REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal

Because I’m not one myself, I can’t be absolutely certain what kind of cereal Power Rangers go shopping for. That being said, I’d imagine they’d probably be among the first to buy the new Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch.

Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch has all the nutritional components that allow Powers Rangers to summon Megazords and head-butt endless armies of Putty Patrollers. Each serving has important, energizing vitamins and minerals in addition to 2/3 of your daily dose of whole grains, not to mention six grams of protein to help fit into those slim-fit leotards for another busy morning battling a golden-armored lion people thing in the streets below Beverly Hills.

I won’t lie—that kind of energy supply is usually beyond the scope of what I look for in a cereal. Given that the most activity I get on an average morning comes from carefully timed strolls to the reception desk’s candy jar at the office, you might even say a cereal with 220 calories a serving is a bit overkill for someone who couldn’t execute a round-house kick in Mortal Kombat 3, much less morph into the Red Ranger.

Still, I’m not going to discriminate when it comes to adding chocolate to the hugely popular Honey Bunches of Oats line, especially since its been three or four years since Post pulled the plug on Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters, which before its discontinuation was one of my most loved “adult” cereals.

At first, I was skeptical. I may have loved the “real chocolate” clusters in the original chocolate rendition of Honey Bunches of Oats, but if there’s a synonym for “half-ass” in the cereal world, it might just be “chocolatey.”

At best the chocolatey pieces of partially hydrogenated oil and corn syrup in cereals like Special K Chocolatey Delight are a distraction; at worst, they’re enough to make Willy Wonka think about getting into the plastics industry. Styrofoamy, flat-tasting, and about as rich as the hobo you give your spare change to, those imitation squares of “chocolate” thankfully don’t show up in the new Chocolatey Almond Crunch flavor. Instead the tiny pieces of not-quite chocolate “chocolate” have a firm texture and semi-sweet flavor. It might not be Godiva or even Hershey’s quality, but for a cereal the substitute does the trick, even taking on an element of richness when eaten with whole milk.

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal Wet

The small “chocolatey” bricks are only a supporting element to the cereal, however, which brings together the classic, slightly malty honeyed glaze of whole grain flakes with the superior crunch of oat clusters the size of asteroids. And yes, these free-falling bricks of cocoa powder and toasted oats are definitely asteroid like. I encountered several large clusters in a random pour, and enjoyed the distinctive crunch and deep cocoa powder flavor both with and without milk.

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal Dry

There’s a brown sugar taste to them, but the cocoa powder is what dominates, blending in smoothly with the buttery anise undertones of slivered almonds. In that respect, the cereal reminded me a lot of Fiber One’s Nutty Clusters & Almonds, except with a much pronounced and irregularly shaped cluster and a cocoa flavor. Bits of crisped rice, barley, and wheat germ make an appearance as well, giving each spoonful a slightly exotic and toasted multigrain note that balances the 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Clearly, I’m very high on this cereal, although not nearly as high as Bulk and Skull were on a regular basis during the first three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Not only does the Morning Energy variety pack more cocoa and chocolate flavor than the old Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters, but they have a seriously “mealtime” feel to them which actually backs up the overt nutritional marketing ploys.

That being the case, you’ve been warned; as a granola-type cereal, there’s definitely a health halo involved here. Before I knew it I had munched my way through half a box, and all I had to show for this supposed influx of energy was three trips to the office candy jar and not a single withering Putty Patroller to my name. Still, I figure cereal sales can’t be upheld by a band of five ridiculously good-looking multicultural karate experts and faux superheroes.

So even though I may not be actively stopping the imminent takeover of the planet earth by Rita Repulsa, I like to think my newfound brand loyalty to the Morning Energy line might just keep Post from discontinuing their Chocolatey Almond Crunch flavor, thus ensuring that when future generations of Power Rangers head to the supermarket, they won’t be made to settle for the empty sugar crashes inspired by all the usual suspects.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 220 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and 6 grams of protein.)

Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 12.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Great “meal” cereal. Classic Honey Bunches of Oats taste with malted cocoa and chocolate flavor. Oat clusters the size of asteroids. Buttery almonds. Actually enjoyable multigrain element. Actively supporting your local Power Rangers.
Cons: “Granola” effect kills health appeal. Chocolate pieces still not as good as actual chocolate chips. Searching for Bulk and Skull on YouTube.

REVIEW: Special K Nourish Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Hot Cereal

Kellogg's Special K Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Nourish Hot Cereal

You may be asking: Why in all the magical golden coins of Super Mario would I want to buy two bowls of portable oatmeal with some mix-ins?

Well, that just brings up a slew of other questions: Why fry a Snickers? Why make your own piñata? Why learn to surf in a pool of whale sharks? Why, in fact, should you do anything? I’ll tell you why: because you are a great human. You want to reach higher. To be all you can be. To walk into work not only with your shoes on the right feet, but with a little kick that says “I am a great human and I am here to change the world.” And how, with a 1:30 bedtime and a 4:30 wake-up call, can you have the consciousness to do that?

Kellogg's Special K Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Nourish Hot Cereal Cup

Breakfast.

Preparing to fully bank on this need for early morning sustenance, Special K’s kicked out this new line of oatmeal so you can microwave a bowl of whole grains in your office, dorm, or as you brush your hair before dashing out the door, spooning mouthfuls as you swerve through the 7:30 traffic, without even grabbing a bowl. And this spurs the next question: Is it worth it?

That depends.

Kellogg's Special K Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Nourish Hot Cereal Closeup

On first glance, I figured there’s nothing revolutionary going on here. It’s just a mushy, but oddly comforting bowl of cooked oats, right? Oh how wrong I was. Underneath the goopy exterior rests an amalgam of grains that stretches the vocabulary of Kansas agriculture: there’s oats, some wheat, barley, and even quinoa, which I appreciate because it has a “Q” in it. Q words are so hard to come by these days.

While there were four grains in there, the sweet, malty oats still stand at the forefront of flavor. I was quite pleased that Special K opted for whole oats rather than the puny chopped up instant ones, which often make me feel underappreciated and begging for more like a character in a Dickens novel.

The accompanying mix-ins include two packets of toasted almonds, which, while a bit flavorless in their unsalted way, serve as quality crunch nubbins, and the separated dual packets of almonds allowed me to plop one segment in the top half of the oatmeal while saving some for the bottom, thus preventing Boring Bottom Half of Oatmeal Syndrome.

Unfortunately, there’s no actual maple syrup involved here. Instead, the oatmeal is swirled with what I imagine are little dehydrated maple crystals that, when looked at under a microscope, might be mistaken for those frightening rhinestones people put on their cell phones that blind you on a sunny day. While the maple bits add a nice smell of maple to the air, the sugar-y-ness of maple is subdued after preparation, but let’s face it: dehydrated maple bits are no substitute for the Grade-B Vermont liquid gold.

Otherwise, this is pretty successful in that straightforward, no frills way, even if there were only two bowls. The almonds stay fresh in their little compartments and the single serving allows me to stuff the bowl in my bag in the morning while running out the door. It can be prepared in the microwave or, if you wanna get fancy, the bowl provides directions for steeping.

As with all microwave oatmeal, you can whip it up with your liquid of choice, be it water, milk, coffee (and excellent choice), or, depending on the time of day and your mood, maple syrup’s best friend: bourbon. If you’re passing by a McDonald’s or keep a slab of pork belly in your employer’s mini fridge (not that I do…), a side of crispy bacon would make an excellent pairing.

As fall whisks its merciless wind through the tethers of my flimsy cardigan, this oatmeal seems perfectly timed. It’s warm, hearty brain food that I can grab on the way out the door. I don’t see myself buying this all the time, but it makes me feel cozy enough to wear footie pajamas to work. In fact, perhaps I will! Tomorrow! If you see me in my footie pajamas on the subway, know that I am not committing an act of defiance. It is merely a symptom of being filled with hot cereal.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 container– 190 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 170 milligrams of potassium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, and 8 grams of protein.)

Item: Special K Nourish Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Hot Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.78
Size: 2 pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: No frills. Easy to prepare. Big whole oats. Crunchy almonds. Magically dissolving maple-y bits. Slabs of pork belly. The option of preparing with bourbon. Making a piñata. Wearing footie pajamas to work.
Cons: Only 2 bowls. No actual maple syrup. 4:30 wake-up calls. Feeling like a character in a Dickens novel. Endangered “Q” words. Being blinded by cell phone bling.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry Cereal

Kellogg's Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry

Do you know what’s romantic?

Chocolate-covered strawberries.

Awww yeah! You can take one and lightly stroke it on various parts of your lover’s body, letting body heat melt the chocolate, which leaves behind a gooey mess your tongue will have to clean up while your lover eats the juicy strawberry and whatever chocolate didn’t end up on his or her body.

Do you know what also has chocolate and strawberries but is significantly less romantic than chocolate-covered strawberries?

Kellogg’s Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry cereal.

Awww yeah! Nothing says the opposite of sensual than scratchy rice and wheat flakes on your lover’s skin. Sure, some of the freeze-dried strawberries look like areolae, but the brittle, dried fruit and firm chocolatey hyphens will have her or him begging for less.

Kellogg’s Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry cereal looks special because it’s labeled “limited edition,” but it’s not so remarkable because it’s basically two other Special K cereals mixed together — Special K Red Berries and Special K Chocolatey Delight.

It’s that kind of innovation that makes me look forward to other possible Special K limited edition cereal varieties, like Chocolatey Blueberry Special K or Granola, Fruit, Yogurt, Oats & Honey Special K.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog who has been following it since it began in 2004, you might remember me saying some harsh things about Special K Red Berries cereal in another review. I probably used profanity and the adjective “junky” when sharing my thoughts about the cereal with freeze-dried strawberries. My issue with the cereal was its fruit, which got horribly soggy within moments of sitting in milk. As for Special K Chocolatey Delight, I gave it a positive review in 2007.

Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry cereal had a noticeable chocolatey aroma, but my nose didn’t really detect the strawberries. However, while I was shoveling the cereal into my mouth, my taste buds could mostly taste the strawberries, while the chocolatey pieces were muted.

Freaky Friday!

Kellogg's Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry Closeup

I last tried Special K Red Berries cereal in 2005 and it seems freeze-dried strawberry technology has improved because the ones in this limited edition cereal didn’t absorb milk as quickly as a National Spelling Bee favorite absorbs a dictionary. As for the chocolatey pieces, they’re solid so there’s no need to worry about them getting milk logged.

In the box I purchased, there were significantly more chocolatey bits than freeze-dried strawberries, but you’re almost guaranteed to get one or the other in each spoonful.

I keep saying “chocolatey” because the chocolatey bits in the cereal aren’t made with real chocolate, like the stuff Hershey bars are made of. They lack what makes real chocolate awesome, like cocoa butter. Instead they’re waxy, less sweet, and they taste Tootsie Roll-ish.

Of course, if Kellogg’s used real chocolate, this cereal wouldn’t have Special K-like nutrition facts. But for what they are, they’re not bad. However, I wish they had a stronger flavor. Heck, the crispy flakes overpower the chocolatey flavor. As for the strawberries they’re more tart than sweet and I enjoyed their flavor, but my box needed a lot more of them.

Special K’s Limited Edition Chocolatey Strawberry Cereal was a bit disappointing and strange. I liked it for what I thought I wouldn’t enjoy and disliked it for what I thought I would love. It’s also not an inventive limited edition cereal variety. So if you’re one of those people who regularly eats all the Special K cereals, this one will probably not seem special to you.

(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, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 80 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and fortified with vitamins and minerals to make us awesome.)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Special K Chocolatey Strawberry Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 11 ounce box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Freeze-dried strawberries don’t absorb milk as quickly as a college kid absorbs alcohol at a frat party. Pleasant strawberry flavor. Feeding the one you love chocolate-covered strawberries.
Cons: It’s basically Special K Chocolatey Delight and Red Berries combined. Weak chocolatey flavor. Needs more strawberry. Cereal ruins romance.

REVIEW: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal

I’ve been having nightmares ever since I started eating the Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal. Just look at the closeup picture below, but don’t stare at it too long or else you’ll be having scary dreams as well.

Maybe I’ve read too many issues of Fangoria Magazine, but I think they look like the deformed faces of evil demonic spirits who want to devour my soul. Yeah, they’re smiling, but that’s because feasting on some of my life force will make them happy.

Oh geez, I gotta turn the box around because they’re freaking me out again!

I really wish Life Crunchtime Cereal came in normal, boring square pieces, much like regular Life Cereal. Or what my imagination thinks Kellogg’s Honey Smacks look like. Or, at least, a shape that doesn’t remind me of Scream‘s Ghostface.

You’d think with the Highlights for Children-like puzzle on the back of its box, Life Crunchtime Cereal is supposed to appeal to children, but it’s really more of a cereal being marketed to moms who are worried about their children eating too much sugar and not enough fiber. I don’t know of any children who would get excited about the “30% less sugar than the leading kids’ cereals” printed on the front of the box, but I know of moms who would.

What are these leading kids’ cereals? If you happen to be the in cereal aisle with one of those sugar-fearing moms, the leading kids cereals are probably the ones her child brings to her and instantly rejects with a loud “No! Put that back!” These cereal might include Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which has 11 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving; General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios, which has 9 grams, and Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, which has 11 grams of sugar.

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal Closeup

Speaking of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, that’s what Life Strawberry Crunchtime smelled like. However, I shouldn’t be surprised by this since Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries is also made by Quaker. Its flavor, however, was significantly less Crunch Berry-like. It initially tasted like nothing, but then several moments later the berry flavor, which didn’t taste like strawberry, lightly stroked my tongue. The strawberry flavor came, but in the form of an artificial strawberry aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for a little while.

For a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal is decent. If you’re expecting a Froot Loops- or Trix-level of fruitiness, your expectations will not be met. Just like Froot Loops, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal doesn’t contain any fruit and is made using natural flavor, but unlike Froot Loops, it’s also made with artificial flavor.

Overall, I can’t say I’ll be picking up another box of Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal because its flavor doesn’t impress the sugar-addicted kid in me and their shape totally freaks out the easily scared adult in me, but, with its six grams of fiber (23% RDA), six grams of sugar, and vitamin content, I would recommend it to parents looking for a healthier breakfast cereal for their children.

Wait a minute…six grams of fiber, six grams of sugar, and is an excellent source of vitamin B6?

6-6-6!

It is evil!

(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, 90 milligrams of sodium, 75 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal
Price: $2.99
Size: 7.7 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good for a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving. Provides 100% RDA of folic acid. Six grams of fiber.
Cons: Doesn’t contain real fruit. Puzzle on back of box is kind of difficult if you have morning brain. Cereal shape looks like deformed faces of evil demonic spirits. What my imagination thinks Honey Smacks look like.

REVIEW: Post Limited Edition Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders

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.

REVIEW: Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal

Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal

I’m going to be honest, this may be the healthiest cereal I’ve ever eaten. As a rule, I eat breakfast cereals developed by dentists who could really use some help but don’t like asking for handouts. The least sugary cereal I’ve eaten in years is Honey Nut Cheerios, which is kind of like bragging that you only smoke two packs of filtered cigarettes a day. Hell, the product I reviewed for my TIB application was Post Marshmallow Pebbles; that cost me three teeth and my eyesight for about an hour, but it was worth it! Now here I am at the opposite end of the spectrum. I can only assume that Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal will resurrect my hairline, bestow 20/20 vision, and give me muscles in places I haven’t had them since college. Frankly, anything less will be a bigger disappointment than watching the edited-for-TV version of The Breakfast Club. (“Forget you! No dad, what about you?”)

The first thing I notice about Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal is that the box actually looks like something an adult might eat. There’s nary a spunky cartoon character or anthropomorphic animal to be found, and I’m kind of freaked out that the back of the box just has pictures of the ingredients and a dead-eyed model pretending to eat some while thinking, “It was this or underwear modeling in the Costco circular,” rather than a word search or jumble. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to hone my vocab skills while eating, but I guess that’s the choice you make — healthy or smart. One of the informative blurbs gives a good idea of the target audience by claiming that women who eat a cereal breakfast like this one weigh less, which just does wonders for my masculinity, let me tell you. When I go back to the store for another box, I think I’ll grab some yogurt smoothies and a package of Secret, which I understand to be made for women but strong enough for me.

Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal Closeup

Pouring some out in a bowl increases my confidence that, if I don’t actually LIKE this cereal, I’ll at least find it tolerable. I’m a little bummed that the flakes aren’t shaped like bats or C3PO faces or some shit, but I guess that wouldn’t do when you’re marketing yourself to people with “jobs” and “401Ks” and “relationships, as long as he keeps his hands off that tramp Jenny from Accounting.” Anyway, if the flakes look bland, they at least don’t appear actively offensive. There are also plenty of oats, and hey, oatmeal’s okay. Nobody ever said “Yippee, oatmeal!” if there wasn’t going to be brown sugar in it, but it’s pretty hard to work up any actual dislike for oats, in meal form or otherwise. The honey isn’t visible to the naked eye, but if it’s not in there, I promise you somebody’s getting a strongly worded letter on Monday.

Actually, for all my hesitance, Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal really doesn’t taste bad. Anyone who hasn’t been shoveling spoonfuls of cavity bombs into their maw for the last two decades is likely to find it within spitting distance of “good.” The taste is definitely more on the understated side — there’s only so much honey they can add to this stuff and still market it as “healthy” — but it beats dumping a handful of sugar on regular Cheerios, which is what I used to do as a kid (and now) when we’d run out of the good cereals. The honey flavor definitely comes through, as do the oats, and the flakes retain their crunchiness fairly well in milk. I can’t say this is what I’d choose every trip to the store, but as a compromise between teeth-rotting rapture and bland antiques like Wheaties or Shredded Wheat, you could do a lot worse.

(Nutrition Facts — 2/3 cup — 100 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 70 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 14 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal
Price: $3.69
Size: 13.6 ounces
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Strong enough for a man. Helps me fit into skinny jeans. Feeling like an adult. Does not make my teeth weep. Fairly tasty.
Cons: Putting dentists out of business. No fun shapes. Made testicles shrink. Not improving vocab. Did not restore hair or vision. Edited-for-TV movies.