REVIEW: Post Honey Maid S’mores Cereal

Post Honey Maid S mores Cereal

I think everything is better with a brand name.

An Oreo Blizzard beats a chocolate sandwich cookie Blizzard ten times out of ten; a Lucky Charms milkshake kicks the crap out of a marshmallow cereal milkshake; and an Arby’s sandwich on a King’s Hawaiian bun is far superior to a sandwich on a sweet enriched roll that may or may not have come from a rock in the Pacific Ocean.

Don’t ask me about the logic behind this phenomenon. It might be proprietary recipe secrets. It might be social conditioning. It might just be that you’d have to be an idiot to roll out something called a “marshmallow cereal milkshake.”

Honey Maid S’more cereal follows much of the trend, which is surprising because it’s made by Post, which previously bought Mom’s Best, which owns Malt-O-Meal, which produces both a mediocre Cocoa Puffs imitator and a pathetic Golden Grahams doppelganger.

Oh, and by the way, a s’mores cereal.

I’ve never had the Malt-O-Meal cereal with the same name, but I have had many other Malt-O-Meal cereals and consider them hastily assembled Halloween costume versions of their General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Quaker counterparts. Knowing this, I was not expecting much from this s’mores cereal.

Post Honey Maid S mores Cereal 2

Sampling the pieces individually didn’t do much to change my outlook. The marshmallow pieces were okay but nothing special, like a 6-6 college football team that limps into a bowl game. Meanwhile, the chocolate cereal pieces (which look and taste like Malt-O-Meal’s Cocoa Puffs imitator Cocoa Roos) are about as dreadful as a chocolate cereal can be, with virtually no cocoa flavor and too much sweetness.

Post Honey Maid S mores Cereal 3

Eaten alone, the only redeeming element is the Honey Maid graham pieces, which have a deep graham flavor and light crunch that’s distinct from the glazed molasses sweetness of Golden Grahams.

But a funny thing happens when you shove a handful of the mix in your mouth. It starts to taste like s’mores, and out of nowhere a light cocoa flavor emerges in the background.

Post Honey Maid S mores Cereal 4

I attribute this 100 percent to a dusty coating that covers all the pieces. It’s not unlike the peanut butter coating that covers Reese’s Puffs, but instead of tasting like powdered chocolate peanut butter, it tastes like powdered S’mores. The coating is especially tasty in milk, which seems to coax more cocoa flavor out of the chocolate cereal pieces, and gives the graham pieces a delectable, milk-infused sogginess.

Even though the chocolate flavor is a letdown, Honey Maid S’mores is a slightly better than Smorz (which I gave a 6) but not as good as Krave S’mores (which I gave an 8). Is it because of the Honey Maid Graham Cracker pieces?

Well, it’s not because of some generic graham cracker pieces.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup without milk – 120 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 21 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Authentic honey graham flavor. Campfire coating binds flavors together with a deep burnt sugar taste with hints of cocoa. Very good in milk. Correct spelling of S’mores. Avoiding the tempting Hamilton Porter S’mores reference from The Sandlot.
Cons: Less cocoa flavor than a tootsie roll. Only adequate as a snacking cereal. The reasoning behind Cocoa Roos. Brand name food collusion.

REVIEW: Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers

Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers

In 1829, minister Sylvester Graham invented the graham cracker as an intentionally bland food that would suppress “carnal urges.” No, I’m not making this up:

Graham crackers want you to stop masturbating.

But despite Sylvester “No Fun Allowed” Graham’s best efforts, people have continued masturbating for 187 years, and they seem to have no plans to stop masturbating in the immediate future.

If regular old crackers weren’t exciting enough to get people to choose grahams over ‘gasms, I can only imagine that Honey Maid’s new Vanilla Graham Crackers are another attempt to make a properly thrilling masturbatory alternative.

Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers 2

And just look at them: with their supple graham pores, their lithely aerated edges, and their dazzling crystal coating, these are sexy crackers. In fact, they’re so attractive, I could just about…

Keep it together, Dan! At least take them out for dinner first!

Speaking of eating, these babies are still very similar to plain Honey Maid Graham Crackers at their wafered core. The base tastes of mildly sweetened, brown sugar-dusted wheat flour. This is veiled in a thin layer of golden toasted, slightly floral honey.

Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers 3

Upon first bite, the smattering of sugar crystals on top provides only a subtle kiss of vanilla extract stickiness. But if you really kiss the crackers (and I mean full on “sliding into first base like a hungry Frenchman” kissing) the syrupy honey and vanilla flavors blend into something vaguely like birthday cake frosting.

Of course, becoming a snack time succubus like this leaves behind a fairly gritty and dry cracker. And like all graham crackers, flour chunks will inevitably get stuck in every toothy crevasse. This may be a massive low point for some meticulous munchers, but I personally enjoy tasting graham-flavored phantoms on my palate for an entire afternoon. After all, if I’m picking crumbs out of mouth, my hands are too busy to do “other things.”

Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers are certainly pleasant, but far from mind-blowing. They’re essentially flatter, more rectangular Nilla Wafers that are better for making s’mores.

And speaking of s’mores: s’mores! Besides boring ministers and that weird kid you knew in 3rd grade few people eat graham crackers plain. That’s why this review wouldn’t be complete without a crackpot cracker concoction.

But since these aren’t your Grandma’s graham crackers, the ordinary “Jet-Puffed and Hershey’s” s’more simply won’t do. No, we need a hip, extreme s’more for a hip, extreme generation. Since I’m a dumb, poor college kid with the heart of a dumb, imaginative child, I’m gonna have to take a few creative liberties.

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I proudly present my “S’More v2.016.” In lieu of a toasted marshmallow, it has a rainbow gob of half-melted Lucky Charms marbits. And in place of Milton Hershey’s famous, yet boring chocolate? The frosted and fudgy decapitated top of a Hostess Cupcake. This s’more tastes fantastic, but it also kinda tastes like I belong in a mental hospital.

Despite their lack of originality, these graham crackers are a sweet platform for the imagination. In fact, I’d say they’re my favorite commercially available graham snack that isn’t bear-shaped. They’re also in third place behind powdered doughnuts and cocaine binges when it comes to covering everything in white powder.

Honey Maid Vanilla Graham Crackers are just good, wholesome fun. But sorry, Sylvester: most people still won’t be “picking the vanilla bean” instead of…well, you know.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 crackers (2 full sheets) – 130 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 14.4 oz box
Purchased at: Meijer
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Guts made of good ol’ graham. Suckling on birthday cake pixie dust. Postmodern s’mores. Snack cake lobotomies. Being a dumb, imaginative child.
Cons: Not quite enough vanilla. Won’t reshape autoerotic history. The divisive nature of graham-flavored tooth cement. Naming your kid “Milton.” Being a dumb, poor college kid.

REVIEW: Honey Maid Birthday Cake Teddy Grahams

Honey Maid Birthday Cake Teddy Grahams

Bears and birthday cakes do not mix.

At least that’s what the security guards told me when I tried to feed Greg the Grizzly a slice of red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Those misinformed fuddy-duddies. If bears don’t actually want to eat cake, then why are they always stealing picnic baskets? Who are we to say no to bears?

In spite of these warnings, Honey Maid has defied zoo security and mixed bears with birthday cake as part of their newly released Birthday Cake Teddy Grahams.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never tasted a bear before — Greg’s guards told me no nibbling allowed. I have tasted Teddy Grahams, though, and I consider myself a fan of those teeny-tiny ursine cookies.

If you’ve never tried Teddy Grahams, they’re nothing more than little crackers that resemble happy cartoon bears. Each of these bears has either both its arms up, or both its arms down. The result is one of the lamest attempts to dance to “Y.M.C.A.” that the world has ever seen.

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Because these particular Teddy Grahams are birthday cake-flavored, each cracker is speckled with rainbow color, as if it has contracted a fabulous version of measles. Discomeasles, anyone?

Their scent is somewhere between Nilla wafers and cupcakes. Their flavor is…not what I was expecting.

When I think of “birthday cake,” I imagine strong flavors alluding to vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles. These Teddy Grahams are heavy on the graham flavor with merely a faint hint of birthday cake sweetness. It’s an accurate imitation of cake batter, but it only shows up after the graham flavor begins to dissipate.

At first, I was a bit disappointed the birthday cake flavor was this mellow, but these Teddy Grahams have quickly grown on me. Because they’re so plain, they’re very easy to eat in large amounts. I no longer have the sweet tooth of an 8-year-old child, and these Teddy Grahams allow me to snack without feeling like I’m injecting sugar directly into my bloodstream. I honestly prefer them over the other Teddy Graham flavors: honey, cinnamon, chocolate, grizzly, panda, polar, etc.

Though different from what I had anticipated, these Birthday Cake Teddy Grahams have earned my approval. I’m glad Honey Maid chose “birthday cake” as their new Teddy Graham variety, and not another trendy flavor. I can just imagine sea salt caramel, coffee, and sriracha Teddy Grahams. Those would have been unbearable. (Stop complaining. I had to fit in a bear pun somewhere, okay?)

(Nutrition Facts – 24 pieces (30 grams) – 140 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Honey Maid Birthday Cake Teddy Grahams
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Not overwhelmingly sweet. Super snackable. Discomeasles…? Bear puns.
Cons: Primarily graham-flavored. Zoo security. Bear puns.

QUICK REVIEW: Nabisco Honey Maid Grahamfuls Cinnamon Creme

Nabisco Honey Maid Grahamfuls Cinnamon Creme

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 8 packs/box
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Smells like a cinnamon roll. The cinnamon creme enhances the graham cracker flavor. Fortified to provide 20 percent of your daily calcium. Graham crackers have a nice crispity crunch. No high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. Made with 100% whole grain.
Cons: Cinnamon creme isn’t very cinnamon-y. Doesn’t taste much different than a regular graham cracker. Instead of saying “Natural Flavor with Other Natural Flavor,” can’t the box say “Natural Flavors.” Cinnamon is a bit too far down the ingredients list. The ends of the cinnamon creme sometimes look like a butt.

Nabisco Honey Maid Grahamfuls Cinnamon Creme Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 pack – 110 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 1 grams of protein, 20% calcium, and 4% iron.

REVIEW: Honey Maid Teddy Grahams Apple

Honey Maid Teddy Grahams Apple

Ursa Minor: it’s not just a constellation.

For decades now Nabisco has offered box-fulls of “ursa minors” or, for those of us who don’t speak Latin and have to use Google to translate (i.e. me), “little bears.”

Yes, these wee little ursidae-shaped graham cookies have nourished the childhoods and adulthoods of many humans marching forth into unknown world.

And while the world is still rife with unknowns, I am confident I can keep on marching while nourishing my brain with a bunch of little bears from a box of Teddy Grahams, and now Nabisco is offering these graham-infused goodies in Apple flavor.

Honey Maid Teddy Grahams Apple Duo

The ever-classic duo: One bear cheers. The other does a cool dance with his hands down. Or maybe reverse jumping jacks? Or a 90s workout video? I’ve never really known.

I once read that animals gather together in anticipation of a natural disaster. If that’s true, these Teddy Grahams make me wonder if I should stock up on canned goods and AA batteries because there are a buncha bears gathered in here. According to my calculations calculator, I get a whopping 216 bears per box. That’s enough bears to last me a hibernation…or at least three episodes of Breaking Bad and some midnight ice cream (Maybe a good Talenti vanilla bean? Or Jeni’s Brown Butter?)

But number games aside, how does their taste stand up to their fellow mammal-shaped brethren?

Apple, apple, apple. That’s what I hope for in taste of an Apple Teddy Graham and, boy howdy, that’s what I got. No mushy, half-hearted pomme flavoring here. These taste of tart, crisp Granny Smiths and, while it doesn’t say so in the ingredients, I swear there’s a hint of a lemony bite hidden in here. There aren’t any apple chunks hangin’ around, but the presence of a quality applesauce is present throughout each graham. It’s like the crispy bits of apple pie crust in the form of a grizzly.

Honey Maid Teddy Grahams Apple Big ol' apple

If that Teddy Graham were Indiana Jones, the apple would be the boulder chasing him through the cave.

Now, if I had the chance, some secret agent skills, and a power tool that would allow me to swoop in during the dark of night and edit the Teddy Graham recipe, I’d add some cinnamon to get a little depth to these itty-bitty wonders as the apple flavor can get overwhelming, but it’s nothing a little blending with some cinnamon Teddies couldn’t fix.

What’s surprising is that the applesauce doesn’t affect the snap of these bears. They remain just as crunchy as any Teddy Graham I’ve ever encountered, a pleasant discovery given that applesauce tends to make baked goods more dense and chewy. The snap also makes these exceptionally easy to munch. Theoretically, if I continued at the rate I’m going, I’d build up my jaw muscles enough so that I’d soon be ready for try-outs for the sport of “Chewing” at the next Olympic games.

And, while the snackability rate is possible in theory, after a handful or two, I’m good. These quell any apple pie craving, but they’re not my favorites. I commend the presence of calcium and whole grains and actual applesauce, but the apple flavor gets dull after a bit and I’m ready to move on.

In the end, these grahams came, saw, and were eaten, and, by all the pigeons in Central Park, I do declare they delivered on their promise. At the same time, they don’t quite fill the cookie craving in my soul. If you hoard your Granny Smiths at the spark of fall’s harvest or have dreamed of small crisps that evoke apple pie crust, these may be right up your alley. For me, they get a gold star for being pleasant, but haven’t yet reached a caliber of greatness.

(Nutrition Facts – 24 pieces – 130 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 10% calcium, 10% iron, and 10% zinc.)

Item: Honey Maid Teddy Grahams Apple
Purchased Price: $2.88
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Predominant thought while eating is, “Pretty good.” Tastes like real apples in graham form. Real applesauce. Calcium. Whole grains. A cookie that doesn’t explode my cholesterol levels. In the shape of a bear. Secret agent skills. 90s workout videos.
Cons: Predominant thought while eating is, “Pretty good.” Could use a pinch of cinnamon. Apple flavor gets overbearing. Doesn’t quite fill cookie craving. Foreboding natural disasters. Realizing my dependency on calculators. There is no “Chewing” competition at the Olympics.