Different foods do “chaos scoops” better.
You know, chaos scoops: when you grab a big handful of a mixed foodstuffs with blatant disregard for flavor sorting or portion control, slam it in your mouth with the grace of a Legends of the Hidden Temple contestant putting the Silver Monkey together, and relish in a lawless hodgepodge of melded flavors.
Trail mix is good about this (as long as you maintain a respectable nuts-to-M&M’s ratio), Skittles scoops are hedonistically sweet, and jelly beans are the definition of risk vs. reward—you get one black licorice or cinnamon in there and it’s a whammy for your digestive system.
That’s why I was curious about Special K’s new Berries & Peaches cereal, the third in their probiotic line of Nourish cereals (I hear if you eat them while taking an antibiotic, your gut flora unites to punch you in the colon). With so many ingredients—flakes, dried strawberries/blueberries/peaches, and yogurty bits, could Special K possibly pull such complex choreography? Or would it taste like a fire in my (Jelly) Belly?
Well it’s time to make a sacrifice for the people. If I start posting pro-bacteria propaganda next week, know that I’ve been compromised.
A tidal wave of peach flavor hit me the second I took a bite of this stuff: on the peachiness scale of 1 to Keen, this stuff is Mario‘s favorite princess. It’s a juicy, floral, and borderline apricotty peach puree flavor, so if you’re not a fan of that particular fruit family, you’re better off plumbing the depths of your pantry for something else.
Thankfully for sweet-sensitive taste buds, this potent peach punch fades fast, leaving behind the wholesome toasted multigrain flake flavor Special K is known for—but now it’s marinated in phantom peach juice sweetness. It’s little too tropically fruity to call it a peach cobbler cereal, but the brown sugared crust vibes of the flakes is definitely pleasant.
This is the kind of cereal I can see a jealous grandma throwing in the trash—right next to my “sinful” video games.
The other elements in this dry cereal are pretty disparately spaced out and have trouble making an impact. The yogurty chiclets release pops of pleasant buttermilky creaminess, but this never quite unites with the peach. Meanwhile, the assorted dried fruits are rarer than a holographic Charizard card that still knows how to drive a stick shift, and when you do nosh one, they all taste the same: far too tart to discern, much less enjoy, their respective fruit flavors.
But milk…milk changes everything. Through some kind of (likely forbidden) dairy alchemy, milk unites flake, fruit, yogurt, and my soul like some sort of lactose Avatar. The yogurt emulsifies with milk to make it buttery and fruit parfait-esque, the tartness of the fruit bits is tempered by balancing milk fat, and all the flavors are chaos-scooped together into something that tastes remarkably like crunchy Trix yogurt.
So if you don’t have that magic moo juice, this stuff ends up tasting like geographically isolated trail mix. But if you have a thing for fruit cocktails or fruity fro-yo, or if you’re too embarrassed to slam back a Go-Gurt in public, you must try Special K Nourish Peaches & Berries with milk.
And then go to Go-Gurt therapy, because we all deserve to shamelessly pound a yogurt tube like it’s a creamy fruit slide whistle.
The Bowl: Special K Nourish Berries & Peaches Cereal
The Breakdown: With milk as a director, this complex bowl becomes a well-choreographed dance of fruit, parfaits, and pies, but without dairy, these probiotic ballerinas are just too dry and tart.
The Bottom Line: 8 Last Dairy-benders out of 10