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REVIEW: Post Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles Cereal

Written by | January 9, 2014

Topics: 5 Rating, Cereal, Pebbles, Post Cereals

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry

A little carbonation never hurt nobody.

Except the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Avoid that stuff like the plague.

Earlier this month, Post cereals released their new Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal, a carbonated variant of Fruity Pebbles. In addition to berry-flavored crisped rice, Poppin’ Pebbles contains green cereal puffs mixed with carbon dioxide gas, which react upon contact with saliva to create a popping sensation reminiscent of Pop Rocks.

Let’s be perfectly clear — this isn’t the first time a popping concept has been applied to cereal. Back in 2000, Quaker released Mystery Volcano Crunch, a Cap’n Crunch cereal featuring “Lava Rocks” that popped when combined with milk. (Taking other people’s ideas, Post? I never expected you to stoop to Carlos Mencia’s level.)

The Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal box fails to mention any specific berry flavor. So which berry is it? The ingredients list provides no clues. It could be any of them: blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, Halle Berry, etc. It seems Post opted simply for “generic berry”.

Opening the box releases a pungent aroma similar to a berry-flavored yogurt with an added candy-like sweetness. The scent is rather off-putting; the berry flavoring smells unappealingly artificial.

The Poppin’ Pebbles cereal base is different in both appearance and taste when compared to normal Fruity Pebbles.

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry Closeup

Following the berry theme, Poppin’ Pebbles features a mix of red, pink, and indigo crisped rice grains, whereas the normal Fruity Pebbles cereal contains a more standard distribution of the colors of the rainbow.

As far as I can tell, each Poppin’ Pebbles grain possesses the same berry flavor. The cereal’s overall flavor matches its scent, but is not as overpowering as the aroma would suggest. The candy-esque berry flavor does indeed seem unnatural, almost like a powdered berry flavor à la Fun Dip and Pixy Stix. Nevertheless, it’s bearable. The actual grainy flavor of the crisped rice is masked almost entirely, showing up only slightly at the end of a mouthful. All things considered, I much prefer the fruity flavor of normal Fruity Pebbles.

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry Poppin

It was time to experience the carbonated cereal puffs. As I lifted my spoon and slowly proceeded to chew, my tongue began to experience the popping sensation mentioned on the box. Oh my god, can this kill me? My life’s flashing before my eyes. First Little Mikey, and now me! I see the light! No, I’m too young to die! I haven’t even tried McSpaghetti yet!

Well, my panic was unjustified — the Poppin’ Pebbles didn’t actually kill me. In fact, the popping was less intense than I had expected. Though the fizzing is audible and can be felt very slightly on the tongue, the sensation is nowhere near as extreme as a handful of Pop Rocks. Adrenaline junkies will surely be disappointed.

Unfortunately, the carbonated cereal puffs have a strange sort of flavor and texture. They possess a more candy-like stiffness than a standard cereal puff, and feature the aforementioned powdery berry flavor, albeit at a much stronger intensity and sweetness. I suppose it’s difficult to carbonate a cereal puff and have its flavor and texture profiles remain unchanged, but these Poppin’ Pebbles cereal puffs really disappoint.

Next, I tried Poppin’ Pebbles with milk. To my surprise, I didn’t notice any more popping than I would expect from a standard crisped rice cereal such as Rice Krispies. The carbonated cereal puffs maintain their ability to pop and fizz when chewed even after being soaked with milk, which leads me to believe some sort of candy coating protects their carbonated interiors.

Even so, Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles are worsened by the addition of milk for one reason alone: the milk absorbs the artificial berry flavor of the cereal and helps amplify its unnatural qualities. For this reason, I can only recommend eating Poppin’ Pebbles dry.

Post’s new Burstin Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal is little more than a gimmick. The carbonated cereal puffs add an interesting, uncommon textural element to each spoonful, but the cereal’s artificial berry flavor really detracts from the experience. It feels more like I’m eating a bowl of candy than a breakfast cereal. Perhaps a more intense popping and fizzing could have compensated for the cereal’s flaws. Next time, I’ll stick with the berries I know and love: Franken, Chuck, and Manilow.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, 16 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Post Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 12 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Cereal puffs pop and fizz. Maintains pop even in milk. Halle Berry.
Cons: Candy-like berry flavor is off-putting. Gross in milk. Carlos Mencia.

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REVIEW: Post Limited Edition Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme Cereal

Written by | December 27, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Cereal, Pebbles

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles

Few cereals are extreme enough to warrant dropping a vowel from their names, but Post seems to think their new Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is worthy of the honor.

The limited edition cereal was only available at my local supermarket in a family size box, containing four more ounces than a standard box. The cereal claims to be even more chocolatey than normal Cocoa Pebbles, which means that the cer— hoooooold up.

What are you trying to pull here, Post? The nutritional facts on this box are identical to those found on a box of normal Cocoa Pebbles. The ingredients lists are strikingly similar, except the Xtreme variety lacks a single ingredient present in the original: a preservative known as butylated hydroxyanisole. (Yum.)

Well, well, well, it seems Post has taken me for a fool. At this point, I’m fairly confident they’ve simply repackaged normal Cocoa Pebbles in a fancy new box in an effort to sell more cereal to hyperactive, sugar-addicted children. I’ll be surprised if this Xtreme version is any different from the standard variety. A simple side-by-side comparison will reveal the truth.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Comparison

Pouring out a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme next to a bowl of the normal type, we find my hypothesis was as wrong as watching the movie Teeth with your family. (“That’s not her mouth, grandma.”) The Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme are noticeably darker in color than the normal variety. I’m stumped as to how Post Foods managed to accomplish this when the nutritional facts and ingredients are nearly identical, but it seems Post’s R&D team has been workin’ up some food wizardry in the kitchen. (Foodzardry, anyone?)

Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme smells quite similar to cocoa powder — the scent is slightly more chocolatey than the normal variety, which possesses a more noticeable puffed rice aroma.

In taste, the Xtreme variety is the clear victor.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Closeup

The contrast between the two cereals is more apparent than I had expected. A spoonful of both Xtreme and normal varieties of Cocoa Pebbles begins with a grainy puffed rice flavor and a sharp crunch, slowly developing a sweet cocoa flavor as the cereal is chewed. However, the Xtreme has a much stronger cocoa flavor toward the end of the bite. Its chocolate flavor seems more mature and refined in comparison to the regular variety, which merely evokes a sweetness reminiscent of white sugar.

Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is further improved by the addition of milk, which really absorbs the cereal’s cocoa flavor. As I slowly approached the end of my bowl, I grew eager to test the claim on the front of the box, which boasts the cereal “turns milk xtremely chocolatey” and “it’s like an xtreme milkshake.”

My mind began to wander, imagining the full potential of an “xtreme milkshake.” Exactly how many boys could be brought to the yard by an “xtreme milkshake”? An xtreme number, for sure.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Milk

Good gravy, it’s gorgeous!

The milk left at the bottom of my bowl has turned the most beautiful shade of brown I’ve ever seen. Its flavor reminds me of chocolate milk made with a bit too much chocolate syrup, but with the aftertaste of Cocoa Pebbles.

Does it taste like a milkshake? Not quite, and though it only seems slightly more chocolatey than the milk left behind by normal Cocoa Pebbles, it’s satisfying nonetheless.

With its more substantial cocoa flavor, Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is a significant improvement upon the normal variety. Its only flaw is that it feels more like a snackfood than a breakfast cereal — a fault that plagues many of the sugary options found in your local supermarket’s cereal aisle.

I’m sorry I doubted you, Post. Our relationship has been tense ever since you discontinued Cröonchy Stars cereal, but maybe this is the start of a glorious new beginning. You’ve managed to enhance Cocoa Pebbles, and for that, I applaud you.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup without milk – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, 15 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Post Limited Edition Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 15 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: More chocolatey than the normal variety. Even better in milk. Leaves chocolate milk in bowl. Bringing an xtreme amount of boys to the yard.
Cons: Nearly identical nutritional facts and ingredients as regular Cocoa Pebbles? Feels more like a snack than a breakfast cereal. Watching Teeth with your family.

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal

Written by | November 21, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Cereal, Pebbles, Post Cereals

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal

Dear Santa,

How are you? Well, I hope jolly and fat as usual. I know you’re quite busy this time of year, and I know you’ve already received four sets of revisions to my annual Christmas list. On that note, I have good and bad news. The good news is I won’t need those Super Bowl tickets. The Bills suck again this year, and I could care less about watching the Chiefs play. So consider yourself free and clear from any anti-scalping laws you might have been worried about. Now, to the bad news…

I realize you’ve already got something of a dealio with our neighborhood and the, uh, thanks we give you. What with Tommy Thomas’ mom and her applesauce cookies, or Jackie Johnson’s parents and their anti-dairy crusade. It ain’t like the old days of whole milk and Tollhouse, and I can definitely sympathize. With that said, I can’t serve you milk and cookies this year.

But don’t go returning that Playstation 4 quite yet. We’ve been doing this present thing for 25 years now and you know I got your back (and your stomach). That’s why I’m going to do you one better. Any schmuck kid with a grocery store can buy some refrigerated cookies for you. But this year, I’ve got Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal.

I know what you’re thinking, “Cereal? What gives!?! And cereal that’s got vitamins and minerals and fiber and crap. You think this fat man has time to stop at a gas station bathroom every five seconds on Christmas night?”

Well no, at least I seriously hope not, mostly because there’s a chance I’ll be stopping at one of those bathrooms the next day during that six-hour car ride to Grandmother’s house. So it’s a good thing for both of us that this is about the least healthy cereal ever, with no fiber whatsoever. What’s more, it tastes like that. Which is to say it tastes like the most awesome interpretation of a baked good in cereal form.

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal Closeup

Trust me, this is no replay of Cookie Crisp Sprinkles. I’ll even leave you the whole box. As soon as you open it, you’ll be greeted by that Dear-God-Yes aroma of frosting and sprinkles that will remind you of all those years I spent asking you to please, just please bring me a lifetime supply of Dunkaroos with Vanilla Frosting and Sprinkles. The smell alone is good enough to warrant some extra presents this year, although I can’t be held liable for any dogs chasing you because they think they’re getting in on some giant sugar cookie deliciousness.

The taste? Seriously sugar cookie-esque. I happen to know, you know, because I’ve been a little naughty this year and have taken more than the allotted one free sugar cookie at the doors of Harris Teeter. (But seriously, that’s not going to count against me because it’s a self-admission, ok? Besides, it saves the actual kids from childhood obesity.)

The cereal is sweet and crispy, artificially but admirably floral, with each little toasted rice pebble packing tons of sugar cookie flavor. And of course, it fully embraces the colors of the season, lending itself wonderfully to any number of baking projects your elves might embark in while not slaving away buying toys for the whole world on Amazon.

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal Closeup Milk

Now Santa, you’ll notice I’m not leaving you any milk with this cereal. I consider this for your own good. Lest you be disappointed by the slightly diluted taste of sugar cookie in milk and a none too hearty crunch that left me a bit disappointed, I think your sugar cookie experience is best enjoyed dry. As a snacking cereal, it might just be the best I’ve had this year, with the exception of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. So do yourself a favor and don’t damn our neighborhood to the naughty list quite yet. I know you have plenty of holiday themed options to eat this time of year, and only so much artery space left before Tim Allen is forced to take over, but you won’t regret trading in some actual milk and cookies for Sugar Cookie Pebbles cereal.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of cholesterol 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, 1 gram of protein, and, seriously, do you even care about the token amounts of 10 vitamins and minerals?)

Item: Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: smells like the best thing ever. Tasty sugar cookie flavor with notes of vanilla cupcake and Dunkaroos. Addictively crispy as a snacking cereal. Christmas colors.
Cons: Sugar cookie taste is muted in milk. Not for those who like cereal that stays crunchy in milk. A candidate for the definition of “Empty Calories” in next year’s dictionary. Taking a chance at pissing off Santa and not getting that PS 4.

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REVIEW: Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders

Written by | December 22, 2011

Topics: 6 Rating, Cereal, Pebbles

Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders

The combination of chocolate and peanut butter gets me as excited as a crackhead when he or she sees their dealer, so you may think the Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders got me crackhead excited. However, after eating those awful Caramel Apple Pebbles Boulders, I approached this chocolate peanut butter cereal like a crackhead approaches someone who looks like an undercover narc.

As I poured the cereal into a bowl, I tried to ease my mind about it by trying to come up with as many successful chocolate and peanut butter marriages. There’s Peanut Butter Creme Oreo cookies, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, and, of course, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Knowing that peanut butter and chocolate has had a long, successful relationship that Kim Kardashian can only dream of helped eased my mind.

What also helped with my trepidation was the fact that Post makes one of the best chocolate cereals on the planet — Cocoa Pebbles.

However, after eating a bowl of Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders, it turns out Post didn’t take what makes Cocoa Pebbles so great and transfer it over to the chocolate-flavored Pebbles Boulders pieces. The only appropriate thing I can say about that blown opportunity is it’s Yabba Dabba Dumb. As for the peanut butter cereal pieces, they had a peanut butter flavor that’s similar to other peanut butter cereals I’ve had in the past and a stronger flavor than the chocolate cereal pieces. Overall, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter in this cereal is good enough to make me forget about the abomination that is Caramel Apple Pebbles Boulders.

Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders Closeup

While tasty, there’s something a little unpleasant about the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders — the thin coating on each piece of cereal. I first thought it was sugar…okay, okay, I first thought it was cocaine, but then when I touched it, it had a waxy and slightly greasy feel to it. I tried licking it to find out what it was…okay, okay, I first tried snorting it to see if it was cocaine and then licked it. Unfortunately, my nose and tongue could not figure out what it was. While slightly off-putting, whatever the coating is, it did a great job of preventing the cereal from getting soggy.

The Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders is a good cereal, whether you eat it dry or wet, but it doesn’t compete with the robust flavors of best chocolate/peanut butter cereal on the face of the Earth — Reese’s Puffs. And I will fling peanut butter at anyone who disagrees. I think it would’ve been better if Post combined Cocoa Pebbles with the peanut butter Pebbles Boulders. That’s a cereal I would totally get crackhead excited about.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 110 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 90 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 10 grams of other carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, and a smorgasbord of vitamins and minerals.)

*made using partially hydrogenated oil

Other Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders reviews:
Grub Grade

Item: Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders
Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good. Much better than Caramel Apple Pebble Boulders. Coating helps prevent the cereal from getting soggy. Labels For Education. Fortified with vitamins and minerals. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Color from natural ingredients.
Cons: Not as good as Reese’s Puffs. Weird waxy coating. Doesn’t make me crackhead excited. Chocolate pieces not as chocolatey as I hoped. Made using partially hydrogenated oil. Not knowing who’s a real dealer and who’s a cop.

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REVIEW: Post Limited Edition Stone Age Caramel Apple Pebbles Boulders

Written by | August 9, 2011

Topics: 3 Rating, Cereal, Pebbles

Post Pebbles Boulders

I have an issue with the name selection for Post’s Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders.

Boulders? Really?

Maybe it’s my inner geologist talking, who only took Geology 101 in college because it didn’t involve dissecting anything, but I don’t like that they’re called boulders. They’re nowhere close to having the 256 millimeter diameter needed to be classified as a boulder.

Heck, I can easily lift several of these Pebbles Boulders with one hand, and I’m pretty sure I’m who Hans and Franz would call a “Girlie Man.” I also don’t feel comfortable calling them Boulders because there’s no way one piece of this cereal could lodge my arm against a cavern wall and trap me in the middle of the desert, forcing me to cut off my arm in order to have a chance at survival.

If I were to use the Wentworth scale, these Pebbles Boulders wouldn’t even be Pebbles Cobbles, they’d be more like Pebbles Fine Gravel.

It’s not just the size and weight of this cereal that bothers me. Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders cereal doesn’t even look like boulders. With its green bones and brown cereal pieces, it looks like The Great Kazoo’s bones were buried under a load of tiny tater tots.

Post Pebbles Boulder Bowl

When I opened the bag of Pebbles Boulders, a strong caramel aroma drifted out of it, like I had just opened up a body bag filled with dead Sugar Daddies. It made me think that this cereal was going to be ungodly sweet. Fortunately for my lack of dental insurance it wasn’t toothachingly sweet.

Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders are supposed to have a caramel apple flavor and you’d think the brown cereal would provide the caramel flavor while the green bones would give the cereal its green apple flavor, but that’s not the case. The tiny tater tots provide all the cereal’s flavor, while The Great Kazoo’s bones are absolutely useless, like the regular red birds in Angry Birds, and don’t provide any flavor. Overall, the cereal’s flavor was…Hmm, how can I best describe it using a Flintstones catchphrase? Oh, I know, it was Yabba-Dabba-Eww! I could taste the caramel apple, but only for a brief moment in between a weird unrecognizable initial flavor and an unpleasant aftertaste.

If Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders has one thing going for itself it’s that it has less sugar and more whole grain than Honey Nut Cheerios. But, to be honest, not even that can make up for what its aftertaste will do to your taste buds.

It’s disappointing that the folks who make the awesome Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles couldn’t make Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders cereal equally as awesome.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 12 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and an assemblage of vitamins and minerals.)

Other Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders reviews:
Half Assed Productions

Item: Post Limited Edition Pebbles Boulders
Price: $3.68
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: The-Monstrous-Superstore-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Less sugar and more whole grain than Honey Nut Cheerios. Limited Edition. Cocoa Pebbles. Fruity Pebbles. Vitamins and minerals.
Cons: Yabba-Dabba-Eww! Unusual initial flavor. Unpleasant aftertaste. Gets soggy in milk quickly. Looks like tiny tater tots mixed with The Great Kazoo’s bones. Not boulder-sized.

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