Not Just for Breakfast

Cereal reviews.

pbcapncrunchPeanut Butter Cap’n Crunch (The Quaker Oats Company)
This is the most addictive cereal in the world. I love this stupid cereal so much that I cannot really buy it anymore, as laboratory taste tests results have invariably resulted in my eating this cereal for every single meal until the box is gone, like a five-year-old finally allowed to eat what she really likes. The little tan puffs are lightly powdered and nondescript in shape, and at your first mouthful, you go, “UGH THIS IS WAY TOO SWEET.” But…is it? Suddenly, a peanut-butter-and-salt combo hits your palate, and then EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE as ultra-sweet and ultra-salty balance each other out in an exquisite dance of chemical ingredients. Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch has the ability to tell your brain you need in ingest two to three bowls of it at a time. Each bite makes you want more, until you take a deep breath, realize you’re SO FULL, and then start to feel slightly sick. Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch is completely delicious and leaves a weird scum on the roof of your mouth. I’m giving this 5 stars for taste but subtracting one star for the Cap’n, who has always seemed a little suspect to me, as he is an older gentleman with cracked-out eyes who hangs around exclusively with little kids. —Krista

capncrunchCap’n Crunch (The Quaker Oats Company)
Cap’n Crunch will make a mess of the roof of your mouth. I mean completely destroy it. Little pesky cuts will haunt you all day. Brushing your teeth afterward is not pleasant, and the next few things you eat will remind you of the rawness. But it’s all worth it. The coolest part about Cap’n Crunch is that it has no discernible flavor—Cap’n Crunch tastes only like Cap’n Crunch and nothing else comes close. (Did you know that the Cap’n's full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch? Now you do.) These little yellow pillows of sugar, corn, and oats are good dry, but better moistened with milk. They’re good with Crunch Berries or in the peanut butter variety too, but better plain. Like Gatorade, they leave a sugary film in your mouth, but that only serves to remind you how good that bowl of crunch was that you ate, and then you feel lucky. Sometimes we must suffer for our snacks. —Joe

CookieCrisp_BoxCookie Crisp (Nestlé)
Nestlé’s Cookie Crisp lures you in with a simple premise: They’re cookies. Everyone likes cookies. Open the box and, sure enough, you’ll discover little round pieces studded with chocolate chips, just like real cookies! But there are a few things you should know before you are ensnared in Cookie Crisp’s web of lies: (1) The “cookies” are really puffs of something that tastes like cardboard, and (2) the “chips” are actually clumps of a powdery brown substance meant merely to evoke a vague memory of chocolate. Drowning the cereal in milk gives the chips something to do—they turn the liquid into something resembling a weak imitation of chocolate milk—but only makes the surrounding “cookies” soggy. You end up shoveling spoonfuls of tasteless nothing into your mouth, all the while aware of Chip the Wolf sneering at you from the front of the cereal box. This is what your life has become. —Ragini

fruity-pebblesFruity Pebbles (Post)
When my friend Jen came over today to help me review cereals, she took one bite of Fruity Pebbles, closed her eyes, and sighed, “Mmm, these taste like summer vacation with two parents who work full-time.” I think that sums Fruity Pebbles up perfectly. My parents would not buy it for me, but I spent my summers sleeping over at friends’ houses and waking up to eat bowl after bowl of this stuff, watching cartoons in the dark, air-conditioned den as the cereal slowly turned the milk purple. Fruity Pebbles have been around for ages, and they are so completely delicious it’s like my tongue just gets its mind blown and then completely forgets the explosion of rainbow-colored, artificially flavored rice flakes that just hit it, allowing every bowl of Fruity Pebbles to taste like the first bowl ever. There is really no way to describe how these taste besides “vaguely fruity” so I won’t really try, but man, this cereal is so good I even love it soggy. I give it five stars for deliciousness and would also like to add an important safety note: Do not inhale sharply or laugh with a mouth full of dry Fruity Pebbles. You will choke, and the resulting coughing and pounding on the back from friends will be both highly alarming and totally disgusting, as tiny clouds of soggy Pebbles will fly out of your windpipe and onto the floor. —Krista

cornpopsCorn Pops (Kellogg’s)
This is one of the greatest cereals ever cerealed, and I am using very scientific criteria to reach this decision: They are delicious straight out of the box; they are crispy and sweet and leave your hands sticky; usually I have to urge whoever is around me to “please put this away because I cannot stop myself from eating it”; then when you add milk it totally bursts with flavor; and then of course you slurp the milk afterwards and it is delicious. Sometimes I like to call them Porn Cops, which is funny because I am a teenage boy. Whenever I go home to visit Mom, she always says, “Oh, and there’s Corn Pops in the pantry,” which is how I know I’m home. I give Corn Pops all the stars for flavor, crunch, post-cereal milk, and also the cool metallic bag they come in. —Laia

home_made_granola_recipe1Homemade granola
There is only one cereal I buy in a box, and that is High Fiber Twigs—you know, grandma cardboard cereal. I guess I have really boring cravings (TREE BRANCH FLAVOR, YUM!). But I am totally sucker for batches of glorious, fresh homemade granola, a fixture in my home since my mother started DVR-ing Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. My dear mother, Janet, aspires to be the Ina Garten’s hot West Coast counterpart, with a docile, adoring male partner who shows up only at the end of each episode to silently hum his psalm of yums and wows. Janet is well on her way to this goal—her boyfriend is very appreciative, and she fixes a mean bistro-quality beouf bourgignon, and her adaptation of Garten’s granola recipe has totally sold me! I mean, I’d watch Barefoot Janet! Someone get her a house in the Hamptons and call the Food Network!!!
     After making that recipe together for a few years, Janet and I have learned that there are lots of exciting benefits to making your own granola: You can control the sugar and fat content, you can swap honey for agave nectar, you can make POUNDS of this stuff for the cost of a small box of granola from the supermarket cost (why are granola boxes always smaller?). It’s also quite invigorating to experiment with your own mix-ins, like candied ginger and dates, dried figs and blueberries, walnuts and hazelnuts. I like adding big chunks of unsweetened dried coconut for the last five minutes of baking, and sprinkling flax seeds in my bowl for their nutty flavor and omega-3s. But I usually just mix it 50/50 with my fiber twigs to make a Senior Citizen Special, and I munch happily in my health-food cereal Garden of Excellence, which is totally what Janet’s Hamptons cooking-show garden set will be named. —Dylan
★★★★★ for taste; ★★★★★ for health and value!!

luckycharmsLucky Charms (General Mills)
I love Lucky Charms to the point where my parents don’t buy it for me anymore because I will literally just eat Lucky Charms exclusively every day, and do you know what that does to your poop? You don’t want to know. (I’m talking about poop in a food review—probably this is why I am not a food reviewer but also why I’m such a great person.) Anyway, something about Lucky Charms marshmallows fills me with so much joy and desire to eat more of the edible styrofoam-like sugar bombs that I can’t get enough of this cereal and I usually buy it in bulk at BJ’s. It’s important not to add too much milk, since the best part is the marshmallows and they taste best when they’re only half soggy! An important tip from an expert. While healthy granola cereals are probably—OK, definitely—better for me in the long run, they don’t let me eat rainbows, so I’m going to stick with Lucky Charms until it’s past the point of embarassing and becomes an adorable quirk of my elderly self. Lucky Charms forever. SUGARY CEREALS OR DEATH. —Arabelle

luckycharmsmarshmallowsBulk Lucky Charms marshmallows from the Amish store
In the roadside Amish markets in Missouri (and maybe in other states, too?) you can buy huge bags of Lucky Charms marshmallows. I know, right? This is when you start weeping from happiness and pass out. I discovered this miracle during the summer before eighth grade on the drive from Kansas City, where I was living with my aunt’s family for the summer, to the Lake of the Ozarks, a popular vacation spot. We’d pull off the highway for mid-drive treats, spot an Amish market or two, and inevitably get lost for an hour browsing these bulk-food megalopoli. I wasn’t allowed to eat sugary cereal as a kid, so you can imagine how big my eyes got when I first came across an entire SHELF stocked with massive bags of rainbow marshmallows. Being full of preservatives, these delicacies last a long time; at the end of the summer I still had plenty left, which I shoved into my suitcase and then squirreled away in the back of my parents’ pantry. I then proceeded to sneak handfuls of them into bowls of boring, non-kid cereal forced upon me by my parents throughout the fall, winter, and spring, knowing that the next summer I’d get more. The rainbow, it turns out, ends somewhere somewhere along a highway in central Missouri, and there is a pot of gold there. And I have not only tasted it, but bought it by the pound. —Dylan
★★★★ (Would have been five but they make my teeth hurt, and buying and enjoying chemical-soaked sugar chunks in bulk contradicts everything I advocated for two reviews ago.)

applejacksApple Jacks (Kellogg’s)
The whole point of Apple Jacks’ marketing for as long as I’ve been alive is that adults are all “MRRR THESE DONT TASTE LIKE APPLES!” and kids are all “Pshhh whatever they are delicious!” and I agree. They totally don’t taste like apple but they do taste like a delicious cereal that you want to eat again and again. The cereal dust they leave behind is also really good in the milk, which is a VERY important part of the cereal-eating ritual. I give Apple Jacks three stars because it’s good and because their whole advertising strategy is not based on weirdo characters, just, like, awesome bratty kids eating something because they like it. —Laia

wafflecrispWaffle Crisp (Post) I barely remember the shows I watched on Saturday mornings as a kid, but the commercials for sugary cereal that frequently interrupted them are burned into my brain. I will never forget the bumbling Cookie Crisp bandits or the spazoid Tony the Tiger (nor will I ever understand who in the world has the time or the stomach space to eat a bowl of cereal AND toast with butter AND a big glass of orange juice for breakfast, like in the commercials). In the Waffle Crisp commercials from the late ’90s, curious kids try to steal the secret recipe from some genius grandmas in a high-tech lab of deliciousness:

It makes sense: Only wise grannies could be magical enough to combine a pretty amazing breakfast food (waffles) with the best breakfast food (cereal), resulting in little wafflish nuggets that you can eat by the hundreds in one sitting. This cereal does not taste like waffles. But it does smell like waffles, which is intoxicating. (If I could wear the Waffle Crisp scent as cologne, everyone would love me.) The cereal’s nooks and crannies soak up milk perfectly, which does mean that it gets soggy quickly, but for fast eaters the one-to-three-minute window is ideal. And at the end, your milk tastes like syrup. —Joe

trix111Trix (General Mills)
I learned about Trix when I was six years old from a commercial that came on during Clarissa Explains It All. DON DRAPER IS RIGHT, PEOPLE: advertising works, especially on children, especially TV-crazed kids like me. The children in the commercial told the “silly rabbit” that “Trix are for kids!” which is what I was at the time, and I wanted a cereal that represented my youth, not one of the tasteless “adult” cereals that my mom would always bring home. I immediately leapt to my feet and begged my mom to buy me Trix. That was probably my first act of rebellion. The cereal didn’t disappoint: I loved the colors and 1960s-y flower shapes as well as those yummy banana-shaped puffs.


Once I’d eaten all of the cereal I realized that my milk was rainbow-colored, which definitely ignited my lifelong obsession with colors. —Dana

Raisin-BranRaisin Bran (Kellogg’s)
Raisin Bran is a cereal in search of an identity. Is it healthy? Or is it a treat? Is it a cereal conspiracy to get people to enjoy bran? To its credit, Raisin Bran does a good job of standing up to milk. It retains its crunchiness for at least the length of time it takes to eat a bowl, if you don’t lollygag. What I know for sure is this: When my brothers and I were kids, we were not allowed to eat “fun” cereals like Frosted Flakes or anything sugary. Once in a great while we were allowed Honeycomb, but that cereal was always just on the edge of sweet, the mere suggestion of sugar on each comb. But Raisin Bran was one of our breakfast mainstays, so we deluded ourselves into believing it was a sugary treat, because while the flakes are made of bran and are therefore bland and boring, the raisins are coated in delicious, hardened sugar. Oh how we searched through the cereal box for those sweet, sweet raisins. Before long, we’d find ourselves with 3/4 of a box of bran flakes and no raisins left to be found. The flake-to-raisin ratio is completely off, and so the cereal is only exciting for as long as it takes to find all the raisins. —Roxane

cinnamonchexCinnamon Chex (General Mills)
When I discovered I could no longer eat gluten, my world came crashing down around me. My life broke into tiny little pieces and floated away from me, taking my spirit with it. And each of those little life-chunks was shaped like a piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, one of the best cereals ever made. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has gluten in it. I would never taste Cinnamon Toast Crunch again. The doves cried. AND THEN ON THE EIGHTH DAY, CINNAMON CHEX WAS CREATED. Cinnamon Chex is delicious and crunchy and is housed in a box that screams “GLUTEN FREE!!!” But the most important thing about Cinnamon Chex is that it tastes EXACTLY like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which is to say that it is perfect. I am whole again thanks to this cereal. It has given me back my life, my spirit, and my heart. Plus, it leaves the milk all cinnamon-sugary at the end. —Krista

Honey_Nut_Cheerios2_10122009114048 (1)Honey Nut Cheerios (General Mills)
To me, plain dry Cheerios taste like cardboard; in milk they become soggy cardboard. But Honey Nut Cheerios is the It’s Cheerios plus honey and almonds—just sweetened Cheerios, really. They taste good in milk or by themselves, and they’re healthier than a lot of sweet cereals out there. I give them four stars because even though they’re pretty good, they’re still Cheerios. —Britney

honeynutosHoney Nut O’s (Trader Joe’s)
Even though I’m an adult now I still like cereal. I’ve recently gotten into Trader Joe’s Honey Nut O’s, which are good for you and SOOOOoooOOOOO damn good! I recommend you slice up a banana and toss it into your bowl; there’s something about the combo of honey + banana that is greater than the sum of its parts. —Dana

fruitfibreFruit and Fibre (The Co-operative Food)
I love Kellogg’s Fruit ’n Fibre cereal, but I am lazy and live on a student budget, so when I saw that my local food co-op carried its own version, cleverly called Fruit and Fibre, for almost half as much money as the brand-name one went for at the chain supermarket farther up the street, I was excited. Well, I can now tell you that Co-op’s interpretation of this cereal is THE WORST thing I have ever put in my mouth! When I had the misfortune of tasting it I was actually astonished that it was being sold as food, never mind that they were trying to pass it off as on a par with the incredible banquet that is the REAL-DEAL Kellogg’s version. This ripoff cereal literally ruined my day. Never try to save yourself £1 and a two-minute walk, because it will come back to haunt your tastebuds. —Eleanor
☹ ☹ ☹

CocopuffsCocoa Puffs (General Mills)
This is probably my favorite cereal of all time! Its slogan is “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!” and that is literally how I feel when I pour these crunchy little chocolate bombs out of their box and hear them clink gently against the bowl. My stomach is roaring just thinking about it! The best part of this cereal is once you have eaten all the Cocoa Puffs you just can drink the chocolate milk they have generously created in your bowl. —Dana

tJjusttheclustersJust the Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal (Trader Joe’s)
I’m gonna be REAL WITCHU. In my olden age, I’m not a huge cereal fan, only because I have a SALT TOOF when it comes to breakfast. But sometimes I’m on the run and I don’t have time to whip up an avocado and cheese omelet, so what’s a girl to do? I DO gotta get in on dat CEREAL LIFE! My favorite is Trader Joe’s Just the Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal. I love me some vanilla, and this cereal has that perfect crunch for your breakfast bowl. It’s great plain or with milk—or, if you wanna shake things up, it’s also delish sprinkled on some Greek yogurt with blueberries! —Marie

pbpuffinsPeanut Butter Puffins (Barbara’s Bakery)
I don’t know what happened. I used to love Peanut Butter Puffins, honestly I did. Then I bought a box to review them for you guys. I was genuinely excited to taste them again, but from the moment I poured them out of the box, everything was all wrong. The Puffins smelled funny and extra corn-y. I poured milk on them and took a bite. They were too big for my delicate and dainty mouth, and they tasted only vaguely of peanut butter. While I dig the fact that this cereal is are vegan and all-natural and that a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to help puffin birds, who are adorable and whose existence is being threatened by ours, I would like to inform the manufacturers that peanut butter is already vegan, and so it ain’t hard to make a vegan product taste SERIOUSLY PEANUT-BUTTERY. C’mon now, folks. Peanut Butter Puffins could use a li’l more oomph, IMHO. —Krista
I initially begged my mom to let me throw Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins in our grocery cart because the box described them as “crunchy corn pillows” with a “blast of peanut butter.” Ummm, PILLOWS THAT I CAN EAT? PEANUT-BUTTER-FLAVORED PILLOWS? AM I DREAMING? Well, yes, it turns out. The thing with this cereal is that it’s really good for when you’re craving the taste of blood from the roof of your mouth. Barbara isn’t lying about the crunch factor here. Even after I let this cereal soak in milk for 10 minutes, I still felt like I was eating tiny shards of peanut-butter flavored glass. I had so much hope for you, Peanut Butter Puffins. You were like the worst first date ever! You lured me in with your charm, but then you just left me feeling hurt and hungry! —Gabby

cornflakes2Corn Flakes (Kellogg’s)
Corn Flakes are as basic as it gets. They’re just corn, sugar, malt flavor, and salt, with some BHT (whatever that is) thrown in there for “freshness.” They are so standard-issue and flavorless that eating them with milk alone is pretty close to crunching on the idea of boxed cereal. But their boringness is their beauty! A bowl of Corn Flakes is exactly what you make it, and that could totally depend on how you feel or even want to feel. Toss some strawberries or sliced banana on top and you have yourself a healthy, responsible breakfast. Dump about four spoonfuls of sugar–or any candy or syrup you can think of–on there instead, and your day just took an abrupt turn toward FUN. Corn Flakes are so blank-slate that even as a fully formed food they’re regularly appropriated as an ingredient for other foods. Casseroles, desserts, chicken dishes galore; seriously, you name it. They are breakfast, and THEY TRANSCEND BREAKFAST! —Lena

KelloggsFrostedMiniWheatsBiteSizecereal_575Frosted Mini-Wheats (Kellogg’s)
Frosted Mini-Wheats are less of a breakfast and more of an exercise. If you spend more than seven minutes idling over a milky bowl of ’em, uploading a photo to Instagram or whatever it is that you do, most of the Mini-Wheats’ sugar coating will wash off, and then what’s the point? You might as well have chosen a boring high-fiber cereal in the first place instead of compromising with this modestly nutritious but pretty delicious one. Instead, I recommend pouring just a light splash of milk into the bowl first. Then, to preserve as much of the frosting as possible, spoon each Mini-Wheat in individually, coated side up. Then, as you spoon each little brick into your mouth, be sure to flip it over so its sugary belly rests against your tongue for a moment. Ideally, the sweetness will overwhelm and delight you. Masticate and repeat, trying again for another triumphantly glazed bite. —Phoebe

weetabubWeet-Bix (Sanitarium) + Rice Bubbles (Kellogg’s)
I consider myself somewhat of a cereal connoisseur. My friends come to me for advice, opinions, and recommendations on cereal types and combinations. This is why you should really investigate this combination that I have recently discovered. In Australia we have a cereal called Weet-Bix. They’re these dry rectangular cakes of wheat that taste pretty bland and therefore deemed pretty healthy. I like them, but they don’t have that WOW factor you look for in a cereal you’re going to commit to long term. I mean, they are made by a company called SANITARIUM for godsake. Also, if you don’t eat quickly, they get really mushy in milk. I don’t mind moderate sogginess but no one likes a bowl of just bland mush. Then one day I was struck with a brilliant idea: Perhaps what this bland, soggy, boring, but HEALTHY cereal needed was an exciting partner—preferably one known for its flavor and crunch! Enter Rice Bubbles. Rice Bubbles are like the Australian equivalent of Rice Krispies; they’re really crunchy and noisy and irresistable, and they taste pretty cool too. Together these two cereals form a perfect union. It’s like a sensible party: You feel virtuous because you’re eating something so good for you, but you don’t have to give up any of that snap, crackle, or pop. —Minna

KelloggsFrostedMiniWheatsStrawberrycereal_5291Frosted Mini-Wheats Strawberry (Kellogg’s)
I have not been able to find this cereal in AGES, but OMG it’s the best. It’s your basic wheat square filled with some kind of strawberry jam or preserve or whatever inside. It is one of the rare cereals that I prefer to eat straight out of the box than with milk, because the shredded wheat tends to get mushy way faster than I can eat it and by the time I get to the bottom of the bowl there’s just like some mush down there and it’s gross. But on their own they are the healthiest thing I can eat by the pound. —Laia

berryberrykixBerry Berry Kix (General Mills)
Because it is is named after fruit and comes in a pretty purple box instead of an insane neon color explosion (looking at you, Trix), Berry Berry Kix gives off the illusion of being healthy, but the secret is that it still tastes pretty much like candy. While I wasn’t allowed to gorge myself on the most obviously dessert-like breakfast cereals like Lucky Charms or Fruity Pebbles, Berry Berry Kix always made it into my family’s shopping cart without protest from parents or kids. It was a compromise, but I always felt like I was getting away with something because its “natural fruit flavors” might be fruit-shaped but they taste about as natural as gummies. I suspect General Mills is pulling a fast one on us, but I’m grateful for their trickery. —Joe

coco-wheatsCoco Wheats (MOM Brands)
I’m a big fan of dessert-like things for breakfast, but my parents were all about healthy eating, so I was lucky to get things like pancakes and doughnuts once a week. Cream of Wheat was the norm, especially during winter time. It tasted how I imagined gruel or porridge would—bland, flavorless, sort of uncomfortably textured. Then in fourth or fifth grade I had Coco Wheats at a friend’s house. It was exactly like Cream of Wheat but CHOCOLATE, and that even made the texture OK. The next time I was at the grocery store with my mom, I pointed it out. I figured she would reject it just like she had all the marshmallow-laden breakfast cereals I’d ever wanted, but since it’s been around forever (1930 according to Wikipedia), Mom had fond childhood memories of it, so she picked up the box and checked it out. Apparently it was nutritionally sound (but with CHOCOLATE!!!!), so we finally had a cereal compromise. I even kept eating Coco Wheats when I moved out on my own because it’s cheap and fast to make, and if you add a handful of chocolate chips, it’s even more delicious! —Stephanie

JungleOats__05029_zoomJungle Oats (Tiger Brands)
I’ve been eating Jungle Oats since I was five years old, and it’s been one of South Africa’s most popular cereals since long before that (over 100 years!). This cereal is perfect because it strikes a great balance: It isn’t too serious and fiber-y, but it isn’t one of those candy-sweet/chocolatey cereals either. It’s actually a bit bland and oaty and is best enjoyed with a little milk and honey or brown sugar. One of my colleagues from the Netherlands once remarked that it looks like “brain mush,” and I was put off for a little while because it’s true. But I came back. I like the fact that after eating Jungle Oats I feel full and happy. It takes 20 minutes to prepare, but there are microwave versions available; I just don’t know anything about them because I’m pro–Slow Food, and there’s a certain nostalgia to making it the way my gogo (grandmother) used to make it. —Nova

Reese_PB_18ozReese’s Puffs (General Mills)
With Reese’s Puffs, you are actually eating the cereal incarnation of actual candy. It’s SUPER DELICIOUS dry, but when doused with milk, this promising young upstart of a cereal loses all heart and flavor, dissolving into nondescript peanut-buttery sweetness. Meh. But, really, points for chutzpah—I like that Reese’s Puffs aren’t pretending to be something they’re not. The box isn’t all “Heart-healthy!” and “Natural peanut-buttery goodness!” No. It’s like, Hello, children, here is your favorite candy bar BUT YOU CAN EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST LOOK THERE IS A MINUSCULE WHOLE-GRAIN SYMBOL ON THE SIDE OF THE BOX SO CANDY BARS FOR BREAKFAST ARE OK GO GET YOUR MOM. Bonus point for being the only cereal out of the five I reviewed to offer me a prize inside the box. —Krista

muesliUncle Casimir’s muesli
I’m no muesli freak, but when I saw my uncle Casimir opening one-pound bags of beautiful nuts and grains and stirring them all together with a big wooden spoon one morning, I was instantly interested, and hungry. My uncle is a tennis junkie, and he takes his morning fuel seriously. He introduced me to muesli, a mixture of nuts, grains, and dried fruit that keeps you full till lunch and is super healthy. It’s less sweet than granola and is served in the raw. This might be one of the less flashy cereals on this list (nowhere near as sugary as Lucky Charms, but just as colorful if you add lots of dried berries!), but it’s just as tasty, whether you DIY or pick some up at the store. (Among storebought muesli I’m partial to Trader Joe’s Blueberry Muesli, as are many food bloggers. The only drawback to my uncle’s version is it is INTENSE—chewing on whole walnuts and raw oats is a bit of a jaw workout. I found some more-manageable recipes here and here. There’s also apparently a whole debate over whether you soak the grains before you serve them, but I say add some milk (soy, almond, or cow) or yogurt and you’re good to go! —Monika

Kelloggs_Crispix_cereal_Nutritional_Information_ChartCrispix (Kellogg’s)
This is my go-to cereal, but I can’t rave about it. It’s been a process of elimination. Cheerios are good, but they make me burp. Rice Krispies taste a little like cardboard, and when I’m sitting alone in my room trying to write and looking for any excuse not to, the snapping, the crackling, the popping—enough already. I prefer Crispix. It’s light and breathable. I don’t have to choose between rice or corn—it has both, which is great because I love rice and corn and I hate making decisions. The little reticulate hexagons are inviting to other fruits, like a sprinkling of frozen blueberries if you’re so inclined, which I’m not, because fruit upsets the texture of cereal in a way I don’t enjoy. (But to be honest I didn’t happen to have a box of Crispix in the house, I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t talking about Chex.) —Phoebe

kaboomKaboom (General Mills)
This is one of those cereals my mom never bought for me because she always said it was junk. One time I ate it at my friend’s house and my stomach went KABOOM! No stars for you, Kaboom. No stars for you.* —Laia

* Evidently I am not alone in my assessment—General Mills discontinued this cereal in 2010.

Featured image on today’s homepage by Sarah Hach.


  • AngstyTheBrave July 23rd, 2013 1:07 AM

    I never knew I needed this until right now.

    I haven’t had Fruity Pebbles since I was about 5 and drove down to Montana from Alberta. I have NEVER had Trix (or their yogurt) which is a travesty, and really annoying since I used to see ads for it on American channels.

    My favourites are Apple Jacks (which do taste like apples) and Froot Loops (it pains me to spell it that way).

    Also, probably an unpopular opinion, I think that Cocoa Pops are bland, very bland.

  • rockwrenroll July 23rd, 2013 1:17 AM

    I consider myself a bit of a cereal guru, and I hate to say it, but Dana, your opinion on Trix is 100% wrong, it has earned none of those stars. I have no idea why the kids in the commercials are so hard-pressed to protect it, it is the most unpleasant cereal in maybe the entire world.

    (I’m only joking, enjoy that absolutely abhorrent cereal if you must :P)

  • taste test July 23rd, 2013 1:36 AM

    CEREAL REVIEWS! my life is complete! cereal is like half my diet! especially at college! these rock!

    they don’t make trix in those nifty little shapes anymore here! now they’re all little swirly balls. :(

    also, I died laughing thinking about waffle crisp cologne/perfume. someone should make this.

    just as a little side comment, I think something is up with your Raisin Bran box picture- I don’t remember the sun having an actual face on it.

  • Jasmine July 23rd, 2013 2:11 AM


  • Jes July 23rd, 2013 2:15 AM


  • myy July 23rd, 2013 2:28 AM

    I glad I’m not the only one who’s gums bled from eating Peanut Butter Puffins! They’re the worst!

  • emlyb July 23rd, 2013 3:04 AM

    I love your reviews wow

    (also i love pervving over american cereal omg!!! we literally only have about 5 of these in england (what are we being deprived of))

  • SWIZZLEFAIRY22 July 23rd, 2013 3:11 AM

    Raisins are against God. Raisins and cereal is like biting into a kit-.kat instead of breaking it off. It’s wrong, just wrong. And I can’t stomach cocoa puffs in the morning or late evening: too chocolately.

  • elliecp July 23rd, 2013 3:52 AM

    I totally agree with the cookie crisp one. I was so disappointed when I tried them! The rest we don’t really have in England, but I don’t really like sugary breakfast cereals for some unknown reason….I love porridge or oatmeal or plain weetabix <3

  • rachaelreviewsall July 23rd, 2013 4:31 AM

    Why don’t I live in America and have all these cool choices of cereal??? (Damn you England)

  • sneakybacon July 23rd, 2013 4:44 AM

    i am so unbelievably jealous. we have such shit cereal in england, although we do have this shreddies advert which pretty much makes up for everything

  • Sophie ❤ July 23rd, 2013 6:36 AM

    Super unhealthy but DELICIOUS!

  • unicornconnect July 23rd, 2013 6:55 AM

    damn you delicious cereals my mum won’t let me eat

  • unicornconnect July 23rd, 2013 6:58 AM

    Also, minna, you genius, I will definitely try rice bubbles to spice up my weetbix a bit:):)

  • EmmaS July 23rd, 2013 8:21 AM

    This year my friends and I decided we’d make a dress made out of Cheerios, so now every time I think of Cheerios, all I see is how they looked mixed with glue and extremely soggy. Uggghhh

  • Queenofthemay July 23rd, 2013 8:26 AM

    Wet-bix! There is a whole ritual here. First, one must build a Stonehenge like tower with three ‘bix’, then cover said tower with sugar, and finally (this is where the magic happens) pour milk into the bowl creating a moat around the tower and watch, transfixed, until the supporting bix become too soggy and the entire structure COLLAPSES INTO A MESS OF DELICIOUSNESS!

  • Anya N. July 23rd, 2013 9:40 AM

    possibly the best article on rookie ever written.

  • iamrachii July 23rd, 2013 9:54 AM

    I love when you guys do food reviewing! Being in the UK I don’t have access to most of these cereals aside from Cookie Crisp which I’m quite into, and the Australian ones (which we know as Weetabix and Rice Krispies) which I don’t eat together but both are delicious when smothered in honey. My biggest cereal disappointment of late are Kellogg’s Honey Loops, which used to be my favourite, like Cheerios but thicker and sweeter and more delicious, but then they changed them so they taste exactly like Corn Pops but in loop shape AND WE ALREADY HAVE CORN POPS, WHY KELLOGG’S WHY? On the other hand I highly recommend Golden Grahams and Chocolate Corn Flakes which are my all time favourite even though they cost way too much and the supermarket brand taste the same as Kellogg’s and cost half the price for a bigger box.
    Also a recurring theme with your food reviews: why does America have to put peanut butter in everything?!?! It’s catching on over here and it needs to stop okay.

    • taste test July 23rd, 2013 7:38 PM

      I’m glad I’m not the only person here who actually likes Cookie Crisp! yeah, it doesn’t taste like chocolate chip cookies, but it has its own sweet graham-cracker-y taste to it. & it somehow makes your milk chocolate without tasting very chocolate itself which is kind of amazing.

  • wallflower152 July 23rd, 2013 10:14 AM

    This is awesome. I eat cereal literally every morning and sometimes as a late night snack. I don’t think it’s very unhealthy. I mean they all say whole grain or 8 essential vitamins and minerals haha right? I love adding stuff like marshmallows and chocolate chips or fruit. And have you ever tried a bland cereal like Rice Crispies or Corn Flakes with chocolate milk? I thought it would be awesome to open a restaurant that’s like Subway but you pick cereal and type of milk and add-ons. I looked it up and they exist in someplaces!

  • Kaetlebugg July 23rd, 2013 11:09 AM

    but . . . but . . . HOW does one make their own granola?? Dylan I would love to read an article on that!

    • Dylan July 25th, 2013 12:14 PM

      Check out the recipe linked in my write-up. It’s so easy, I have the ratios memorized now, and can whip up a batch early in the morning before school! Sometimes I add less oil and more honey to get more clumps, and everyone loves clumps.

  • littledidsheknow July 23rd, 2013 11:54 AM

    Why is Krave not reviewed? It’s SO GOOD.

  • WitchesRave July 23rd, 2013 12:00 PM

    We don’t have nay of these cool hyper coloured and sugary cereals in Ireland :(..But you can buy Lucky Charms in fancy food shop but they cost $10..

  • pendulous-threads July 23rd, 2013 12:29 PM

    No cinnamon toast crunch???!?>^%&*^#/)!!!Rookie, this is the first time you’re letting me down like this.

  • HaverchuckForPresident July 23rd, 2013 12:34 PM

    Cookie Crisp is the reason I have trust issues

  • stelliform July 23rd, 2013 12:48 PM

    This is hilarious! Also, I did know Cap’n Crunch’s full name, thanks to this Mental Floss video featuring John Green.

  • Erin. July 23rd, 2013 1:00 PM

    Ridiculous, Lucky Rabbit Captain King! Lucky Rabbit Captain King Cereal is for the youth!
    - Powerpuff Girls

    • abby111039 July 23rd, 2013 4:27 PM

      OMG YES. That show was my childhood. O_O

  • lyssagrltx July 23rd, 2013 1:40 PM

    I love cereal to death. This is perfect. I love food reviews.

  • book_kitty July 23rd, 2013 1:45 PM

    I have had about 10 of these cereals and most of the rest I have never heard of (that’s Canada for you) and all of the rest I’ve never tried (thats healthy eating parents for you).

    I had lucky charms while babysitting once and OMG THE AMAZINGNESS!!!!! Also my grandma used to buy a box of Reese’s Puffs and keep them in the back of the cupboard until I came to visit and we could together enjoy the deliciousness ;)

    Man, now I reallly want cereal. :P

  • GorillazFangirl July 23rd, 2013 2:21 PM

    Jungle Oats! Their slightly more fun and tasty relative, Oatso Easy (especially chocolate/caramel/apple and cinnamon flavour!), is my staple breakfast. Well, alternating with chocolate ProNutro. (And when I feel I should be healthy I go for the whole wheat ProNutro instead.)

    About bland-and-boring Weet-Bix, you smother those bad boys in a psychosis-inducing amount of sugar and sit them flat in your bowl. Next step! Slowly pour warm milk around them and let them soak all that calcium-enriched goodness up.

  • Nimble July 23rd, 2013 2:54 PM

    What about chocolate frosted flakes?!?!? Those little mothers are freaking amazing!!!

  • abby111039 July 23rd, 2013 4:26 PM

    Yep, Cookie Crisp was the biggest lie of my childhood. I was always BEGGING my mom to get it for me because I was convinced it was amazing, but she never did. So by the time I actually got around to trying some as a teenager I suppose, I was fucking let down. Curse you, Cookie Crisp.

    And where is Cinnamon Toast Crunch? That stuff is the shit!

  • 3LL3NH July 23rd, 2013 6:20 PM

    “The thing with this cereal is that it’s really good for when you’re craving the taste of blood from the roof of your mouth.”

    Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

  • NotReallyChristian July 23rd, 2013 7:33 PM

    The best cereal ever to exist is Dorset Cereals’ Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Granola. It’s super-expensive and comes in a tiny box because there’s a kind of accepted lie that you’re going to sprinkle dainty little handfuls of it onto yoghurt when in reality you’re obviously going to eat giant bowls of it and finish it in 5 helpings. It tastes like some kind of chocolate flapjack mix that danced into your bowl instead of the oven, and it will make your whole day a mist of cocoa delight. It probably isn’t healthy but seeing as you can barely ever afford to buy it (seriously it’s like £5 a box) that doesn’t really matter.

    (pretty sure it doesn’t exist in America, sorry not sorry for hogging the world’s best cereal)

  • leavingformars July 23rd, 2013 7:46 PM

    Cereal makes me think of sitting in the living room watching the Saturday morning cartoons. Just that idea alone makes me nostalgic, but when I read the post on Trix, it got me.
    Trix was one of the only cereals I ever truly loved and I completely forgot about them. Even though they don’t come in those fruit shapes anymore, I’m dying to have a bowl right now.

  • soretudaaa July 23rd, 2013 7:53 PM

    I’m amazed at the amount of people whose parents didn’t let them eat sugary cereal. I guess my addiction to sugar could have been avoided, after all.
    Anyway, TRIXXXXXXXX <3 <3 <3

  • Monroe July 23rd, 2013 9:00 PM

    Lol cereal is my one food related weakness. I don’t care about any other food-its always cereal that does me in.

  • Katzemuse July 24th, 2013 1:36 AM

    Aw but I love peanut butter puffins! :( I practically lived on that stuff as a kid. They’re still the shit in my opinion.

  • marit July 24th, 2013 1:50 AM

    I feel like all you cereal lovers would also appreciate knowing that chocolate covered Katie just posted a recipe for cereal milk, which is just the milk left behind in the cereal bowl. without having to eat to cereal first.


  • emeraldruby July 24th, 2013 3:23 AM

    RICE BUBBLES AND WEET-BIX OHMYGOD! What a fab idea!!! I think I’m gonna go try that right now.

  • HannahFromSydney July 24th, 2013 9:51 AM

    I tried American surgery cereals when I was way grown up (probably first when I was about 19-20) and honestly felt sick upon the first mouthful.

    I’m Australian, and weet-bix are my type of thing – no sugar – just warm soy milk poured over! Yum! Or porridge with honey!

    P.s every Christmas as a treat my parents would buy Coco Pops! Each time I eat them, they remind me of Christmas morning and it makes my heart get all warm and fuzzy feeling.

    Healthy (mainly?) Australian cereals all the way!

  • trassel July 24th, 2013 12:31 PM

    Shit! There are so many of these! I’ve only heard of like two of them, one being corn flakes. When I was a kid I almost never got to eat cereal and absolutely not sugary, unless it was vacation or something in which case an exception might be made. My favourite cereal that I did eat was oat crisps (I Think???? I’ve only ever eaten it in Sweden called “Havreflarn” so I’m not sure how it translates)
    Nowadays I mostly eat muesli with soured milk and homemade blackcurrant jam.

  • double-fantasy July 24th, 2013 7:53 PM

    that raisin bran box, man… that is certainly not the actual box, but i sure got a nice laugh once i noticed it lol

  • queserasera July 24th, 2013 8:03 PM

    i cannot live without my daily fix of lucky charms, i need to find shops that carry those bulk marshmallow pack!

  • uuultraterrestrial July 25th, 2013 4:00 AM

    !! So good. As a kid, my three siblings and I thought Cinnamon Toast Crunch were the holy grail.

    I’d be curious to know if anyone else remembers the short-lived and incredibly delicious Sprinkle Spangles. They were puffy stars with RAINBOW SPRINKLES on them. Anyone?

    On the opposite side of the cereal coin, Cracklin’ Oat Bran has been an under-the-radar mainstay for ages that is truly incredible and delicious. Even as Fruity Pebble lovin’ kids, we would specifically ask for Cracklin Oat Bran and considered it somewhat of a cereal delicacy. They come in an extra small box and are on the expensive side, so it was rarely purchased. They are really crunchy and satisfying!


  • kendallkh July 26th, 2013 9:22 PM

    gotta shout out frosted cheerios as the best cereal ever, but strawberry mini wheats look frickin amazing

    i’ve heard of muesli but this review finally taught me what it actually is, and it sounds delicious! i’m about to start college and you mentioning it keeps you full is perfect because my stomach is always growling horrifyingly loud in class. i’m about to hit up trader joes asap

  • Mayabett July 26th, 2013 10:27 PM

    I read this while eating Cheerios.

  • swegan July 27th, 2013 1:00 AM

    When I was a kid my mom would only buy fun cereals once every few months, and the rest of the time we would be eating honey nut cheerios and Corn Bran Squares (which are not as disgusting as they sound until you’ve been eating them and nothing else for breakfast for four months). And then she’d bring home a big box of Froot Loops and they would be gone in a week.
    But the kicker was that she still wanted us to be healthy, so she made us put All-Bran on our Froot Loops. Yes, All-Bran, the most honestly named cereal in the world. And you’d think it would be gross, but it was actually really, really good, except if you got the stick All-Bran you had to know that it sunk to the bottom and you had to scrape your spoon to get it with the Froot Loops. Long story short- Froot Loops+ All-Bran= Deliciousness. Better than plain Froot Loops, even.
    This article was fantastic and so, so hilarious. Definitely some cereals on here I’ll have to try!

  • Emilyis July 30th, 2013 1:16 AM

    This is so odd 0: I mean I live in Canada and we don’t have alot of these!

  • barbroxursox August 5th, 2013 10:36 PM

    WHERE IS THE KRAVE?!?! THIS IS BLASPHEMY! Krave is the greatest and most important cereal to ever be made in the entire world. Trust me, I eat it like every day. It gets stuck in your teeth SO MUCH but it doesn’t matter because it literally tastes like an angel kissing your tongue.

  • Nicole August 9th, 2013 11:51 AM

    every once and awhile the reese’s puffs rap song gets stuck in my head, regardless of the fact that the last time i heard it was probably in 2007 (REESE’S PUFFS REESE’S PUFF, PEANUT BUTTAH CHOCOLATE FLAVUUUUH)

  • Stella August 27th, 2013 6:56 PM

    This was a very entertaining article, but I had one problem with it: nobody reviewed Oh’s! Oh’s is one of the cereals my parents will buy because there are no bright, rainbow, colours, indicating artificiality, but it still taste glorious and excellent.

  • Abby in the Sky with Diamonds September 7th, 2013 9:24 PM

    You can buy Lucky Charms marshmallows in bulk? *dies of happiness*

  • smashedtiara September 15th, 2013 9:16 PM

    I like cookie crisp…