Ah breakfast. The most important meal of the day if you ask any medical professional, and the fuel that gives athletes around the world the competitive edge when competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Team USA, par usual, has been dominating this year’s London Olympics, with golden boy swimmer Michael Phelps taking center stage once again. And what, praytell, fuels Phelps’ dolphin like speed?
Funny you should ask, because according to a Google search, it’s actually three fried egg sandwiches, three chocolate chip pancakes, a five-egg omelette, three buttered and sugared pieces of French Toast, and a bowl of good old fashioned grits. It’s just step one in a 12,000 calorie day feeding frenzy that would make Great White Sharks feel bloated.
Of course, for someone like me, whose most celebrated athletic accomplishment is breaking an eight minute mile, Kellogg’s has introduced 2012 Team USA cereal.
Don’t be fooled by the multicolored loops. This is no Froot Loops knockoff or Apple Jacks wannabe. No, these are red, blue, and yellowish rings of these here United States and its athletic prowess. Taking a look at the Collector’s Edition box, one can’t help be swept up in a mural of amber waves while imagining the sweet, seductive smell of victory over the Russian women’s gymnastics team.
Maybe that’s how the cereal smells in London, but on my couch watching the Olympics, I’m instead struck by the unmistakable smell of slightly cardboardy and artificial vanilla flavor. Clearly, Team USA had a slow surge off the blocks.
But that’s okay, right? I mean, even the Dream Team fights it out with Lithuania, but eventually Coach K gets Kobe, Durant and the boys to lay the hammer down on the road to Gold. That’s it, I figure. The smell is just the pregame warm-ups. Wait ‘till the hand goes down into the box. Then we’ll get down to business.
Or maybe not.
The texture makes about as much of an impact on my taste buds as Nova Scotia makes in the sport of beach volleyball. That’s to say it hardly registers. The dry crunch is virtually nonexistent, while there’s no glazed coating to provide that crisp, Froot Loops-like sweetness. A mediocre and artificial vanilla flavor hovers in the background, but overall, the sweetness seems to lack any pop. I find myself wanting some kind of fat in the ingredient list to crisp up the cereal, and something other than plain old sugar to give the cereal sweetness.
Okay, so we’re clearly falling behind here, but Team USA always rallies. So it’s time to go back for one final try and reach down deep, this time with milk.
Ugh. The results aren’t any better. Milk just turns the already light cereal soggy in a hurry, and not in that good soggy way that Life cereal gets. Little, if any, sweetness is transferred to the milk, and while the vanilla flavor is more pronounced, who has ever bought a Froot Loops-looking cereal for Vanilla flavor, anyway? Michael Phelps, in all his calorie laden breakfast glory, would not approve.
If Team USA cereal was competing in the mythical (but currently patent pending) Cereal Olympics, it wouldn’t even qualify in the prelims. Actually, I’m not sure it would even be allowed to compete. Masquerading as Froot Loops in much the same way that the 2004 U.S. Men’s basketball team masqueraded as the Dream Team, Team USA cereal does American breakfast eaters a disservice. With arguably half the calories per box as Michael Phelps’ breakfast, I think it’s safe to say it’s not the breakfast of champions, and won’t be leading me to athletic glory anytime soon.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 110 calories, 5 calories from fat, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)
Other Kellogg’s 2012 Team USA Cereal reviews:
Time for Cereal
Item: Kellogg’s 2012 Team USA Cereal
Purchased Price: $1.99 (on sale)
Size: 8-ounce box
Purchased at: Weis Markets
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Collector’s Edition Box. Fun Olympic athlete trading cards on the back-of-the-box.Only 110 calories and nine grams of sugar per serving. Decent vanilla flavor in milk. Imagining all the crap I could eat if I had Michael Phelps’ calorie needs.
Cons: More disappointing than the 2004 USA Men’s basketball team. Lacks pop in sweetness. Smells like cardboard. No fruit flavor. Lackluster crunch. Leaves skim milk end-milk that tastes too much like Skim Milk