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.

REVIEW: Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal

Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal

In the late 90s, I can remember watching The New Addams Family on Fox Kids on summer afternoons, and there were lots of Oreo O’s commercials with Bessie the cow. Until last summer, it was the only cereal I ever knew of that had a Fourth of July version. But then, as you likely know, the cereal was discontinued in the States, and everyone was sad.

Luckily, Malt-O-Meal has brought it back! Except now it’s called Cookies and Cream.

One of the requirements for reviewing this cereal was that I had to miss Oreo O’s. In full disclosure, I missed Oreo O’s before it went away. After it had been out a few years, they decided to add marshmallows to it. Even as a chubby adolescent who cared nothing about nutrition, I thought that was too much sweetness.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have any marshmallows. When I first tasted a piece dry, it totally seemed familiar, as if I’d just had Oreo O’s last week. In reality it’s been nearly two decades. So, if you miss Oreo O’s, rejoice! This is as close as it’s going to get.

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Pouring milk over them is really the way to eat it, and it tastes just like I remember. It’s one of those cereals where I feel like I could eat bowl after bowl. At the same time, though, there’s something not completely satisfying about it. Maybe it’s because it’s so airy and has giant holes in the middle, so it’s not terribly filling.

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The leftover milk looks like cookies and cream ice cream and has a sweetness to it, but not the same level of chocolatiness you’d get from Cocoa Puffs or Count Chocula.

When I brushed my teeth immediately after eating the cereal, my toothpaste spittle also looked like cookies and cream ice cream. (I was going to include a picture but decided not to. You’re welcome.)

So if you want the Oreo O’s experience again, definitely pick this up. It’s a worthy replacement.

If, however, you’ve never had Oreo O’s, it’s less important for you to try this. It’s a tasty, passable cereal, but don’t expect it to be like other chocolate cereals. It’s basically cookie-flavored Froot Loops. Does it taste like Oreos? I don’t think so, but it is reminiscent of them. And one cup of cereal still has fewer calories than two Oreo cookies.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup (30 grams) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, less than one gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $5.48
Size: 34 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Oreo O’s. No marshmallows. Leftover milk looks like cookies and cream ice cream. Fewer calories than actual Oreos. 90s nostalgia.
Cons: Not very filling. Rough on the roof of my mouth. More sugar than most name-brand cereals. Doesn’t taste like actual Oreo cookies.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Cap’n Crunch’s Blueberry Pancake Crunch Cereal

Limited Edition Cap'n Crunch's Blueberry Pancake Crunch Cereal

I have fond childhood memories of the Cap’n, but like many childhood heroes, he’s faded into irrelevance for the adult me. But, Quaker Oat’s latest innovation, Cap’n Crunch’s Blueberry Pancake Crunch drops the Cap’n right back into my consideration set! I should’ve guessed that this limited edition cereal would be delicious because there was only one left on the shelf. It was a lone box nestled all the way in the back, so I had to contort myself to even reach it.

The age-old debate: do you pour milk or cereal first? If you answered milk, you’re a monster. My vote is always cereal first, so you can taste the cereal in its untainted form. Plus, you have better control of the milk to cereal ratio. Tangent aside – as I poured the cereal out, pretty teal blue and cream corn/oat cereal orbs tumbled out. The pretty teal orbs reminded me of little Saturns; maybe the Cap’n is at the helm of a new spaceship because this cereal is out of this world. Ha – get it? Too much? Fine.

To complement the pretty coloring (yay, blue 1), there was a rich, sweet syrupy smell. No, not like the finest Canadian maple syrup, but more like Aunt Jemima high fructose corn syrup syrup. I say that in the most endearing, nostalgic way possible. I grew up with Aunt Jemima and kid-me loved that syrup. But, we all know, Aunt Jemima doesn’t have anything on Canadian maple syrup. So, if this nostalgia factor doesn’t resonate with you, I could see how this artificial smell would be off-putting.

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I proceeded to try each of the three orbs by themselves. First up was the teal blue one – it didn’t register until the aftertaste that this was supposed to be the blueberry. The initial taste was very much a generic, sugary cereal. I was worried that once these hit milk, it would dye the milk blue and it would be like drinking liquidated Smurfs. Yuck.

The next up was the semi-teal orbs – these looked like an accident, like the teal orbs brushed up on the cream ones and transferred some color. But, the box does show various shades of teal so maybe it’s intentional. It did, though, have a slightly different aftertaste. I imagined this is the equivalent of a blueberry buried in the pancake batter.

The final orb was the cream colored one. I was guessing this was supposed to be the pancake part of it. It just tasted sweet, nothing to write home about.

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Then, I ate them all together. I liked the subtle complexity of the cereal. Don’t get me wrong, the Blueberry Pancake Crunch clearly isn’t some fantastic molecular gastronomy or anything. Heck, if you blindfolded me, I probably would have a 50 percent chance of guessing that it was blueberry pancake-flavored.

If you add milk, it decreases my chances of guessing to about 5 percent. The milk somehow really washes out the flavor instead of enhancing it like I hoped. I was glad that the teal didn’t come off and dye the milk blue, though! But, honestly for a $3 box of sweetened corn and oat, I’m not complaining.

By the way, National Blueberry Pancake Day was on January 28th so pick up a box and have a belated celebration with me!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Cup – 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein..)

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 15.4 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Making the cap’n relevant again! No liquidated smurfs (a.k.a blue milk). Pretty teal orbs.
Cons: High Fructose Corn Syrup smell can be off-putting for some. Eating it with milk (which is the whole point of cereal) really washes out the flavors.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal

Limited Edition Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal

One hundred years.

The Girl Scouts of America have been selling cookies since 1917. That’s how long in the making this was.

Now that Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us, our favorite pint-sized peddlers have teamed up with General Mills to stock shelves with a breakfast cereal representative of their famous baked goods. It’s about time.

The famous flavors of Girl Scout Cookies have managed to find their way into everything from ice cream to chocolate bars over the years, and starting now, you can officially have Thin Mints and Samoas in a bowl for breakfast without feeling awful about yourself.

I picked up a box of Thin Mints at Target, opting to pass on the Caramel Crunch (Samoas) variety, because the idea of having a mint flavored cereal intrigued me much more.

They certainly smell the part, which took a second to adjust to. I don’t think I’d ever even heard of a breakfast cereal with mint in it until that moment. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Either way, the cereal smells just like the cookie.

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As far as aesthetics, they aren’t the best looking cereal. My brother’s dog eats food pellets that look exactly like these little dark discs, so that image was tough to shake at first. For a more palatable example, If Cookie Crisp ever borrowed a marketing ploy from the Cap’n, these would be “Oops, All Chocolate Chips Cookie Crisp.”

The cereal pieces have an outer crispy area encapsulating a center that tasted like it was on a fast track to sogsville the second I poured the milk in. Each bite had a typical crunch but soon turned gluey, and clung to my teeth more than I expected.

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All in all, they taste like less chocolately Cocoa Puffs with a cool little mint kick on the finish. The mint flavor fades as the cereal pieces start to scratch your mouth up, but there was still a constant cooling reminder that you’re eating a mint cereal. That being said, these aren’t exactly Altoids. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after breakfast, ya sickos.

I tried these as a dry snack, too. I had a couple handfuls out of the box, and the chocolate was more pronounced. The pieces are coated in a powdery layer of flavor that must have faded immediately when the milk was poured on. The mint also powers through more on the dry pieces. I guess it was intentional that the extra powder layer was included to improve the milk at the end of the bowl.

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I’ve gone on record about my feelings of cereal milk. I don’t even want it half of the time. Part of me finds it mildly disgusting – a tepid, gross colored pool of cereal backwash – but the other part of me feels guilty pouring half a cup of milk down the drain.

But Thin Mints has some pretty damn good cereal milk. You can’t really go wrong with minty chocolate milk, can ya?

So, this is a decent first effort by General Mills. I still plan to try the Samoas cereal, but expect them to be a less impressive transition to a cereal box. As a lover of Reese’s Puffs, I really hope they tackle Tagalongs next.

These cereals are a limited edition, so act quick. I’m not positive if proceeds benefit the Girl Scouts, but I imagine they do. Either way, I always take some solace knowing I’m contributing to a good cause when I house an entire box of Girl Scout Cookies.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 Cup – 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of other carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: They smell like the real thing. Basically a Cocoa Puffs/Cookie Crisp hybrid. Mint in a cereal. Tasty cereal milk. Hopefully a good sign of what’s to come. 100 years of Girl Scout Cookies.
Cons: Sogged up quickly. Mint fades as you go. What the heck are “other carbohydrates?” Little burger looking cereal pieces. No fun games on the back of the box, just some kind of environmental message.