REVIEW: Post Shredded Wheat Frosted Cinnamon Roll Cereal

Post Shredded Wheat Frosted Cinnamon Roll Cereal

I can’t help but stare at the Post Shredded Wheat Frosted Cinnamon Roll Cereal box for two reasons.

  1. From afar the cereal pieces look as if they’re the children of a block of dried packaged ramen noodles and a Twinkie.
  2. The white creamy centers in those cereal pieces on the box do not show up in the actual cereal pieces. In tiny print, it says, “enlarged to show detail.” Unfortunately, a detail is wrong.

What’s not wrong is the aroma that comes out after opening the package. It’s a nice sweet cinnamon smell that I’d love to wake up to every morning. However, the cereal itself is not one I’m sure I’d wake up for.

As you can read on the box, the part of a complete breakfast has whole grain wheat, no synthetic colors, and is “bursting with vanilla flavored chips.” It’s frosted on one side and cinnamon is an ingredient. Now, this sounds like this could be a decent cereal, and, I’ll be honest, it is when eaten dry.

The cinnamon flavor isn’t as pronounced as its aroma, but the frosting, vanilla-flavored chips, and cinnamon do a great job at acting as the Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac to deal with the depressing blandness of the shredded wheat.

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But I do wish Post upped the cinnamon dosage. It’s not Cinnabon level of cinnamon, it’s more like licking the bottom of the box a Cinnabon came in after someone else licked it. The frosting and vanilla chips add a generic sweetness and artificial vanilla-ness that help the insoluble fiber go down. The chips aren’t like what’s shown on the box, they’re more like white blobs with a texture that’s more crunchy than creamy.

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While fine when eaten dry, a problem arises when it sits in milk for a few moments, which is a situation cereal finds itself in 9 out of 10 times. The dairy bath causes the pieces lose ALL THEIR FLAVOR and turn a decent cereal into a depressing one. Now you’d think those vanilla chips might save it, but even their flavor disappeared. Actually, my mouth couldn’t even feel those chips in the soggy pieces. It’s as if they dissolved in milk.

If you’re going to eat these as a dry snack, you’ll enjoy them. They have a hearty crunch and a decent, sweet flavor. But, while milk helps strengthen bones, it hurts this cereal by washing those good things away.

(Nutrition Facts – 22 biscuits – 220 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 15.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Tastes good dry. Uses actual cinnamon.
Cons: Flavor washes off when sittin in milk for a few moments. Could use more cinnamon flavor. Deceptive image of cereal pieces on box. Looks like a dried ramen block and a Twinkie had a child.

REVIEW: Post Honey Maid S’mores Cereal

Post Honey Maid S mores Cereal

I think everything is better with a brand name.

An Oreo Blizzard beats a chocolate sandwich cookie Blizzard ten times out of ten; a Lucky Charms milkshake kicks the crap out of a marshmallow cereal milkshake; and an Arby’s sandwich on a King’s Hawaiian bun is far superior to a sandwich on a sweet enriched roll that may or may not have come from a rock in the Pacific Ocean.

Don’t ask me about the logic behind this phenomenon. It might be proprietary recipe secrets. It might be social conditioning. It might just be that you’d have to be an idiot to roll out something called a “marshmallow cereal milkshake.”

Honey Maid S’more cereal follows much of the trend, which is surprising because it’s made by Post, which previously bought Mom’s Best, which owns Malt-O-Meal, which produces both a mediocre Cocoa Puffs imitator and a pathetic Golden Grahams doppelganger.

Oh, and by the way, a s’mores cereal.

I’ve never had the Malt-O-Meal cereal with the same name, but I have had many other Malt-O-Meal cereals and consider them hastily assembled Halloween costume versions of their General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Quaker counterparts. Knowing this, I was not expecting much from this s’mores cereal.

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Sampling the pieces individually didn’t do much to change my outlook. The marshmallow pieces were okay but nothing special, like a 6-6 college football team that limps into a bowl game. Meanwhile, the chocolate cereal pieces (which look and taste like Malt-O-Meal’s Cocoa Puffs imitator Cocoa Roos) are about as dreadful as a chocolate cereal can be, with virtually no cocoa flavor and too much sweetness.

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Eaten alone, the only redeeming element is the Honey Maid graham pieces, which have a deep graham flavor and light crunch that’s distinct from the glazed molasses sweetness of Golden Grahams.

But a funny thing happens when you shove a handful of the mix in your mouth. It starts to taste like s’mores, and out of nowhere a light cocoa flavor emerges in the background.

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I attribute this 100 percent to a dusty coating that covers all the pieces. It’s not unlike the peanut butter coating that covers Reese’s Puffs, but instead of tasting like powdered chocolate peanut butter, it tastes like powdered S’mores. The coating is especially tasty in milk, which seems to coax more cocoa flavor out of the chocolate cereal pieces, and gives the graham pieces a delectable, milk-infused sogginess.

Even though the chocolate flavor is a letdown, Honey Maid S’mores is a slightly better than Smorz (which I gave a 6) but not as good as Krave S’mores (which I gave an 8). Is it because of the Honey Maid Graham Cracker pieces?

Well, it’s not because of some generic graham cracker pieces.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup without milk – 120 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 21 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Authentic honey graham flavor. Campfire coating binds flavors together with a deep burnt sugar taste with hints of cocoa. Very good in milk. Correct spelling of S’mores. Avoiding the tempting Hamilton Porter S’mores reference from The Sandlot.
Cons: Less cocoa flavor than a tootsie roll. Only adequate as a snacking cereal. The reasoning behind Cocoa Roos. Brand name food collusion.

REVIEW: Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

The best way to start your morning?

Cinnamon.

Naturally sweet and spicy, it helps boost brain function, improves blood circulation, and can even prevent cancer! A doctor also once told me that if I ate an apple every day I would never have to come back to his office, so, an apple caked in cinnamon must be the answer to all of life’s problems. Seemingly hearing my call for health help, General Mills has added Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch to their Toast line of breakfast cereals.

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Tasting the cereal dry, the first thing that jumps out at me is this stuff does not have the big crystallized sugary pop of its father and cinna-GOAT, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Although I could already tell this just from looking at them, the texture is exactly the same as the now buried Tiny Toast line – puffy and crunchy loaf slices with a relatively soft chew that is generally pleasant for a kiddy cereal.

The flavor is headlined by a solid authentic apple flavor that if I had to guess was modeled after a red delicious as it isn’t too tart or sweet, but definitely juicy. The cinnamon takes more of a backseat, with just a slightly spicy finish that gives a bit of a robust and rounded flavor without being too aggressive.

The two work really well together and are pretty seamless like fresh apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon. Despite being able to see some sparkly sugar on the surface of the toasts, I think more sweetness would have really helped give the cinnamon more sparkle and driven the overall flavor to new heights.

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Adding milk to the equation amplifies the apple and further subdues the cinnamon, adding in a new tart layer that more closely mimics a granny smith than the red delicious I initially tasted. The flavor switch here is kind of surprising, as I’m used to milk driving the sweetness or freshness of a cereal rather than actually changing the way my mouth interprets it. Unfortunately, it fades pretty quickly in the milk, as the liquid rips off the cereal dust and sogs up the pieces much faster than I would like.

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All in all this is an okay cereal, one that would be acceptable with a different namesake but doesn’t live up to the fame and glory of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It doesn’t pack the true berry flavor of Blueberry Tiny Toast (which is now Blueberry Toast Crunch, and one of my favorite new cereals of last year), and is just above its strawberry sibling for being an option that is suitable but not one I feel the need to buy again if not on sale.

It does, however, whoop Apple Jacks in the realm of solid apple flavor, and if that was a favorite of yours growing up, you may have found a new best Sunday morning friend.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 11.1 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Bright juicy apple flavor. Fascinatingly transforms in milk. Better than Apple Jacks.
Cons: Needs more cinnamon sparkle. Needs more sugary sparkle. Gets soggy in milk real fast.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Mocha Crunch Cereal

Limited Edition Mocha Crunch Cereal

Limited Edition Mocha Crunch Cereal smells WONDERFUL.

I want to stick a bowl of it in a coffee grinder, turn it into a powder, dump that into a drip coffee maker, brew a cup, and start my day with a cup of Mocha Crunch Cereal coffee. The aroma that comes out of the bag smells like a combination of coffee and fudge brownies. I could smell it all day or until my nose reaches temporary sensory fatigue and can no longer smell it.

Limited Edition Mocha Crunch Cereal looks EXACTLY EXACTLY like Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal.

How exact? Well, as exact as the two EXACTLY I typed in the previous paragraph. They have the same shape and dark chocolatey powder coating. It’s as if General Mills separated the two cereals at birth, kept them apart all these years to prevent Darth Vader from finding them, and now they’ve come together to fight the Empire of Kellogg’s. Yes, I know Luke and Leia are not identical twins. I just have Star Wars on my mind.

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Limited Edition Mocha Crunch Cereal tastes good, BUT…

From the image on the front of the box, it appears the cereal is attempting to recreate the flavor of a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino, McDonald’s Mocha Frappe, Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Coolatta, Krispy Kreme Frozen Mocha, or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Mocha Ice Blended Drink in cereal form. Unfortunately, it doesn’t accomplish that.

While the mint is noticeable with the Thin Mints Cereal, coffee isn’t with this one. I think of it as tasting like the Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal, but without the mint. It’s made with cocoa powder AND cocoa processed with alkali. That double dose of cocoa gives this cereal a nice chocolatey flavor that also end up in the milk a little. It’s like a darker version of Cocoa Puffs.

But despite not having a coffee flavor, it’s a nice tasting cereal. When I had the Thin Mints Cereal, I thought a version of it without the mint would be good, and this is it. But if you want a coffee-flavored cereal, this is not the cereal you’re looking for.

See Star Wars on my mind.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup without milk – 110 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 70 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 12 grams of other carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: More than I should from eBay
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Smells like coffee and brownies. Nice chocolatey flavor. Powdered coating makes milk chocolatey.
Cons: Doesn’t have a hint of coffee flavor. Looks exactly like Limited Edition Thin Mints Cereal. Shoehorning Star Wars references into a review.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Cocoa Puffs Ice Cream Scoops Cereal

Limited Edition Cocoa Puffs Ice Cream Scoops Cereal

I look forward to the day 10 years from now when a young underpaid staff writer for Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Delish, Refinery 29, Epicurious, Thrillist, or some not yet created online publication posts “23 Cereals You Didn’t Know Existed from the 2010s” or “14 Cereals From the 2010s You Might’ve Missed in the Glut Known as the Cereal Aisle.”

On that day I will most likely see one of the photos in this review and read 75-125 words about Limited Edition Cocoa Puffs Ice Cream Scoops Cereal.

For those of you who have read articles on Buzzfeed or HuffPost titled something click baity like “17 Breakfast Cereals From the 1980s We’d Kill To Try Again” or “42 Cereals We’d Go Back in Time For If Time Travel Existed,” you might’ve seen another ice cream-flavored General Mills cereal — Ice Cream Cones. I’d like to think this new variety of Cocoa Puffs is the reincarnation of that cereal I’d kill to try again.

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The part of a complete breakfast features strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavored corn puffs. So it’s a Neapolitan ice cream-flavored cereal. It’s also a 100 percent strawberrier version of Cocoa Puffs Combos that was on shelves years ago. While Cocoa Puffs is in its name, the chocolate pieces are not actual Cocoa Puffs. They’re smaller and not as spherical. All three corn puffs have dull colors. Thanks no colors from artificial sources!

The aroma that comes out of the bag is all strawberry. All day. All night. 24/7. Actually, its smell reminds me of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunchberries, which is not a bad thing. With a strong berry scent, I thought it would have an overall strawberry flavor. And after eating a bowl, dry and with milk, I was right.

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Through, I imagine, cereal osmosis, the strawberry attached its flavor to the other cereal pieces. I tried them individually. I ate them mixed with each other. I had them mixed with each other in milk. I tasted them from a box. I consumed them with a fox. I tasted them in a house. I gobbled them with a mouse. But no matter how I ate them, strawberry was the dominant flavor and I detected only a little chocolate and even less vanilla. It’s decent tasting, even though it’s mostly berry flavored and doesn’t remind me of ice cream. But I wouldn’t buy it again.

So if you’re one of those folks who eats all the strawberry from a Neapolitan ice cream container or enjoys berry-flavored cereals, you’ll like this. But if you’re one of those who avoids the strawberry in Neapolitan, you’ll dislike this as much as those who dislike you for eating just the chocolate and vanilla from a Neapolitan ice cream carton.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup cereal only – 100 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 14 grams of other carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: Bought on eBay, so significantly more than you should pay
Size: 10.8 oz. box
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not horrible. If you love the strawberry part of Neapolitan ice cream or berry-flavored cereal, you’ll like this.
Cons: If you avoid the strawberry part of Neapolitan ice cream, you might not like this. Weak chocolate flavor. Weaker vanilla flavor. Doesn’t remind me of ice cream.