This may not be canon, but I believe General Mills’ new Canada-only Lucky Charms Oatmeal is from an alternate timeline in the cereal universe.
In this truly darkest timeline, those cartoon kids who cheerfully steal Lucky the Leprechaun’s sugary breakfast aren’t motivated by hunger or anything rational. No, these serial cereal sociopaths take Lucky’s marshmallowy horseshoes and shooting stars just so they can melt them before his eyes in a bowl of bubbling, magmatic oats.
In this somber universe, Lucky Charms are “masochistically delicious!”
Somehow, those bullies’ mealy instruments of destruction crossed through an inter-dimensional portal and landed on Canadian grocery shelves. It’s the only logical explanation for the grotesque scenes of marshmallowy immolation you’re about to witness.
I was lucky enough to get this stuff, along with new Cinnamon Toast Crunch Oatmeal, from my Canadian pal Stephen B., so my sincerest thanks go out to him, first and foremost. Now onto the carnage!
Well, maybe not quite yet. Let’s just admire how beautiful the segmented packaging is for Lucky Charms Oatmeal. Some cereals, like Fiber One, Nerds Cereal, and the Nintendo Cereal System have used multi-bag approaches, but I’ve never seen it done for oatmeal.
Like an earthen packet of Fun Dip, one side contains the sugary quick oats, while the other houses the oatmeal’s borderline hallucinogenic mini marshmallows—these are meant to be dusted on after the oatmeal’s cooked, so you actually get to witness the great marbit meltdown.
But then again, can these instructions really be trusted? They cutely advise you to refrigerate the leftovers, as if anyone has ever gotten halfway through a bowl of instant oatmeal and thought, “boy, I am stuffed! Better make camp here and try finishing in the morning.”
After diving into my adorable, camera lens-steaming Lucky Charms Oatmeal, though, I can start to see why this mighty stuff may challenge even the knightliest sweet tooth. The base oatmeal is actually pretty darn good: I expected it to be an unflavored springboard for the ‘mallows to do a granulated alley-oop off of, but the stuff tastes exactly like the crunchy oat component of Lucky Charms. It’s hearty and dense with a thin, buttery glaze of twinkling golden brown sugar.
As I grow older, I’m starting to appreciate the human kibble-shaped oat parts of Lucky Charms cereal more and more, and that sentiment definitely extends to this oatmeal, too.
Because the marshmallows, even though they’re cutely miniaturized versions of the cereal’s classic shapes, kind of spoil the whole steamy stew. Compared to their full-sized cereal counterparts, these itty-bitty marbits are gummy instead of “snappy” and have a boring, one-note saccharine flavor instead of a creamily sweet one.
I might be able to tolerate the marshmallows if I could ration them at my own pace, but they start melting the minute they touch down on the oatmeal’s volcanic planetary surface.
They’re like Samus without her Varia Suit.
Before I could even wipe the condensation off my camera, my Lucky Charms Oatmeal had devolved into a rainbow primordial soup so vivid that it would make a reflective oil puddle blush. And speaking of the rainbows, they melt the most interestingly. While before they looked like a piece of Fruit Stripe gum wearing a tie-dye shirt, in death they become shimmering globs of aquamarine ectoplasm.
So while it’s fun to look at, Lucky Charms Oatmeal ends up feeling cloying and bland at the same time. At its best, it tastes like a soggy, chocophobic s’more. At its worst, it tastes like grain-fortified marshmallow fluff. I think Lucky Charms Oatmeal is still worth buying once for the charming novelty alone—especially for kids: if I had this stuff growing up, I would’ve made my Godzilla toys bathe in it—but you better at least have some Cocoa Puffs on hand to serve as emergency mix-ins.
Or just chuck the stuff at your wall, hope it sticks, and call it postmodern art.
The Bowl: Lucky Charms Oatmeal
The Breakdown: Sweet enough to make your molars squeal, but fun enough to make your eyes say “Sweet!, Lucky Charms Oatmeal is just too homogeneously sugary for anyone over the age of 12 to wholesomely enjoy. Serve the marshmallows on the side for best results.
The Bottom Line: 6.5 marshmallow Harlem Globetrotters out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein per 1 pouch serving)