REVIEW: General Mills Strawberry and Blueberry Tiny Toast Cereals

General Mills Strawberry and Blueberry Tiny Toast Cereals?
Toast is so en vogue right now. You’ve got your avocado toast, your restaurants that only serve toast, and your beer made from toast. Hell, at this point, you’d half expect toast to start singing “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It).”

Toast wasn’t always the critical darling it is today. For years, it perched precariously on the side of breakfast platters everywhere, only there to sop up the remnants of runny yolks (or last night’s bad decisions, if you know what I mean).

But then, in 1984, the cereal wizards at General Mills introduced Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and the rest was history. What then followed were years of toast cereal offshoots like French Toast Crunch and Peanut Butter Toast Crunch, which led me to believe that General Mills should just change their name to “That Cereal Company That Only Makes Toast Themed Cereal.”

Enter Strawberry and Blueberry Tiny Toast cereals to prove my point.

In what is apparently General Mills’ first new cereal brand in fifteen years (I know, I was just as surprised as you), Strawberry and Blueberry Tiny Toast cereals were developed to have an “all-family appeal.” I’m not sure where General Mills finds their test families, but I imagine that the folks who thought this cereal would appeal to everyone are the same folks who think Pop-Tarts are a good source of your five-a-day.

Upon opening the box, the tiny toast cereals have a scent reminiscent of fruit and cream instant oatmeal. While it’s totally artificial, it brings back memories of all of the times in college I didn’t have the time or the initiative to make a more nutritious breakfast. Then upon pouring it out, I was greeted by an adorable bowl full of tiny pieces of toast. We’re talking Honey, I Shrunk the Kids tiny here. Rick Moranis would be proud.

General Mills Strawberry Tiny Toast Cereal

The look of the cereal is a different story, as the specks of fruit on each piece of tiny toast look a little more like measles and mold than anything natural. If Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the “taste you can see,” this cereal is more like the “taste you should see a doctor about.”

As a cereal purist, I first tried both cereals sans milk. Upon scooping out my first bite, I noticed the toasts had a dry and dusty appearance, which was affirmed when they immediately dissolved on my tongue. While the texture isn’t the most pleasant (think arid desert), the taste is much better, with both giving off muffin-like oat flavors mixed with the fruit.

General Mills Blueberry Tiny Toast Cereal

Tired of the Sahara-like climate inside my mouth, I drowned the cereals in milk. Let me tell you – Milk. Is. A. Game. changer. The milk immediately fluffs up the tiny toasts, giving them a more pleasant appearance and mouthfeel, and making the cereal much more enjoyable to eat. It’s like that Lubriderm commercial where they apply it to an alligator – it works that well.

Overall, the Tiny Toast cereals are a pretty good, albeit artificial, addition to your balanced breakfast. Let’s just hope that General Mills doesn’t come out with a crappy sequel.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99 each
Size: 11.1 oz box
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Blueberry)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Pros: R&B jams. “Honey, I shrunk the breakfast.” Muffin-like fruit flavor. Moisturized with milk.
Cons: Need for cereal antibiotics. Dusty texture sans milk. Remembering bad decisions.

REVIEW: General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal

History repeats itself.

At least that’s what my teachers always told me in high school. They didn’t necessarily mean Dick Cheney will shoot another man in the face at some point during the coming years, but there’s certainly some truth behind the phrase. Every other day, Taylor Swift releases yet another vengeful song about breaking up with her boyfriend. Next year will see the release of a remake of the classic science fiction film RoboCop. This past July, Anthony Weiner was caught in a sexting scandal…for the second time.

It seems General Mills has decided to repeat history by re-releasing two discontinued monster-themed breakfast cereals, Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. This Halloween, they’ve relaunched both cereals in updated forms. Target will even be stocking the entire line of monster cereals with retro box art. If there was ever a time to blow your entire paycheck on excessive amounts of cereal, it’s now.

General Mills first launched Fruity Yummy Mummy way back in 1987, when time machines were shaped like DeLoreans and Madonna didn’t have cankles. Advertised using a rainbow-colored mummy, the cereal featured frosted fruit-flavored cereal bits along with vanilla-flavored marshmallows. Sadly, the mummy-themed cereal lived a short life, being discontinued in 1993.

For his grand relaunch this Halloween season, the Yummy Mummy has received a facelift to conform to the style of the other monster-themed cereals. He appears as though he’s aged several years, and much like Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, his mouth is enormous.

Yummy Mummy was originally fruit-flavored with vanilla-flavored marshmallows, but this time around General Mills opted for an orange-cream flavored frosted cereal with “spooky-fun” marshmallows. I’m sincerely hoping that the “orange-cream” flavor of Fruity Yummy Mummy will remind me of the orange Creamsicles I grew up on

General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Closeup

The cereal has an absolutely gorgeous artificial color. A rainbow of marshmallows permeates an even mixture of orange and red ghost-shaped cereal bits. There’s something so unnatural, yet beautiful, about an orange and red cereal. The folks at General Mills are cereal Renaissance painters, transforming the average cereal bowl into a canvas for a palette of Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 5.

It’s easy to imagine this cereal having an overpowering orange scent, but I was pleasantly surprised it had a subtle orange aroma mixed with that stereotypical grainy cereal smell. However, I couldn’t help but be reminded of orange-scented cleaning supplies just a bit. (In general, I try not to eat cleaning supplies, but one time, I gave into temptation. It’s a miracle the ambulance arrived in time.)

Fruity Yummy Mummy’s crunchy cereal pieces begin with a light orange flavor, slowly evolving into a basic grain-based cereal flavor. The taste seems almost candy-like — similar to generic orange-flavored lollipops. The standard cereal marshmallows (or more properly, “marbits”) add a boost of sweetness to every other spoonful. Both in texture and flavor, the cereal could be compared to an orange version of Lucky Charms.

As the name implies, Fruity Yummy Mummy is quite yummy, and I had no problem finishing an entire bowl. Though I found the cereal’s fruity sweet attributes enjoyable, be warned: cereal-eaters who dislike clearly artificial orange flavoring won’t fancy this one. Sadly, I can detect no aspect of “cream” in the taste. General Mills would have been better off making the marshmallows cream flavored. Even the addition of milk failed to drastically modify the flavor.

With its light orange flavor, the relaunch of Fruity Yummy Mummy is an excellent addition to General Mills’ monster cereals line. The only way the cereal could have been improved is through the addition of a more apparent cream flavor. Nevertheless, General Mills receives bonus points for bringing back two of their discontinued cereals.

Be sure to run out and grab a box of Fruity Yummy Mummy this Halloween season. Who knows if General Mills will ever bring it back?

Peace. I’m gonna chug some Orange Glo.*

*Editor’s Note: Do not drink Orange Glo!

Note: If you’re looking for Frute Brute or Yummy Mummy cereal, please use the General Mills product locator.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup (cereal only) – 130 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total 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, 150 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal reviews:
The Holidaze

Item: General Mills Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal
Purchased Price: $9.35*
Size: 9.6 oz. box
Purchased at: *Amazon
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The relaunch of a discontinued cereal. Tasty orange flavor. Cereal Renaissance painters.
Cons: Scent partially reminds me of orange-scented cleaning supplies. Cream flavor cannot be detected. Dick Cheney shooting a man in the face.

REVIEW: General Mills Frute Brute Cereal

Frute Brute Cereal

As a serial cereal eater, it shames me to admit that prior to a few weeks ago I had never heard of Frute Brute. Actually, if you asked me what Frute Brute was, I’d probably have ventured a guess that it was some kind of Vegetarian Megazord from one of the many Power Rangers spinoffs. A whole “Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables or Else!” kind of thing.

It turns out Frute Brute isn’t quite so frightening. The seasonally themed and iconic Monster cereal is making its first appearance on grocery store shelves since the waning years of the Cold War. Available until roughly the end of October, it joins Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and another cereal brought back from the dead, Yummy Mummy, in the Halloween food fest. It consists of whole-grain corn pieces with cherry coloring and flavoring, as well as two different colored marshmallows.

Since I wasn’t alive in 1982, I don’t have any memories of the original Fruit Brute. Thankfully, buying the box guarantees you a user-friendly crash course in Monster cereal history. The history cartoon on the back of the box may be hokey, but I admit I’ve got a soft spot for having something to read while I indulge in a bowl of modified corn starch and red 40.

Plus, that history will give me the knowledge to stump loved ones with breakfast trivia like the fact that Bela Lugosi once appeared on the front of a Count Chocula box (but wait, who is Bela Legosi?). Of course, not included in these tidbits is that early 1970s factoid of Franken Berry turning kids’ poop pink (a byproduct of the marshmallow food coloring), but that’s understandable. Pink poop is hardly appetizing.

What is appetizing is this cereal. Cherry may seem like an odd choice for a cereal flavor, but if nothing else it’s something completely different from the hodgepodge of fruit flavored cereals that vaguely taste like berry.

In any case, you can put aside any fears of this stuff tasting like cough syrup. There’s no bitter aftertaste, and the cherry flavor genuinely tastes like cherry candy. It’s mild, to be sure, and it only covers roughly half the little ghoulish pieces*, but it’s pleasant and not cloying. As for the plain pieces, they taste like your standard lightly sweetened Kix.

Frute Brute Cereal Dry

There’s a great marshmallows-to-cereal ratio and those marshmallows have a fruity flavor and really nice snap to them. Because I don’t dick around with this kind of stuff and only use whole milk for cereal eating, it’s kind of hard not to like any cereal in milk. But in this case I enjoyed the cereal more as a dry snack. Maybe it was because the plain corn pieces get kinda soggy in milk or the cherry really doesn’t go with milk, but I thought the end-milk was kind of dull and not as sweet as what I would have liked.

Frute Brute Cereal Wet

Fortunately, it’s just sweet and crunchy enough as a snack, and the cherry flavor makes it an ideal cereal to mix with anything of the chocolate persuasion. (I highly suggest Double Chocolate Krave.)

A lesser writer might use a trite pun about Frute Brute being either scary good or frightening bad, so I’m going to say it’s a nice change of pace from other marshmallow cereals, it makes a really good snack, and it’s definitely one of the better cereals to mix with chocolate flavored anything. It’s worth buying once a year for posterity alone, but I’ll probably buy a few extra boxes to get me through the ten months it isn’t on shelves.

*who coincidently bare a strong resemblance to the bad guys from Pac-Man.

Note: If you’re looking for Frute Brute or Yummy Mummy cereal, please use the General Mills product locator.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 130 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 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Frute Brute reviews:
Dinosaur Dracula

Item: General Mills Frute Brute Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 9.6 oz box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Unique cherry flavor that tastes like cherry candy and mixes great with chocolate cereal. Lots of crunchy marshmallows. Not too sweet. Factoids on the box. An excuse to drink whole milk.
Cons: Pink werewolves have little, if anything, to actually do with Halloween. Corn pieces are kind of dull and worthless in milk. Really hoping my poop doesn’t turn pink.

REVIEW: General Mills Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Corn Puff Cereal Box

As a youth, I wasn’t very fond of chocolate, further solidifying my status as a “weird kid” and once again making my chocolate-loving mother wonder if there had been an accidental baby mix-up at the hospital when I was born.

I did, however, like white chocolate, and as time went on, I grew to enjoy milk chocolate in small amounts. So when Hershey’s introduced their Cookies ‘n’ Creme candy bar in 1994, it instantly became my favorite candy. White chocolate studded with crunchy, Oreo-esque cookie balls? Sold.

These days I’ve become more fond of milk than white chocolate. I would like to credit that to a refined palate, but given that I still eat like a college freshman, I don’t think I could say that with a straight face.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme will always hold a fond place in my heart, though. So when I saw that General Mills had teamed up with the chocolate powerhouse to make Cookies ‘n’ Creme Corn Puff Cereal, that weird kid that’s still inside of me said, “Yes. This is obviously a work of genius.”

Immediately afterward, the pessimistic adult in me said, “They probably went and fucked it all up.”

Before I could taste victory or disappointment, however, I couldn’t help but admire the back of the box.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Corn Puff Cereal Box Back

There’s something about sitting at the kitchen table eating cereal that just lends itself to staring at the back of the cereal box. I don’t know why; I just know that kids do it. Even if it’s boring as hell, they just…stare. So it’s nice that Hershey’s gave them something fun to stare at.

Hershey’s bills these as “brainteasers”, but even as a kid, I’m pretty sure my half-awake brain would have figured them out pretty easily. There’s some words “splashed with milk” to “obscure” the letters, some puff-shaped anagram puzzles, and a sudoku-esque number puzzle in a spoon. Just enough to get you through this part of your complete breakfast.

As for Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal itself: the balls were the perfect size for scooping into your mouth. This may not sound important, but it is. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a corn puff cereal, but they seemed a little smaller than Kix, but not so small that I felt like I was eating a mound of spherical Pebbles. Size counts when it comes to cereal and…other things, and these puffs hit the sweet spot.

Penis-size joke and reference to balls in your mouth, all in one paragraph. I’ll take that Pulitzer now, thanks.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Corn Puff Cereal Puffs

Speaking of sweet, C’n’C Music Factory Cereal had just the right amount of sweetness. The chocolate balls actually had a toned-down chocolate flavor, which I appreciated. In fact, they tasted remarkably similar to Cocoa Puffs.

The vanilla balls were even more muted in flavor. Too muted, in fact. I keep calling them vanilla instead of white chocolate because, well, they tasted like vanilla, which is quite different than white chocolate. While I would have liked a stronger flavor from these, they did add a nice vanilla note that paired excellently with the chocolate. Putting it in other terms, I’d say the ratio of chocolate to vanilla in C’n’C is about 85/15. I would have preferred something more like 65/35.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Corn Puff Cereal with Milk

As for the texture, I’m pretty sure General Mills has got corn puff cereal down to a science at this point. They had just the right amount of crunch that doesn’t immediately go to mush when you add milk, but doesn’t cross the line from “crunch” to “I think I might be eating a bowl of pebbles. The literal kind.”

Oh, and those little flecks that make this cereal look similar to its Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme namesake? Yeah, that’s purely decorative. They really brought nothing to the flavor party.

In fact, Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal really tasted nothing like the candy bar. I mean, I’m not going to sue them for false advertising – I’m not even that irritated by it, because I really liked the cereal – but if you’re expecting an exact replica of the candy magically transformed into cereal form, that’s going to be a wish unfulfilled.

Remember how I mentioned that the chocolate portion of this cereal tasted remarkably like Cocoa Puffs? Well, in my research, I found something interesting: chocolate and vanilla Cocoa Puffs already exist, or existed, and The Impulsive Buy even reviewed them back in 2008. And hey, look at that – those are also made by General Mills! This seems suspiciously like a case of “re-branding and adding some little flecks”.

Despite this, I really did like Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal. It wasn’t too sweet, the chocolate wasn’t overwhelming, and the size and texture were just what I want from a puff cereal. The vanilla added a nice complimentary note to the chocolate, but I would have liked it to be a little more prominent. Also, while I enjoyed the fact that the chocolate was mild, chocolate lovers may be disappointed by that.

I’m not generally a cereal eater, and it’s not often that I’ll go back and buy an item I’ve reviewed just for my own eating pleasure, but I think Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal is going to have a place in my cupboard as long as it stays on store shelves. And if it doesn’t, I guess I could just try and find some Cocoa Puffs Combos!

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 11 grams of other carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and a number of vitamins and minerals.)

Other General Mills Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal reviews:
Sweet and Savori
The Breakfast Bowl

Item: General Mills Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.5 oz box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Cocoa Puffs complimented with vanilla. Having something fun to stare at on the box as you eat. Balls are the perfect size puffs for a spoon. “Balls in your mouth” jokes. Perfect crunch that holds up in milk. Celebrate if you miss Cocoa Puffs Combos.
Cons: Doesn’t really taste like Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme candy. Being the weird kid. Would have liked a bigger vanilla presence. Little chocolate flecks seem just for decoration. Chocolate flavor may be too mild for some. Now I have “Everybody Dance Now” stuck in my head. Pretty much just re-branded Cocoa Puffs Combos.

REVIEW: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats

Somewhere on the edges of the globe, nestled between the marshes of Keebler County and Cascadian Farms, rests the town of General Mills. It is in this land of cuckoo birds and marshmallow balloons that a legend resides.

And his name…

Is Wendell.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Wendell

He looks like a Wendell, doesn’t he?

What with his half-moon spectacles and rotund little nose, Wendell seems unassuming enough, but don’t be fooled. He has connections with the Keebler elves. He landed in General Mills in 1987 with a single dream: to put toast in a bowl, and, after many long nights beside his magical toaster and a cinnamon-related explosion, he got the recipe for Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Back in 2001, he channeled his Cinnamon cereal craze into the smash hit: “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Milk-N-Cereal Bar.” Now, he’s bringing it home in a smaller, portion-friendly treat.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Wrapper

Judging by the cover, Wendell’s stepped away from his toaster to mix up a hearty batch of “yogurt coating.” No lie: this was the very thing that pulled me in to this bar. As a connoisseur of the yogurt-covered pretzel, I can’t resist a yogurt coating, and, indeed, I was elated when I discovered that a yogurt squiggle accompanied the yogurt-dipped foundation of the bar.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats Closeup

I’m thinking these little crisps were made for lunchtime and would fit snuggly in a lunchbox/briefcase/purse/other portable vessel of preference. The list of ingredients seems a mile long, but, in summary, it involves cinnamon, icing, and gooeyness and, as we all know, those are the ingredients involved in sustaining a happy relationship. Had a disagreement with your spouse? Bake something with cinnamon and, instantly, it smells like somebody loves you. Top that baked good with icing? Well, you can just kick back and watch the magic unfold.

Now, before diving into the texture of this bar, I’d like to step back for a brief moment to define the adjective “chewy.” Quaker has obfuscated (word of the day!) this term with their “Chewy” granola bars for years. If a food is “chewy,” it has a certain pull, being both somewhat firm and somewhat sticky. Caramels are chewy. Taffy is chewy. That yummy nougat in Snickers bars is chewy. Stale rice cereal smooshed with uncooked oats? Not chewy, Quaker, not chewy.

Now, these, on the other hand, actually do have a bit of a chew and are a fair amount denser than their Quaker counterparts, which gets them off to a good start. On first bite, they even have a bit of a crisp, but, in the end, this crisp ended on the note of “Stale Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” which was disappointing for a product that had hopes to bounce me over the heart, stars, horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons. The yogurt coating does its best for what this lacks in texture, but alas, fair Wendell, the faint wisps of cinnamon in your bar are no match for this weak consistency and overwhelming taste of corn syrup.

However, on an up note, these do have a bit of whole grain and there was enough of the yogurt to make me smile at the end, making these treats far better than the imagination-crushing, depression-inducing Quaker “Chewy” Granola bars. Nonetheless, next time I have the Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch craving, I’ll probably reach for the bowl and spoon before I nab a treat.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 100 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, and a little vitamins and minerals.)

Other Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats reviews:
Truly Foody

Item: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats
Purchased Price: $2.84 (on sale)
Size: 1 box/6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Yogurt coating on the base. Yogurt squiggles. Cinnamon. Wendell. A friendly portion. Whole grain. Lunchboxes. The word “Obfuscate.” Half-moon spectacles. A land filled with marshmallow balloons.
Cons: The texture of stale cereal. Corn syrup overpowers cinnamon. Using the word “chewy” incorrectly. Crushers of the imagination.