REVIEW: Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix

Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix

You darn kids have it sooo easy!

Way back in the day, my sister and I had to a walk half a mile to the local IGA every so often just to buy ourselves some Chex Mix (uphill, both ways, naturally). Sure, that might not seem too daunting, but you must keep in mind that it was snowing or raining or hailing or sleeting or doing one of the other thousands of things precipitation is capable of doing in the Midwest approximately 89 percent of the time.

Also, in those days, we only had two options: cheddar or regular. That’s right. No barbecue, no honey crunch, no turtle shell, and no jalapeño cheddar blend. Even hot and spicy didn’t yet exist. Thank the Chex gods those dark days are over!

We always chose regular for the simple fact that the fine folks at Chex Mix lacked a Doritos-level grasp of the concept of sticky flavor powders. Here’s a hint, Chex: moisture is probably involved in the process.

Chex Mix was a specialty snack for us, fit for only one occasion: Saturday night Nickelodeon. SNICK. Do they still have that? I’m struggling to recall the original line-up. Ren & Stimpy and Are You Afraid of the Dark? were involved. That I’m sure of. It seemed like a repository for all the, at best, questionably appropriate Nickelodeon shows – a miasma of violence, fart jokes, rubber nipple salesmen, kitty litter, Canadian imports, and genuine terror. Truly, it was a thing of beauty.

We made a game of not eating during commercial breaks, which sounds boring, but as a seven year old, resisting the savory allure of Chex Mix for even three solid minutes proved challenging, especially when the whole bag was right there and my parents were all the way at the opposite end of the house watching PBS, completely out of supervisory range.

Times change, though. By the time I hit middle school, SNICK seemed to be rotting away into a non-offensive, semi-palatable mush. Clarissa finally explained it all. Amanda Bynes joined the cast of All That. The great northern imports disappeared entirely. Meanwhile, in the junk food world, Chex Mix blossomed into an array of just barely differing flavors. My approach, by and large, was to ignore all of it, rent old Ren & Stimpy tapes at the local video store until I destroyed them, and make my own flippin’ Chex mix. I was impossibly cool and alternative. Every so often, though, Chex would unveil a new variety capable of cracking my shell of teenage indifference, usually with sugary bits or new pretzel shapes.

Some things don’t change. I am still just that stupidly easy to sway. Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix manages to target two of my snack weaknesses with the inclusion of Lucky-Charms-like mini-marshmallows and large cinnamon bun pieces where the rye chips once stood. I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag. This particular mix also comes equipped with cocoa powdery corn Chex, vanilla yogurt rice Chex, and, for better or worse, the same old circle- and window-shaped pretzels which seem to exist nowhere outside the Chex universe.

Normally, the great thing about Chex Mix is, well, the mixing. No handful is complete without a metric ton of salty, spicy coating covering every piece, harmoniously joining a range of ultra-processed grains to create something far greater than the sum of their partially hydrogenated parts. This is the point where Cocoa Chex Mix begins to lose steam. Remember the cheesy Chex Mix from before? Well, even given *cough cough* years (sorry there, I seem to be getting choked up by the dryness of this snack), the fine people at Chex still haven’t quite figured out a way around the powder dilemma.

Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix Closeup

Every square inch of the mix, from the cinnamon buns to the window panes, comes coated in an ultra-fine layer of excess powder which from the cover picture I assume was only meant for the corn Chex. This powder isn’t especially sweet or exceptionally chocolatey. It’s basically just cocoa powder. The haphazard distribution of the stuff leaves the mix looking like something you’d dig out of the back of a couch, a relic of SNICKs past.

The cinnamon buns are tasty. The marshmallows, marshmallowy. But everything is so, so very dry. In theory, the yogurt rice Chex compensate for this. In practice, there are about five yogurt rice Chex pieces distributed throughout the bag, hopelessly lost in a barren wasteland of corn Chex hell-bent on sucking up all moisture and happiness in the world. If you’re lucky enough to scoop up a handful with one of the rare yogurty rice pieces, you’ll be amazed. Once you add those guys in, the mix truly begins to shine. But in all likelihood, particularly if you’re sharing the bag, you’ll never really experience the dazzling effect of the full flavor array. My advice to you in that case is to steal all the cinnamon buns while your Chex eating buddy isn’t looking. Insist that, like the rice Chex, the cinnamon buns were woefully scarce from the beginning.

As a treat for those determined enough to make it all the way to the bottom of the bag (or unobservant enough to open the bag upside-down), the marshmallows mimic the original Chex’s peanuts in their astonishing ability to cluster and sink to the bottom. They might look scant now, but just wait. Or shake the bag.

Actually, no. In order to experience the best this mix has to offer, just go buy a bag of marshmallows and some cocoa powder. Combine. Shake that. Voila! Cocoa for people who hate liquid! You can thank me later. Now get off my lawn. Blasted whipper snappers!

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix reviews:
The Talking Spoon

Item: Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix
Price: $2.49
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Fry’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Cinnamon buns as delicious as they look in the picture. Early SNICK. Marshmallows are of the kids’ cereal ilk. Yogurt rice Chex are a revelation. Ren & Stimpy. Mix does not actually taste like it came from between two couch cushions.
Cons: Powdery dryness akin to licking salt flats in Death Valley. Contains no chocolate morsels, chips, or chunks. Not overtly sweet. Utter lack of rice chex kills the flavor dream. Are You Afraid of the Dark?-induced nightmares. Marshmallows woefully smaller than their Lucky Charms counterparts. Dumping the mix in milk in a desperate bid for moisture makes the pretzels soggy. The last few seasons of All That.

10 thoughts on “REVIEW: Limited Edition Cocoa Chex Mix

  1. The original SNICK lineup was Clarissa Explains It All, the lesser-known and sadly lesser-loved Roundhouse (which was naturally MY favorite show in the block), The Ren and Stimpy Show, and Are You Afraid of The Dark?. Back when middle schoolers weren’t too grown up to have sleepovers and watch Nickelodeon until midnight.

  2. My personal favorite flavor of Chex Mix is the Peanut Lover’s, which has sadly been completely impossible to find in my area.

    The cinnamon buns in this bag kind of freak me out.

  3. LOL, wow. Upon reading the first part of the interview it’d seem our lives were interchangeable at one point. Well – minus the rain, the snow, the sleet, an any other unfortunate woe Mother Nature dealt down to you on your trek to the local grocers. If any of those elements arose, I simply wouldn’t step a foot out of my door.

    Ah, Chex Mix.. I often tend to forget the wholesome quality this food source provides and the nostalgia associated with it. I mean, granted it was probably the generic brand I’m thinking about (Yeah, research would reveal it to actually be Mr.Christie’s ‘bits & bites’ snack mix), but still – what I’d do to have a snack bowl of this stuff now, sitting on table nearby.

    Anyways, great review! my favorite part of the Chex Mix/bits & bites were an equal combination of the wheat cereal pieces and the bread-sticks. Original, ftw!

  4. I loved SNICK! And to the pp, Jason – Roundhouse was a GREAT show. Funny sketches, great singing – all around awesomeness! Afraid of the Dark was another favorite of mine as well. :)

    I have not tried the Cocoa Chex mix, but I will have to – the little marshmallows look yummy!

    I recommend the Dark Chocolate Chex mix, it contains vanilla yogurt covered chex which are to die for! It pairs well with the dark chocolateness of the rest of the items.

  5. The Old Fogey knows what you mean
    The old fogey used to have to make his own hcex mix…. still a mix is a mix…

    Cold Chillin’

  6. How come all these food review blogs are such a ramblefest? They all seem to go: blah, blah, blah, here’s my life story, and then five+ paragraphs in, you finally start to talk about the product. Do the phrases “know your audience” and KISS mean nothing to you? Less life story, more get to the point. If there is one thing a food product review ought to be, it’s concise. Nix the “dear diary” crap.

    1. Thank you for your comment, which I was going to delete because you broke the douchebag rule, but since I get an email/comment like yours every two years, I decided to reply.

      Anyhoo, this comment will probably be what you call a “ramblefest,” so you might want to skip the next few hundred words and read the last paragraph.

      When I started this food review blog seven years ago, I didn’t want it to be a plain old review blog. I wanted some personality to it. So I wrote reviews how I wanted them to be and over the past seven years we’ve grown to an audience of several thousand readers. You say we should “know our audience”, but let me ask you a question, “How do you know who our audience is?” I mean, you read one or two reviews and by doing so you seem to know who our audience is? In the corporate world, I believe that is marketing magic. You obviously have marketing radar that companies would kill for. You should look into that.

      Oh wait, you don’t, because I’d hate to disappoint you, but I’d like to think we know our audience much better than you do, since we built it from zero to thousands and thousands of readers over the past seven years. We’re catering to OUR audience and it obviously doesn’t include you, which is completely fine with us. If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned over the years, it’s that I can’t please everyone, and if I tried, I’d probably lose everyone.

      Yes, the previous sentence was quite deep. Take your time and digest its meaning.

      You appear to like throwing cliches around, such as “know your audience” and “keep it simple, stupid,” so I’ll throw one at you, “think outside the box.” That’s how we’ve approached reviews for over seven years so that we don’t write boring ass reviews. Oh, let me throw another cliche at you, “niche audience.” That’s what we have, and, again, you’re not a part of that, but that’s absosmurfly fine with us.

      For you push your ideals of what we should be is quite douchey. You have all these preconceived notions of what our writing should and shouldn’t be, but writing is a creative task and the thing about creativity is that you can bend and break rules so that you can do whatever the fuck you want. For you to confine us into a box of your design is completely narrow-minded. You may not like how we write, but frankly, I don’t give a shit. I write for OUR audience and for MYSELF. I want to write reviews that I’m proud of and in MY writing voice. And if you don’t like it, my writing voice says, “Fuck you and if you want to read concise reviews about products, go read a bunch of mommy blogs. They pretty much discuss products in one completely vapid paragraph.”

      If you didn’t skip to the end and read this whole thing, I believe I have wasted about three minutes of your life you will never get back, which I hope I accomplished. Now you might be thinking that I wasted my time writing this to you, but I’m sorry to disappoint, I had a lot of fun writing this, much like I have fun writing reviews in the way you seem to hate.

      1. He shoots, he scores.

        Nicely put, Marvo! I like your reviews – don’t let people like that get to you. You do you, my man.

  7. Wasn’t “you can’t do that on television” on SNICK ?… I might be a few years off. In which case, at my “old age” of 30 I must be too old for this post.

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