Taste Testing Four General Mills Cereals With My Two Kids
"Daddy, this is your nightmare. I can tell this is going to be sugary because there's a rainbow on the back."
Cereals, in the sense of food that comes in a box that we eat for breakfast, first emerged in the early 20th century. After a century, we have reached the stage in their development in which it seems like no new variations can be made. That, however, would be selling General Mills short. In 2018, the Minneapolis-based company released four new cereals and they’re fucking delicious.
The cereals-in-question are not new cereals per se. Rather they are permutations on extent cereals, versions 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. The four cereals are: Limited Edition Peach Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasts, Peanut Butter Chocolate Blasts, and Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes, a chimerical cereal formed by mixing frosted flakes and lucky charms. In the spirit of scientific inquiry, and also because my kids love cereal, I formed with them a panel to evaluate the cereals. Here’s what we three thought about the four contenders.
Limited Edition Peach Cheerios™
Dad: Peach Cheerios are Cheerios with a peachy odor and flavor. This is thanks to real peach puree. General Mills hasn’t been incredibly forthcoming about what the limit is of this edition and, I hope, it isn’t limited at all because they are truly delicious peach-flavored Cheerios. What I love about these Cheerios is, naturally, the distinctly peach and pleasurably sweet flavor coming through despite there being a measly (MEASLY!?!?!) eight grams of sugar per serving. So it isn’t crazy sugary, which is nice. When it’s peach season (which is fuzzy!) I’d obviously opt for fresh peaches but for the rest of the year — or as long as we’re blessed enough to have access to these Cheerios — I’ll have a bowl of these.
Tony: It smells even better than peaches! I like how it says Nit Wit on the box. [Editor/Dad’s Note: It says Net Wt.] Also I like that it’s a limited edition. The rarest Pokémon card that I know is Shadow is 1,000 damage points. This cereal has damage points of “6,000 800 922,000 Googleplex.”
Patrice: It tastes less better than it smells but it still tastes good.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds™
Dad: Jeebus. Shredded Wheat cereal used to be comfortingly dorky like cardigans or New Balance sneakers. Now, apparently, they are being made cool again thanks to the addition of massive amounts of sugar and also a new name. It’s not shredded wheat, mother fucker. It’s blasted shreds. Boo-yah. As far as taste goes, I mean, there’s a very strong dusting of cinnamon and an even stronger gust of sugar. The shreds themselves are compact little packets and, as for whatever wheat composes them, this is completely blown out of the water by the sugar tsunami on the crust. Or, as per the website, “More Woah less Wheat.” With 13g of sugar per 55g serving, this cereal is my nightmare. Naturally, my kids loved it.
Tony: [Staring at the box] It looks really good. It looks like there’s a storm coming around it. I also like that it says “Boom.”
[Takes a bite] It’s very cinnaminty [sic] and very yummy. I like that when you bite it it feels like cinnamon inside.
Patrice: [Staring at the box] I like it because it has a swirl going around. [Takes a bite] It’s very good. It’s crunchy and kind of tastes like plastic. It also feels like when you bite it feels like raw sugar.*
* I think he said “raw sugar” but his mother thinks he said, “rocks are growing.” Since it is raw sugar, and that’s how it feels, I’m going with my version.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Blasted Shreds
Dad: The Romulus to Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds’ Remus, these are the illegitimate love child of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Shredded Wheat. Whereas CTCBS have a crystalline texture — due to literally being 1/5th sugar — PBCBS have a soft touch. Due to the slightly more complex flavors of chocolate and peanuts, they aren’t as overwhelmingly sweet. Nevertheless, since they rely on the flavor memories of a candy — as opposed to a candy-like breakfast cereal — they nevertheless feel pretty indulgent for breakfast.
Tony: [Staring at the box] I don’t like peanut butter but I’ll try these. I like that it says “Woah” and also that there is the picture of the other cereal on the back [Dad/Editor’s Note: There is a picture of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds on the back]. It’s like in Goosebumps when they have pictures of the other books on the back cover.
Patrice: This is the only one I won’t try, daddy. I don’t like peanut butter.
Frosted Flakes Lucky Charms
Dad: This is the cross-over episode to end all cross-over episodes, like when Urkel (Family Matters) met Stephanie from Full House in 1991. Never mind that Frosted Flakes is Kellogg jam. When the chimerical gods give you a box like this, you just open it and eat. Unless, of course, you’re me who, as my kids know, I hate sugar. There are only 10g per serving in this baby, which makes it seem less sugary than CTCBS but the serving size is only 31g. Apples to apples, its waaaay more sugary (13g v. 18g). And yet, yet, there is something so satisfying about these two cereals fucking. Or rather, since we’ve had the magic inside of us this entire time — one need only mix the two cereals — that someone at General Mills believed in love strongly enough to make this a reality.
Tony: [Not looking at the box because he’s already torn it open.] This is very very very good. I eat the flakes first. That way I can eat all the marshmallows at the end. [Putting one leprechaun hat marshmallow on top of a rainbow marshmallow and laughing hysterically] My rainbow has a hat! These flakes are cinnamon-y! [Editor’s Note: Nope.]
Patrice: [Looking at the box] Daddy, this is your nightmare. I can tell this is going to be sugary because there’s a rainbow on the back. Usually the more color there is on the box, and bright color letters, the more sugary the cereal is. I think it’s going to taste like marshmallows and flakes. There are a bunch of different types of marshmallows! I eat the yummy things first. [Tony: But what if you want more of the best ones and all you have is more of the other ones?] [Giggling uncontrollably] These are your nightmares.