REVIEW: Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Box

What is Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch?

Everyone’s favorite sea-based military cereal mascot is back with his newest flavor since 2019’s less-than-stellar “Cotton Candy” offering. This time, he’s bringing chocolate to the high seas (which he has done multiple times in the past), but pairing it with caramel, which, to the best of my research, is a flavor he has never attempted, ever.

How is it?

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Dry

Not bad at all!

I can’t recall if I’ve ever had any of the previous chocolate varieties the Cap’n has offered, but this one starts off with a mild cocoa aroma and taste, and then BOOM, you’re in Caramel City. The caramel even makes it chew differently, with a bit more stickiness than standard Crunch Berries. There are light undertones of butter and salt, giving the whole affair a bit more complexity than you might expect from the wild-eyed, possibly-deranged sugar peddler of the sea.

Cap n Crunch s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cereal Spoon

Anything else you need to know?

According to Wikipedia, there have been 30 or more varieties of Cap’n Crunch since Pamela Low developed the original in 1963, and of those 30+, only a handful have become regular offerings. So if you try this and like it, buy enough to make a strong impression, lest this version goes the way of Mystery Volcano Crunch, Deep Sea Crunch, Punch Crunch, Vanilly Crunch, or Galactic Crunch.

Conclusion:

Cap’n Crunch Chocolate Caramel Crunch is an insane amount of Cs for any one product. It also feels like one too many “crunches.” Even still, it’s a fine addition to the fleet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to this fascinating Cap’n Crunch Wikipedia entry. (Did you know that “Captain Crunch Adams” was a short story character created in the 1940s by Allan Burns, who later created The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Munsters? Or that cereal developer Pamela Low also had a hand in developing Heath, Mounds, and Almond Joy?)

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size:11.8 ox box
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats

Kellogg s Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats Box

What are Kellogg’s Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats?

Rice cereal and marshmallow treats are a lunchbox classic, but to recall the prevailing wisdom of Alice Cooper, school’s out for summer. The time is right to freshen up a classic with the flavor of sweet summer strawberries.

How are they?

If you have ever felt sorry for the lonely strawberry ice cream stripe that seems to get overlooked in a container of Neapolitan ice cream, you will be happy to unwrap this pretty pink Rice Krispies Treat and know it is strawberry’s time to shine. If you are normal, still consider giving these simple new treats a try, because they are very good.

Kellogg s Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats Whole

The treats are straightforward as can be: rectangular bars of crisp rice cereal bound together with a chewy, strawberry-flavored marshmallow mixture. Although Kellogg’s produces Strawberry Krispies cereal, the original variety of Rice Krispies were utilized to create these treats, allowing the strawberry flavor to come from the sticky pink marshmallow that coats every cereal grain.

Even the pink shade is no-fuss, more like the color of rosé in gentle lighting and not like the strawberry Kool-Aid stain on the carpet that your mom grounded you for making.

Although strawberries do not appear in the list of ingredients, the “naturally flavored with other natural flavors” treats smell and taste remarkably like freeze-dried strawberries. The result is a realistic, not-too-sweet strawberry flavor that is very easy to eat. The sweet cereal and strawberry combination reminded me slightly of the discontinued and much-missed Special K with Red Berries cereal bars.

Kellogg s Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats Pull

Are the treats too simple? If you enjoy the Rice Krispies Treats varieties that boast drizzles, mix-ins, or chocolate-coated bases, you might be bored with humble strawberry, but I didn’t miss the extra frills.

Anything else you need to know?

Also available is a Rice Krispies Treats Mini Squares variety pack that includes the Strawberry treats alongside Chocolate and Original varieties. There are 64 mini squares in the variety pack, so if anyone is planning to buy one and smush together all three varieties to make Neapolitan Rice Krispies Treats, please invite me.

Conclusion:

Strawberry Rice Krispies Treats are successful in their simplicity and deliver a more realistic berry flavor than you might expect.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 6.2 oz box (8 bars)
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per bar) 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 0 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Box

What is Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal?

I can picture it now: General Mills executives sitting around a long mahogany conference table saying, “Well, we already have a solid breakfast product with Cocoa Puffs cereal… let’s make ANOTHER breakfast product and turn it into oatmeal!” So that’s what we have here — Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal. It’s an instant oatmeal with a chocolatey flavored crunchy topping.

How is it?

I’m a big oatmeal fan – it’s my breakfast food of choice. So I was really excited to try this one, especially since I also love chocolate. The directions say you can use either water or milk (like any traditional instant oatmeal). I typically use water, so that’s what I went with. After the recommended time in the microwave, I had a warm bowl of chocolate oatmeal.

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Packets

But wait! Before you dig in, don’t forget to add the chocolatey flavored crunch topping. This comes in a separate pouch (the pouches in the box are two different colors and labeled appropriately, either oatmeal or topping). At first glance, you could almost mistake the packets for Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets! The topping looks like small espresso beans and didn’t melt when added.

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Cooked

Let’s talk flavor. This does, indeed, taste like Cocoa Puffs. A mellow, chocolate taste that’s not overly sweet. The only thing I wish is that it had an even stronger chocolate flavor. If I’m having chocolate for breakfast, I want it to be very prevalent. The topping helped with that, adding a nice crunch. I was also pleased with the amount of topping – I had enough to have some with each bite. The benefit to the mellow chocolate was that it did feel like I was having breakfast versus dessert, which is the goal.

Anything else you need to know?

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Dry

It’s been a while since I had instant oatmeal in packets (I usually go for old-fashioned oats), so I forgot how small of a serving one of these packets can be. If you’re someone who needs a large breakfast to fuel your day, you might want to consider supplementing with something else.

Conclusion:

Looking forward to having this again. Next time, I’m going to add some peanut butter to make it even more fun!

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.4 oz box (6 servings)
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 pouch oatmeal + 1 pouch topping) 150 calories, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: White Cheddar Chex Mix

White Cheddar Chex Mix Bag

As the world’s preeminent Chex Mix connoisseur*, I won’t pretend I was blown away by the prospect of a White Cheddar flavor.

Cheddar Chex Mix exists. White Cheddar just felt redundant. We only get a new Chex Mix flavor every few months, and nothing about it felt innovative.

Why do we need White Cheddar? Who at General Mills ate Cheddar Chex Mix and said, “Yeah, it’s good, but can we make it whiter?”

Actually, let’s not theorize about who would say that.

Nevertheless, it is my sworn duty to try every single Chex Mix flavor, so I acquired a bag – a bag that instantly bugged me because it looked exactly like one of my all-time favorite flavors, Honey Nut.

White Cheddar Chex Mix PIeces
White Cheddar Chex Mix (top) Cheddar Chex Mix (bottom)

As I inspected the pieces of the mix itself, I couldn’t help but feel like White Cheddar Chex Mix was missing something big – the cheese cracker. That is, without a doubt, my favorite Cheddar mix piece, so I was bummed Chex instead opted to go with the generic, teeth-shattering rye chips.

That being said, most people love that piece way more than I do, so I understand.

They say you eat with your eyes first, so if I ended the review there, we’d be looking at a 4 out of 10. Luckily, I fulfilled my oath and tasted it.

Chex Mix, you’ve done it again!

White Cheddar Chex Mix Mixed

The White Cheddar flavor had way more complexity than I wanted to give it credit for. On any given bite, I felt like I was eating everything from gourmet popcorn to garlic bread.

I bought a classic Cheddar Chex Mix bag, and while comparing, I noticed just how different regular cheddar and white cheddar really are. These had a more subtle flavor as if it was a light cheddar mixed with parmesan.

On the first handful, I got hit with a Wise Buttered Popcorn nostalgia wave. I haven’t ripped one of those yellow bags in ages, but that’s exactly what it tasted like. Once the mild cheddar cheese took over, it reminded me of another classic bagged popcorn – Smartfood White Cheddar.

I couldn’t shake that overall popcorn vibe and almost wish they included popcorn within the mix. It was like opening one of those tri-flavor Christmas tins and alternating bites between the cheese and the butter flavors.

But it didn’t stop there. The flavor kept slightly morphing as I crunched on, with some bites genuinely putting me in mind of a buttery garlic bread with a dash of cheese. I highly doubt these contain garlic powder, but the sample sent to me didn’t have ingredients listed, so I can’t confirm. Either way, I think I have an idea for a new Chex Mix flavor down the line.

All of my assumptions were wrong here. This is not just a lazy reboot of the Cheddar flavor. It’s a delicious new entry in Chex Mix’s elite snack lineup. I’d recommend grabbing a bag of Smartfood and creating a mega White Cheddar mix.

I still like Cheddar slightly more, but these are coming in just a tick below. Feel free to release any color cheddar you want moving forward.

(*2015-18, 2020. I won’t forget about 2019, Alex G. of Denmark. Hope you enjoyed your reign on top, you fraud.)

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: Not available
Purchased at: Received from Chex Mix
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on sample packaging.

REVIEW: Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Box

What is Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal?

Rice Krispies Treats Cereal’s reformulation is one of the most controversial topics in cold breakfast history.

Introduced in 1993 and taken away for seemingly no reason in 2018, the cereal delivered an extra crunchy version of a Rice Krispies Treat that could hold up in milk and still provide a super sweet spoonful of satisfaction.

Kellogg’s brought the cereal back in 2019 and replaced the chunks of treats with sweetened puffed rice and marshmallows. The new version wasn’t awful, but a far cry from its former self, which is why I was ecstatic when I saw the latest release from General Mills: Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters. Did Lucky swoop in and save Snap, Crackle, and Pop from themselves? I sure hope so!

How is it?

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Dry

Well, it isn’t Rice Krispies Treats Cereal. I try to go into every new product with an open mind, but the comparison was inevitable and set me up for a bit of a disappointment. But it’s not all bad.

The sweetened corn and rice clusters remind me of a crunchier version of Kix, and despite their pleasantly mild vanilla taste, they aren’t nearly sweet enough to remind me of a marshmallow treat.

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Milk

The mild flavor gets even milder, almost extinct when added to milk. I also find their size kind of bizarre. They aren’t quite big enough to dominate a spoon like Frosted Mini-Wheats, but they’re far from Cap’n Crunch territory too, making the proper spoon balance tricky. There’s a reason most rectangular cereal pieces aren’t this big and flat.

Anything else you need to know?

The Lucky Charms marshmallows are excellent. Vibrantly colored and full of crunchy-yet-soft freeze-dried splendor, their pronounced sweetness brings a very welcome balance to the unfortunately bland clusters. Although Lucky Charms isn’t one of my favorite cereals, I prefer its normal Cheerios-adjacent glazed oat pieces to these new hypothetically sweeter and more fun clusters.

Conclusion:

Whether or not I had inflated expectations, this cereal would have been a letdown. Between its odd shape and texture and too mild flavor, this just makes me miss the 90s classic even more.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 11.2 oz. box
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup/37 grams) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.