet slightly mushy sandwich they are trying to imitate.
So overall, I was extremely impressed by Jif PB&J. I had previously planned to make a special post about my efforts to recreate PB&J cereal (I might still do it. For those curious, I concluded that mixing Peanut Butter Puffins with Strawberry Honeycomb was the best solution), but thanks to this cereal, the kid inside me no longer needs to create his own cereal replacement for his favorite sandwich.
The only thing that has me slightly salty is how this cereal only tastes slightly salty, unlike genuine peanut butter. Keep this secret between you and me, but I sprinkled a few grains over my bowl and found it to be so-damn good (Sodium? Get it? Anyone?).
Either way, I encourage everyone to buy this and pack it for their
kids’ own lunches. I guarantee all classmates coworkers will be oh so peanut butter and jealous.
The Bowl: Jif PB&J
The Breakdown: Ironically, a lack of NaCl is the only thing keeping this fruity and nut-stalgic new cereal from sweet, sweet perfection.
The Bottom Line: 9 eagerly chugged Capri Suns out of 10
Our friends at Junk Banter reviewed Jif PB&J, too! Click here to read what they had to say.