As someone who spent a large portion of my formative years at the Jersey Shore, ICEEs were more than just a treat. They were a symbol of summer, a form of salvation from the heat, and now, thanks to Kellogg’s, it can add “Mixed Berry Breakfast Cereal” to its resume too.
It is UNCANNY how much this smells like ICEEs. I’m not sure if “cereal odor engineer” is an actual job title, but if it is, bravo to this cereal odor engineer! Interestingly, though, the taste was not quite so evocative. I had to shovel down a few bites before I could even figure out what flavor my mouth was experiencing. My eloquent first thought was… “cereal.” I know, but seriously between the small ball shape, colors that certainly cannot be found in nature, crunchy-on-the-outside-but-airy-on-the-inside texture, and flavor that combines sweetness, maltiness, and a hint of bitter artificiality, they check every box that sugary breakfast cereals are infamous for (if only they came with a prize too!).
Do the red puffs and the blue puffs taste any different? My expert verdict is: a little. I got a faint whiff of cherriness from the red and blue-raspberry-ness from the blue, but honestly, I think the colors did a lot of work in helping to convince my brain that they were distinct. The website I bought this from explicitly lists purple as one of the piece colors too (neat to note that those few pieces weren’t just brightly hued screwups after all), but I can’t say they had any unique flavor of their own. And just like combining red and blue gives you purple, combining red ICEE pieces and blue ICEE pieces in the same mouthful gives you something new, too… a total mess.
The cereal tasted much better when I was eating only reds or only blues; the minute I mixed up a big spoonful, all I could taste was a funky artificiality that bizarrely reminded me of banana. It wasn’t exactly BAD, but I can’t say it totally hit the mark either.
Of course, I also have to mention this cereal’s rad gimmick, a cooling sensation like what was used in last year’s Coca-Cola Starlight. At first, I just chalked my chilly mouth up to cold milk, but when I ate a few dry pieces, lo and behold, the cooling effect was just as strong, leaving not just the roof of my mouth but even my throat feeling frosty and tingly. Perhaps this wasn’t strictly necessary, but it was a pretty cool touch (pun not intended, actually, but welcome nonetheless). And hot tip (or, ahem, cool tip): if you enjoy this effect, definitely slurp up all the milk at the bottom of your bowl, too.
So, am I glad I tried these? Sure! Did I ultimately need the ginormous two-pack I bought? Probably not! Will I reach for these again when the craving for a frozen fruity beverage strikes? Doubtful! But will I gladly snarf them down for a quick, quirky, and not necessarily quality breakfast? ICEE-lutely!
Purchased Price: $7.98
Size: 2 13.2 oz bags
Purchased at: SamsClub.com
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup serving with no milk) 130 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.