The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at over 1,800 pounds.
There’s a popular theory you’ve probably heard, that humans only use 10 percent of our brains; and if we could only tap the remaining 90 percent, we could do all kinds of crazy shit with our minds, like start fires and levitate objects and figure out why some people find Fergie attractive. In reality, it’s bogus- not the Fergie part (some people actually do… carnies, I suspect), but about the brain. You use 100 percent of your brain, same as I do.
I bring it up because it means that if I’m using all of my brain, then every time I learn something new, I forget something I already know. Don’t argue, that’s science. And thanks to the random factoids from the back of Cap’n Crunch’s seasonal Halloween Crunch, which I’ll be sprinkling throughout this review — and because God knows my brain won’t jettison crucial information like the lyrics to Denver the Last Dinosaur, or the names of the ghosts from Pac-Man (Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, or Sue for Ms. Pac-Man) — I now don’t remember trigonometry, the date of the Gettysburg Address, or the middle names, technically, of both of my children. (I want to say Alison and… John? Wait, is one of them a boy?)
Jack O’ Lanterns originally consisted of candles placed in hollowed-out turnips to keep away ghosts and spirits.
But to business: Halloween Crunch. The box depicts a cartoon jack o’ lantern with the Cap’n’s face carved into it, grinning like he just shivved a Soggy or has a girl waiting for him at the next port. Actually, I have to give props to the design department… they didn’t half-ass it by slapping the word “Halloween!” over a regular box of Cap’n Crunch and calling it a day. No, this is a full-assed production. The font is a kind of eclectic, spooky-ish style, there are demonic-looking pumpkins and eyes all around, the coloring is black and dark green rather than the classic bright red. Really, if not for the Cap’n’s distinct face, you could walk by this in a store without having any idea it was related to Cap’n Crunch.
Speaking of which, I know a common complaint of Cap’n Crunch is that it cuts the roof of your mouth. I guess what my dad told me growing up is true and I really AM tougher than everyone else, because I’ve never had that problem. If you do, beware, because the main component of this seasonal variant remains “regular” Cap’n Crunch pieces. They didn’t even change the color, which I would have liked, maybe shifting that classic yellow to a bright pumpkin orange. But since they didn’t, the new pieces are what make the cereal Halloween-y. These additions are pink, slightly larger than the classic pieces, and shaped vaguely like a ghost if you squint, in the same way that a Van Gogh painting of a flower looks like a flower. Some of them are also covered in green speckles, which is almost certainly either mold or an intentional “slime” effect. They’re shown that way on the box, so we’ll assume the latter and just hope the Ghostbusters aren’t feeling particularly litigious.
Seeds that are related to the pumpkin have been found in caves dating back over 7,000 years in Mexico.
But what are the new pieces like? Well, I have this notion in my head that they taste a lot like crunchberries, but I can’t be sure because it’s been about two decades since I last had a crunchberry. They have a tinge of that artificially-fruity-but-not-actually-anything-like-real-fruit flavor. You know the one. And really, it’s just a hint — they definitely don’t overpower the taste of the regular Cap’n Crunch pieces, which is good because frankly that taste is better. Like me in a discussion of current events, the ghost pieces are amiable and pleasant enough without contributing anything of real substance. When the nicest thing I can say about you is that you really do turn the milk green surprisingly quickly, you know you’re destined for the “novelty fad” pile.
I really don’t have much else to say about Halloween Crunch. I’m glad I tried it as a lark, and if you’re a fan of regular Cap’n Crunch, you might as well give it a shot, since it’s fundamentally the same cereal with a cool-looking box and some vaguely fruity ghost pieces. But it’s not going to give the Monster Cereals a run for their money, and the only real activity on the back is a template of the Cap’n’s grinning mug that you can use to carve a jack o’ lantern, in case you want your pumpkin looking like it just made a particularly timely “That’s what she said!” remark. Plus the pieces of trivia, of course, but now you already know those. You’re welcome!
Did you know that pumpkins are made up of around 90 percent water?
(Nutrition Facts — 3/4 cup — 100 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, 10 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)
Item: Cap’n Crunch’s Halloween Crunch
Size: 13 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Using 100 percent of your brain. Bitchin’ box art. Did not cut my mouth. Still tastes as good as standard Cap’n Crunch, with only minor variation. Turns milk green rapidly. Stays crunchy for a while.
Cons: Mostly flash, little substance. Fergie’s grille. New pieces look more like alien blobs than ghosts. Why would I want my jack o’ lantern giving Quaker free advertising? Very little taste deviation from regular Cap’n Crunch.