Tag Archives: 9 rating

Review: Count Chocula Monster Cereal (2017)

2017 Count Chocula Monster Cereal Review – Box

I feel like I’m starring in a movie trailer for an unnecessary 2017 reboot of a classic ’80s film. You know, the kind of trailer that inevitably starts with all the wizened and crow-footed stars of the first movie reuniting in their old haunt to topically argue about how things just aren’t as good as they used to be and crack jokes about iPads?

Yeah, that’s how I feel about buying my 2017 box of Count Chocula, because those trailers always open with someone muttering the same line: “Well, here we are again.” Or maybe, “Hello, old friend.” Or even, “Y’all haven’t aged a day.”

Even though a year has passed since I’ve tasted the Count’s sweet cocoa spoils (not counting the expired box I found in my pantry and begrudgingly—though not regretfully—ate on the 4th of July), I feel like this caped chocolate cruncher has never left my side. Like a warm memory or a Tamagotchi that just won’t die, the nostalgic spookiness of Count Chocula—who’s been on shelves for 46 years now, despite being an ageless vampire—is resonant enough to keep me thinking about old elementary school Halloween parties and goofy candy corn cupcakes all year long.

So while I’m sure I won’t find much new to say about Count Chocula’s taste that I haven’t said in previous reviews, I owe this trusty Hershey’s syrup-blooded bloodsucker his annual tribute. Let’s sharpen our canines and start munchin’! Continue reading

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Review: Halloween Chocolate Fudge Printed Fun Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Halloween Edition Printed Fun Chocolate Fudge Pop-Tarts Review – Box

Halloween is about the little things.

Ask any full-blooded (or at least fake-blood-slathered) Halloween lover, and I’m sure most will agree. While haunted houses, parties, and handing out candy on The Big XXXI Day itself are the holiday’s main events, savoring little spooky moments is the key to feeling merrily macabre from the start of back-to-school season ’til the end of back-to-the-cardboard-box-ghouls-in my basement season.

These bite-sized boos can be anything—or anywhere. Glimpsing a well-loved plastic goblin in a thrift store. Marathoning all the Halloween movies and spending the next week fearing any mention of William Shatner. Camping out in a Spirit Halloween with an industrial carton of Whoppers and flipping through old Goosebumps books until the staff gets scared of you.

Or maybe it’s just eating one (or thirty one) of Kellogg’s “new” Halloween Chocolate Fudge Printed Fun Pop-Tarts. It’s long been a Pop-Tartian tradition to adorn their Chocolate Fudge flavor with full Hallo-regalia (why Chocolate Fudge, I don’t know—maybe because it’s pretty much a king-sized candy bar that’s socially acceptable to eat for breakfast?), but previous years have only seen this ghost-er pastry wearing orange frosting and crunchy sprinkle shapes.

But now Kellogg’s has beautifully spurned their sprinkled tradition in favor of something somehow even better: printed scary shapes on every neon orange-blasted, baked fudge rectangle! Drink that box art in for a minute while I grab the plates, glasses of milk, and altars to worship that top cartoon ghost at.

He looks like a spectral Pikachu tail. Continue reading

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Review: Nature’s Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Macaroon Cereal

Nature's Path Organic Love Crunch Dark Chocolate Macaroon Cereal Review – Box

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! Continue reading

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Review: Nature’s Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cereal

Nature's Path Organic Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cereal Review – Box

These ain’t your kid brother’s Reese’s Puffs.

No, while the most famous chocolate and peanut butter cereal is a sugary smorgasbord of twinkling cocoa spheres, downright pedestrian peanut butter puffs, and the persistent spirit of a million Saturday morning memories, the granola gourmands at Nature’s Path have conspired in their organically all-natural gluten-free ivory tower to produce a choco-nutty cereal with class.

“Look at those pithy Puffs,” one doubtlessly said. “They’re all the same. We’re capitalists, for GORP’s sake: we need a hierarchy!

Thus, Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Organic Cereal was born, ready for the well-mouthed silver spoons of people who can afford $4 boxes of cereal. This new Love Crunch line of flake ‘n’ cluster foodstuffs also includes Dark Chocolate & Red Berries and Dark Chocolate Macaroon, but my ennui about fruity cereals and boycotting of macaroons until we get a French macaron cereal made my first flavor choice obvious.

And really, how could I lose, when all 3 flavors contain weirdly specific fair trade Italian dark chocolate that Nature’s Path probably impulsively bought like it was Milo’s Egyptian cotton? Real chocolate chunks are like a cheat code for cereals. But I digress: let’s ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A START this review. Continue reading

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Review: Mocha Crunch Cereal

General Mills Mocha Crunch Cereal Review - Box

I’m a coffee snob. There, I said it, since you were going to find out anyway.

Yeah, I’m the guy who lets creamer expire, who recoils upon hearing the word “Frappuccino” like it was a different F-word, and who orders small black coffees at McDonald’s while in quiet camaraderie at all the old guys who used their senior coffee discount to do the same. Perhaps it speaks to the bitterness of my heart, but I like my coffee potent and sugarless, with names that are hard to pronounce and pretentious flavor notes like elderberry or toasted marshmallow that don’t actually exist and were probably drawn out of a hat by a mischievous barista.

So while I can’t remember the last mocha I’ve drank, hearing about General Mills’s new Mocha Crunch Cereal still left me giddy (although that might’ve been residual caffeine). The online-only Coffee Cereal has the beaned and bitter cereal market cornered, so I was ready to welcome a sugary chocolate coffee cereal into my life with open arms that are holding hot coffee mugs so you probably shouldn’t hug me. Sorry, Mocha Crunch.

Now the cereal’s here, and a single whiff of the bag’s medium-roasted cappuccino scent has me convinced good things are brewing. No need to wait for it to cool: let’s dive in.  Continue reading

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Review: Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

General Mills Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Review Box

I, for one, welcome our loaf overlords.

With French Toast Crunch’s continued triumph of nostalgia, Tiny Toast’s recent rebrand into Strawberry Toast Crunch and Blueberry Toast Crunch, and now Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s debut, one thing has become clear: bread-shaped cereal is here to stay. Though I’m slightly conflicted about what this means for the Toast Crunch family of cereals. On one hand, I worry that we’ll never get another variety with flavor-swirled squares, but the other hand is too busy scooping up fistfuls of Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal because all these small slices are so darn cute that I’d rather formally adopt them as children than eat them.

I’ve already got names picked out: Crusty, Carbo, Butt Slice—the list goes on.

But any way you slice it (or square it), I’m just happy we’re getting new Toast Crunch varieties, because that brings us ever closer to getting my childhood white whale: PB&J Toast Crunch. Now enough nuttiness: let’s slice open these wee slices and hope they taste like apple pie slices. Continue reading

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Review: Trader Joe’s Organic Frosted Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Toaster Pastries

Trader Joe's Organic Frosted Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Toaster Pastries Box

Toaster pastry family dynamics are confusing.

Take the Brown Sugar Cinnamons, for example. From Kellogg’s to Kroger, every brand under the toaster oven’s warming sun has a unique take on Brown Sugar Cinnamon, but they all taste different. Sometimes, I like to try connecting each doughy rectangle on an imaginary family tree.

You have the OG pastry, Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart, a sweet and sugary gal who was clearly raised by a “fun parent:” the kind of hyperactive, dad joke-slinging manchild who I aspire to be someday. You have Cinnamon Roll with Brown Sugar Toaster Strudels, who stays cold and aloof in his room until you warm him up and he comes alive. And you have Cinnamon + Brown Sugar Megpie, the plump child who ran away from home to become a barista and eat one too many Starbucks marble loaves during his break.

Now there’s Trader Joe’s new Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Toaster Pastry. He must’ve been raised by the family’s all organic, hippy grandma out west. Just why do I say that? Well let’s ask the quirky quadrilateral himself. Continue reading

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Review: Welch’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bar Baking Mix, from Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker Welch's Strawberry Oatmeal Bars Baking Mix Box

I’ve reviewed oatmeal before.

I’ve reviewed cereal bars before.

But not until today have the two joined forces for a tasty crossover that’s more satisfying than The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters, and The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour combined. You’ll notice that I’ve never reviewed granola bars, either. That’s because raw oats are simply one step of effort too far away from pipin’ hot oatmeal or Cracklin’ Oat Bran. In my eyes, it takes a microwave or a mill press to turn plain grains into breakfast.

So it’s time to grow up, granola bars, because oatmeal bars have everything you do—just with a lot more gumption. Oh, and in this case: oodles of strawberry jelly, too. Continue reading

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