When Post introduced the new Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal, I realized I no longer had a use for Sally (not her actual name, because I can’t pronounce her real name), the 8-year-old illegal immigrant Chinese girl I paid $1 a month to separate the bunches from my Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Believe me it was worth the dollar to separate the flakes and the bunches in the cereal, because the bunches are the best part — they have all the flavor.
Some of you might be appalled by my blatant ignoring of child labor laws, but I will tell you that I treated Sally much better than she would have been treated in China. Not only did I pay her a dollar a month, I also let her eat all the Honey Bunches of Oats flakes she could eat, since I wasn’t eating them, but she had to provide her own milk, because I’m not a cow. I also taught her English by making her work in front of a television throughout the day. So far, she can say pretty well, “Survey says…” and “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”
When I showed Sally the box of Just Bunches! cereal and told her she was free to leave, she smiled and said, “cao ni zuzong shiba dai wonang fei” which at the time I thought it meant “thank you very much” in Chinese, but later found out that it really means, “Go fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation, loser.”
The Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal looks like I took a granola bar out of a hippie’s hands and beat them with it, causing the bar to break down into small pieces. The box it comes in is Grape Nuts-ish, which means it’s significantly smaller than most other cereal boxes because the cereal doesn’t take up much space, just like brains in the skulls of all contestants who are hoping to find love through a reality show. Because the bunches take up less space, I’m unable to determine what’s a good serving size without hauling out measuring cups. According to the box, there are eight 2/3 cup servings per box, but it took me four normal-to-me-sized bowls to eat all of it.
The cereal has a sticky, sweet smell and its caramel taste seemed very artificial, but neither of those were the most disturbing attributes of the Caramel Just Bunches! cereal. What was unsettling was its unnatural crunchiness after sitting in milk for ten minutes; its ability to turn skim milk brownish, a little thicker, and gross; and the use of a fucking exclamation point in its name. It’s a cereal, not a fucking energy drink.
As you can tell, I didn’t really care for the Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches! cereal, but there’s also a version with honey roasted bunches, just like the ones I paid Sally pick out, so maybe those will be better, but if not, I need to go find Sally and give her a 25 cent raise to encourage her to come back.
(Nutrition Facts – 2/3 cup – 250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 135 milligrams of potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 25 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein, a whole lot of vitamins and minerals, and one less illegal immigrant.)
(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Jessica for recommending the Just Bunches! cereal. She now owes me protection from child labor laws.)
Item: Caramel Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches!
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 17 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Stays crunchy in milk. Vitamins and minerals. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. 4 grams of fiber. Paying someone a dollar per month to separate the bunches and the flakes in Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Learning English through game shows.
Cons: Very artificial caramel flavor. Sticky, sweet smell. Turns milk gross. Enough in box for only four manly-sized bowls. Unnecessary use of an exclamation point in its name. Ignoring child labor laws.