REVIEW: Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal

Churros existed before I discovered them in 2009, or so I’m told. But that fateful March afternoon in a Barcelona café was a personal turning point. As in – I turn my head any time I hear the word now. “Did someone say churros?” I ask, more a plea than a question.

When Cinnamon Pebbles cereal was announced last month, it was immediately linked with churros. Blog posts breathlessly asked if the breakfast flakes would taste like them. News articles suggested making Cinnamon Pebbles-covered churros.

My churro buds were aching when I ripped open the box of Cinnamon Pebbles. The scent was definitely cinnamon, but not churro-y. It was familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of.

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal 2

I threw a dry handful into my mouth. The size, weight and texture are the same as the classic Pebbles varieties. Then the taste revealed itself. These were not Churro Pebbles. They were the simple cinnamon sugar of my youth.

I instantly flashed back to 8 years old, finding an ancient shaker of Domino’s “Sugar ‘n Cinnamon” in the back of the kitchen cabinet. I started dumping clumps of cinna-sugar (emphasis on the sugar) over my plain Rice Chex cereal. That is precisely the taste of Cinnamon Pebbles.

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal 3

The cereal absorbed milk quickly, in typical Pebbles (and most rice cereal) fashion. The flavor stayed pretty true wet or dry, which makes me think it’s really baked in, not just a coating. It did impart some cinnamon-sweetness and a beige tint to the leftover milk, but visually not the party of brown flecks I expected.

While I loved the cinna-sugar/rice cereal combo in 1984, and eating it now was a bit of fun nostalgia, it’s 2017 and tastes have changed. Flavors have gotten more complex, exotic and sometimes silly. Hence, I can’t say that this cereal was exciting or “new.” It needed a hook to make it more modern.

Cinnamon Pebbles might have been greatly improved by adding a dash of red pepper, so I set out to do just that. I spread a layer of the cereal on a cookie sheet, sprinkled a mixture of water, ground cayenne and roasted Saigon cinnamon on top and gave it a quick toast in the oven (250 degrees, 5 minutes or so).

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal 4

The results were beyond my expectations. The extra cinnamon knocked down the overwhelming sugar and the red pepper brought a delayed warmth that hit just as I was ready to take the next spoonful. This was a cereal worth buying again.

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal 5

I also tried using the Cinnamon Pebbles as a pie crust. Filled with devil’s food instant pudding and a bit of cayenne, it was an easy and decent approximation of churros and chocolate.

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal 6

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup cereal only – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Yep, they’re Pebbles alright! Pleasant throwback cinna-sugar flavor.
Cons: Too simple for novelty-seekers. Needs something to offset or amp up the cinnamon.

REVIEW: Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal

Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal

Indeed, we live in a fortunate time.

A time in which the break room has been transformed into The Break Room. A time in which said Break Rooms include laundry rooms and nap pods and secret libraries stashed behind Narnia corridors.

And yet despite such innovation, the daydream of having a pint of ice cream ready and available for my 3:00 snack break eludes me. Not seeing, “We provide a freezer stashed with multiple flavors of Ben & Jerry’s at all times,” in my current contract, I move forward, looking to Post Pebbles Ice Cream in hopes to fulfill the small pocket that wants just a taste of ice cream at the 3:00 snack slump.

Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal Spoon

The colors of the cereal spill out in a blinding parade, bursting with the luminescence of a Lite-Brite powered by nuclear fusion. The speckles trip my brain up just enough, so that, upon my first bite, they heighten the sensation of the taste, which brings forth memories of a 2-scoop sugar cone of sherbet.

Vaguely fruity and tangy with a burst of sugared citrus, the cereal hits the grainy, cereal crunch of a sugar cone while balancing that with the hyper sweetened, delightfully vague “froot” flavor. Indeed, it’s a little like Froot Loops, but it stands out with a few more drops of orange and tangy lime flavoring.

There’s just one thing: the cereal’s corn base. It muddles with the frootiness and dulls out the sherbet effect, leaving an aftertaste that tastes like… well, a little corny. Corn enhanced with artificial flavors. Oh dear. This is not what I hoped for.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this peril.

Now, I’m not a big fan of milk in my cereal, but, when glugged straight from the glass, an ice cold cup of the white cream bounces, shakes, and rattles with the fruity crunch of the cereal, drowning out the corny taste to form an admirable mimicry of rainbow sherbet Dreamsicle, and, while it may not be the granola-crunchin’, fiber-snappin’, whey-protein-enhanced cereal of Richard Simmons’ dreams, it has a modest amount of sugar and a pop of vitamins and minerals, making it a moderately balanced way to start the day. Or end the day. Or start the snack break. Or unleash that suppressed dream to be a bobsledder you’ve always wanted to be. So go! Unleash your inner bobsledder!

Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal Breakfast

It must be noted with a proper degree of gravity that no amount of these Post Pebbles will bring you the same fulfillment as a fresh hot waffle cone filled with your grandmama’s homemade frozen custard, but it pairs moderately well with that last quarter pint of Gelato Fiasco’s Madagascar Vanilla Bean.

While the raspberry flavor is hard to pin down, the cereal as a whole has a pop of orange and lime citrus that, while somewhat muddled in the taste of the corn cereal alone, finds itself heightened in the presence of milk or, well, just about any vanilla frozen deliciousness in your freezer. Indeed, it may be just enough sugar that you won’t even need that nap pod.


Nah. Everyone needs a nap pod.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 0 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.32
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Box-o-carbs. Tangy. Crunchy. Slightly “frooty.” Great with milk. Better with vanilla ice cream. Nap pods. Nuclear-powered Lite Brites. Unleash your inner bobsledder!
Cons: Box-o-carbs. Tough to decipher raspberry flavor. Corny-cereal qualities dull “frootiness.” Consequences that result in absence of nap pods.

REVIEW: Post Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles Cereal

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry

A little carbonation never hurt nobody.

Except the Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Avoid that stuff like the plague.

Earlier this month, Post cereals released their new Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal, a carbonated variant of Fruity Pebbles. In addition to berry-flavored crisped rice, Poppin’ Pebbles contains green cereal puffs mixed with carbon dioxide gas, which react upon contact with saliva to create a popping sensation reminiscent of Pop Rocks.

Let’s be perfectly clear — this isn’t the first time a popping concept has been applied to cereal. Back in 2000, Quaker released Mystery Volcano Crunch, a Cap’n Crunch cereal featuring “Lava Rocks” that popped when combined with milk. (Taking other people’s ideas, Post? I never expected you to stoop to Carlos Mencia’s level.)

The Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal box fails to mention any specific berry flavor. So which berry is it? The ingredients list provides no clues. It could be any of them: blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, Halle Berry, etc. It seems Post opted simply for “generic berry”.

Opening the box releases a pungent aroma similar to a berry-flavored yogurt with an added candy-like sweetness. The scent is rather off-putting; the berry flavoring smells unappealingly artificial.

The Poppin’ Pebbles cereal base is different in both appearance and taste when compared to normal Fruity Pebbles.

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry Closeup

Following the berry theme, Poppin’ Pebbles features a mix of red, pink, and indigo crisped rice grains, whereas the normal Fruity Pebbles cereal contains a more standard distribution of the colors of the rainbow.

As far as I can tell, each Poppin’ Pebbles grain possesses the same berry flavor. The cereal’s overall flavor matches its scent, but is not as overpowering as the aroma would suggest. The candy-esque berry flavor does indeed seem unnatural, almost like a powdered berry flavor à la Fun Dip and Pixy Stix. Nevertheless, it’s bearable. The actual grainy flavor of the crisped rice is masked almost entirely, showing up only slightly at the end of a mouthful. All things considered, I much prefer the fruity flavor of normal Fruity Pebbles.

Post Poppin' Pebbles Burstin' Berry Poppin

It was time to experience the carbonated cereal puffs. As I lifted my spoon and slowly proceeded to chew, my tongue began to experience the popping sensation mentioned on the box. Oh my god, can this kill me? My life’s flashing before my eyes. First Little Mikey, and now me! I see the light! No, I’m too young to die! I haven’t even tried McSpaghetti yet!

Well, my panic was unjustified — the Poppin’ Pebbles didn’t actually kill me. In fact, the popping was less intense than I had expected. Though the fizzing is audible and can be felt very slightly on the tongue, the sensation is nowhere near as extreme as a handful of Pop Rocks. Adrenaline junkies will surely be disappointed.

Unfortunately, the carbonated cereal puffs have a strange sort of flavor and texture. They possess a more candy-like stiffness than a standard cereal puff, and feature the aforementioned powdery berry flavor, albeit at a much stronger intensity and sweetness. I suppose it’s difficult to carbonate a cereal puff and have its flavor and texture profiles remain unchanged, but these Poppin’ Pebbles cereal puffs really disappoint.

Next, I tried Poppin’ Pebbles with milk. To my surprise, I didn’t notice any more popping than I would expect from a standard crisped rice cereal such as Rice Krispies. The carbonated cereal puffs maintain their ability to pop and fizz when chewed even after being soaked with milk, which leads me to believe some sort of candy coating protects their carbonated interiors.

Even so, Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles are worsened by the addition of milk for one reason alone: the milk absorbs the artificial berry flavor of the cereal and helps amplify its unnatural qualities. For this reason, I can only recommend eating Poppin’ Pebbles dry.

Post’s new Burstin Berry Poppin’ Pebbles cereal is little more than a gimmick. The carbonated cereal puffs add an interesting, uncommon textural element to each spoonful, but the cereal’s artificial berry flavor really detracts from the experience. It feels more like I’m eating a bowl of candy than a breakfast cereal. Perhaps a more intense popping and fizzing could have compensated for the cereal’s flaws. Next time, I’ll stick with the berries I know and love: Franken, Chuck, and Manilow.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total 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, 150 milligrams of sodium, 20 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, 16 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Post Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 12 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Cereal puffs pop and fizz. Maintains pop even in milk. Halle Berry.
Cons: Candy-like berry flavor is off-putting. Gross in milk. Carlos Mencia.

REVIEW: Post Limited Edition Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme Cereal

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles

Few cereals are extreme enough to warrant dropping a vowel from their names, but Post seems to think their new Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is worthy of the honor.

The limited edition cereal was only available at my local supermarket in a family size box, containing four more ounces than a standard box. The cereal claims to be even more chocolatey than normal Cocoa Pebbles, which means that the cer— hoooooold up.

What are you trying to pull here, Post? The nutritional facts on this box are identical to those found on a box of normal Cocoa Pebbles. The ingredients lists are strikingly similar, except the Xtreme variety lacks a single ingredient present in the original: a preservative known as butylated hydroxyanisole. (Yum.)

Well, well, well, it seems Post has taken me for a fool. At this point, I’m fairly confident they’ve simply repackaged normal Cocoa Pebbles in a fancy new box in an effort to sell more cereal to hyperactive, sugar-addicted children. I’ll be surprised if this Xtreme version is any different from the standard variety. A simple side-by-side comparison will reveal the truth.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Comparison

Pouring out a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme next to a bowl of the normal type, we find my hypothesis was as wrong as watching the movie Teeth with your family. (“That’s not her mouth, grandma.”) The Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme are noticeably darker in color than the normal variety. I’m stumped as to how Post Foods managed to accomplish this when the nutritional facts and ingredients are nearly identical, but it seems Post’s R&D team has been workin’ up some food wizardry in the kitchen. (Foodzardry, anyone?)

Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme smells quite similar to cocoa powder — the scent is slightly more chocolatey than the normal variety, which possesses a more noticeable puffed rice aroma.

In taste, the Xtreme variety is the clear victor.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Closeup

The contrast between the two cereals is more apparent than I had expected. A spoonful of both Xtreme and normal varieties of Cocoa Pebbles begins with a grainy puffed rice flavor and a sharp crunch, slowly developing a sweet cocoa flavor as the cereal is chewed. However, the Xtreme has a much stronger cocoa flavor toward the end of the bite. Its chocolate flavor seems more mature and refined in comparison to the regular variety, which merely evokes a sweetness reminiscent of white sugar.

Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is further improved by the addition of milk, which really absorbs the cereal’s cocoa flavor. As I slowly approached the end of my bowl, I grew eager to test the claim on the front of the box, which boasts the cereal “turns milk xtremely chocolatey” and “it’s like an xtreme milkshake.”

My mind began to wander, imagining the full potential of an “xtreme milkshake.” Exactly how many boys could be brought to the yard by an “xtreme milkshake”? An xtreme number, for sure.

Limited Edition Post Xtreme Cocoa Pebbles Milk

Good gravy, it’s gorgeous!

The milk left at the bottom of my bowl has turned the most beautiful shade of brown I’ve ever seen. Its flavor reminds me of chocolate milk made with a bit too much chocolate syrup, but with the aftertaste of Cocoa Pebbles.

Does it taste like a milkshake? Not quite, and though it only seems slightly more chocolatey than the milk left behind by normal Cocoa Pebbles, it’s satisfying nonetheless.

With its more substantial cocoa flavor, Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme cereal is a significant improvement upon the normal variety. Its only flaw is that it feels more like a snackfood than a breakfast cereal — a fault that plagues many of the sugary options found in your local supermarket’s cereal aisle.

I’m sorry I doubted you, Post. Our relationship has been tense ever since you discontinued Cröonchy Stars cereal, but maybe this is the start of a glorious new beginning. You’ve managed to enhance Cocoa Pebbles, and for that, I applaud you.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup without milk – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, 15 grams of other carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Post Limited Edition Cocoa Pebbles Xtreme Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 15 oz. box
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: More chocolatey than the normal variety. Even better in milk. Leaves chocolate milk in bowl. Bringing an xtreme amount of boys to the yard.
Cons: Nearly identical nutritional facts and ingredients as regular Cocoa Pebbles? Feels more like a snack than a breakfast cereal. Watching Teeth with your family.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal

Dear Santa,

How are you? Well, I hope jolly and fat as usual. I know you’re quite busy this time of year, and I know you’ve already received four sets of revisions to my annual Christmas list. On that note, I have good and bad news. The good news is I won’t need those Super Bowl tickets. The Bills suck again this year, and I could care less about watching the Chiefs play. So consider yourself free and clear from any anti-scalping laws you might have been worried about. Now, to the bad news…

I realize you’ve already got something of a dealio with our neighborhood and the, uh, thanks we give you. What with Tommy Thomas’ mom and her applesauce cookies, or Jackie Johnson’s parents and their anti-dairy crusade. It ain’t like the old days of whole milk and Tollhouse, and I can definitely sympathize. With that said, I can’t serve you milk and cookies this year.

But don’t go returning that Playstation 4 quite yet. We’ve been doing this present thing for 25 years now and you know I got your back (and your stomach). That’s why I’m going to do you one better. Any schmuck kid with a grocery store can buy some refrigerated cookies for you. But this year, I’ve got Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal.

I know what you’re thinking, “Cereal? What gives!?! And cereal that’s got vitamins and minerals and fiber and crap. You think this fat man has time to stop at a gas station bathroom every five seconds on Christmas night?”

Well no, at least I seriously hope not, mostly because there’s a chance I’ll be stopping at one of those bathrooms the next day during that six-hour car ride to Grandmother’s house. So it’s a good thing for both of us that this is about the least healthy cereal ever, with no fiber whatsoever. What’s more, it tastes like that. Which is to say it tastes like the most awesome interpretation of a baked good in cereal form.

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal Closeup

Trust me, this is no replay of Cookie Crisp Sprinkles. I’ll even leave you the whole box. As soon as you open it, you’ll be greeted by that Dear-God-Yes aroma of frosting and sprinkles that will remind you of all those years I spent asking you to please, just please bring me a lifetime supply of Dunkaroos with Vanilla Frosting and Sprinkles. The smell alone is good enough to warrant some extra presents this year, although I can’t be held liable for any dogs chasing you because they think they’re getting in on some giant sugar cookie deliciousness.

The taste? Seriously sugar cookie-esque. I happen to know, you know, because I’ve been a little naughty this year and have taken more than the allotted one free sugar cookie at the doors of Harris Teeter. (But seriously, that’s not going to count against me because it’s a self-admission, ok? Besides, it saves the actual kids from childhood obesity.)

The cereal is sweet and crispy, artificially but admirably floral, with each little toasted rice pebble packing tons of sugar cookie flavor. And of course, it fully embraces the colors of the season, lending itself wonderfully to any number of baking projects your elves might embark in while not slaving away buying toys for the whole world on Amazon.

Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal Closeup Milk

Now Santa, you’ll notice I’m not leaving you any milk with this cereal. I consider this for your own good. Lest you be disappointed by the slightly diluted taste of sugar cookie in milk and a none too hearty crunch that left me a bit disappointed, I think your sugar cookie experience is best enjoyed dry. As a snacking cereal, it might just be the best I’ve had this year, with the exception of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. So do yourself a favor and don’t damn our neighborhood to the naughty list quite yet. I know you have plenty of holiday themed options to eat this time of year, and only so much artery space left before Tim Allen is forced to take over, but you won’t regret trading in some actual milk and cookies for Sugar Cookie Pebbles cereal.

(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, 140 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of cholesterol 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, 1 gram of protein, and, seriously, do you even care about the token amounts of 10 vitamins and minerals?)

Item: Limited Edition Post Sugar Cookie Pebbles Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: smells like the best thing ever. Tasty sugar cookie flavor with notes of vanilla cupcake and Dunkaroos. Addictively crispy as a snacking cereal. Christmas colors.
Cons: Sugar cookie taste is muted in milk. Not for those who like cereal that stays crunchy in milk. A candidate for the definition of “Empty Calories” in next year’s dictionary. Taking a chance at pissing off Santa and not getting that PS 4.