In this era of snarky infographics and predacious BuzzFeedian BuzzFoodies, it’s hard for anyone to mistake the difference between a macaroon and a French macaron anymore—though I’d argue that it’s much easier to confuse the French macaron with French president Emmanuel Macron.
Yes, everyone, their grandma, and their hyperintelligent pet ape who will one day overthrow humanity or at least star in a memorable sitcom knows that a macaroon is a shredded and toasted mound of sweet, sweet coconut, while a macaron is an ethereal pastel hamburger made of almond flour, powdered sugar, and filling pipetted with the care of a hummingbird whisperer.
And even though I knew this, just like Caesar, I’m still upset that Nature Path’s newest Love Crunch Cereal is Dark Chocolate Macaroon and not Dark Chocolate Macaron. Yes, that cereal would probably just taste like Chocolate Cheerios, but it’s the principle of the thing! I want colorfully crunchy cereal sliders so small White Castle would sell them by the Crave Catamaran!
But fine: I’ll sop up my tears with a bowl of this expensive, though likely delicious Love Crunch Cereal. Despite costing $4 and containing hardly enough cereal per box to feed a hummingbird whisperer’s daily clientele, the first Love Crunch Cereal I tried blew me—nay, propelled me—away with raw sumptuousness.
Now that I’ve got a safety net behind, let’s get with the propelling, Dark Chocolate Macaroon!
If nothing else, Dark Chocolate Macaroon Love Crunch Cereal is a breakfast of many moving—or at least crunching—parts. There are flakes, clusters, chocolate nibs, and coconut shreds, which is about as many ingredients as there would be in a real chocolate macaroon recipe.
The cocoa-buttered flakes are the same as before: heavy on the golden-roasted corn flavor with a lightly sticky, yet deeply caramelized chocolate oil glaze. These flakes are far hardier than your average flake (each one could eat a bowl of fragile Corn Flakes for breakfast—with nails instead of milk), yet their dry, saliva-sucking texture requires you to have something else in every spoonful.
Luckily, you have options. The dinky dark chocolate squares still pack a Ghirardelli of a wallop, with an unscientifically estimated 65% cacao and an even less scientifically estimated 100% fudgy and buttery deliciousness. Seriously: if you gathered all the nibs in a bag of Dark Chocolate Macaroon Love Crunch and rolled them into a ball, Play-Doh style, you could out-truffle Lindor, Godiva, and Chunk.
Or at least make the world’s most laborious s’more.
The coconut slivers, despite being the most outwardly macaroon-y things in this Dark Chocolate Macaroon cereal, taste more like undercooked macaroni. That is, they’re starchy and very chewy, but largely flavorless. After aggressively gnashing a bunch of these creme-colored crepe paper shreds, they started to emit a very light coconut sweetness, but it was tropical and daintily saccharine, rather than the toasty, browned coconut I’d get from a macaroon.
Good thing the fantastic oat clusters make up for this drought of coconuttiness. Pleasantly crumbly, well-toasted, and infused with some wonderful essence of buttery baker’s coconut, the clusters keep Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Macaroon deliciously true to its name.
If I could eat a bowl of just these granola clusters, I’d do it ’til my rattling molars bring the cows home.
My chief (albeit minor) complaint about this Love Crunch cereal is that, when eaten dry, your enjoyment is totally at the mercy of your bowl and spoon combination. Spoonfuls of all flakes or flakes and coconut shreds are bound to be as tropically disappointing as a pineapple right-side-up cake. But any spoonful that features a dark chocolate nubbin, a cluster, or the rare and borderline religious experience that comes from combining the two will leave you feeling like you really did eat a deconstructed chocolate macaroon.
From caramelized coconut start to bittersweet chocolate finish, this cereal could make even a macaron lover say, “Oh my ganache!”
Oh, and did I mention caramel? Because in milk, those well-browned notes are highlighted, while Dark Chocolate Macaroon Love Crunch Cereal’s supporting cast of indulgent flavors all blend together magically. The whole thing ends up tasting more like a Samoa Girl Scout Cookie than General Mills’s own Caramel Crunch Girl Scouts Cereal. I was left Caramel deLited, and I’m sure you will be too.
Altogether, Dark Chocolate Macaroon Cereal isn’t better than Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Love Crunch Cereal, nor is it worse—it’s just equally as wonderful. The cost, serving size, and calorie count may thin my wallet as much as it bulges my gut, but this cereal is definitely worth a try for its novelly piecemeal approach to recipe re-creation.
Bonus points to whoever purées it into a paste to make macaron filling.
The Bowl: Nature’s Path Organic Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Macaroon Cereal
The Breakdown: Tasting exactly like its namesake (when all elements are balanced), this cereal is a molecularly constructed match-up of a grown-up Mounds Bar and a Girl Scout Cookie. I just wish the coconut wisps weren’t so wimpy, and the flakes were more “dessert” than “desert.”
The Bottom Line: 9 upside-down cakes that turn my frown the same direction out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein per 1 cup serving)