An Eater of Cereal - Guest Reviews

Honey Nut Clusters

After all, how often does one really have the opportunity to use the phrase "excellent mouthfeel"? I mean, just how extensive are the field tests that Consumer Reports performs on pacifiers? But hey, we know the score here. We know what's really going on. As Jimi Hendrix says, "But you and I, we've been through that." (Or something like that: I'm trying to think of "All Along the Watchtower".) It's like going to a hospital, pretending to watch the liver transplant with intrigue, stepping over convalescing amputees, yeah right. We know why you're really there. So it is with Honey Nut Clusters. You may fiendishly pretend like we don't notice your play-acting, your puerile pretense of interest in the flakes, treating the nut clusters with equanimity. Ha! We know your painful longing for their taut crunch, their pleasant sweetness, their milk resistance. When you suspect your isolation, you shoulder the substandard and monotonous flakes aside like the crowds of lepers in a market. ("With swollen eyelids and bleeding eyes," The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco.) Or rather more like watching anything with Michelle Forbes in it while pretending to be interested in her character (ahem). Anyway, the flakes are about a 7/10, the clusters easily 9.5/10. Recommended, especially with soy milk.

- mashford
Honey Nut Cheerios

Just teetering on the ragged edge of lascivious, isn't it? Charming, like all mass market cereals, this time because the same vowel sound is present in each word of the name. I think the whole plan behind these was to give the unwitting consumer a tacit endorsement, like many such sneaky marketers, because who goes back to Cheerios after having taken the sacrament of the Honey Nut? Not me, that's apparent. So yes, the predictable and banal sugar glazing, reminiscent of the eyes of a 7-year old nephew of mine in the presence of Pokemon.. Similar colors, too, come to think of it.. The "improvement" cited over the Honey Nut's plain-Jane cousin ("We're so successful, we only have ourselves to compete with now!") is the slight counterpoint of saltiness to the sweetener. Another point: the childhood dictum of no two identical snowflakes. And the prompt extrapolation to people, trees, dogs, and.. Cheerios? That's right, no two Cheerios are alike either. Gee. Final tally: 8.0/10. Moderate susceptibility to mush, loses marks for obnoxious mascot.
- mashford
Quaker Sweet Puffs

Odd little things. Sort of a nondescript mottled color, like some timorous woodland creature, a favorite meal of owls and bobcats. In the bowl without milk, they appear to quiver. Really quite adorable in fact; I imagine some charmingly demented old hermit holding conferences with them. Interesting texture, not unlike that weird caramelized popcorn: crunchy on the outside, easily crushed on the inside. (Like some people I could mention.) Not as strong a taste, though, slightly sweet, with a peculiar hint of coffee. I sense that there is some hidden truth to these innocent little puffs, like pressing the correct sequence of symbols in the tomb, or perhaps more like the description of kabbalistic study offered in Foucault's Pendulum (yes, again with Eco, I know) crouched over some arcane tome for endless hours, through sweats and chills, though your eyes may be obscured and your back cry out, yes, maybe that's how we should continue with these little puffs. Poor on sog avoidance, though one curiously notes their change in taste at this point. Begins to resemble something like burnt oatmeal. Clearly there is more to the Quaker Sweet Puffs than meets the eye. Good marks for low price. Grand total: 8/10.
- mashford
Grape Nuts

Re Grape*Nutz: Here's the story. Sweetened with the complex sugar maltose, which is found in grapes and supposedly has a faintly nutty flavor. Apparently Maltose Crunch didn't do so well with the test market.
- mashford
Grape-Nuts: where does the name come originate? Nothing like grapes, and is not nutty. Bastards. Anyway, I know you mentioned something about sugar, and maybe I'm harming myself in a way I'll never understand, but I must drown the stuff in sugar to enjoy it. You should ask,"do ya want some grapenuts with that sugar?", but I just can't help it. Without sugar, forget it. It's just too damn crunchy. Perhaps a bodybuilder who wants to work his jaw muscles will find it useful.
- JD Saenz (Sandwhich Lovers Club)
Harmony: The Feminine Flake (Vanilla Almond)

General Mills meets Hitchcock's McGuffin. Like the nasty social experiment of standing on a street corner and gazing up, at some imperceptible detail, then surreptitiously observing the hapless passersby vainly attempting to locate the same; there are obvious qualities here impossibly ascribed. What could really be so feminine (or effeminate) about vitamin B and folic acid? Am I, in my quasi-masculine ignorance, missing some essential detail about dietary chemistry? If I eat enough of this stuff, will it make sense to me, or will I just start quoting Gloria Steinem? Anyway. Two varieties of flake reside in this cozy little nest. The first are an interesting brown/tan camoflage pattern: think GI Joe Desert Commando Flakes. The second, clearly the underdog, resemble Corn Flakes' asthmatic younger sibling. Both exhibit excellent sog resistance, due to aforementioned nutrient coating. And the pupil-dilating, blood-burning, sheet-staining climax? What else, but the precious and gleaming almond clusters? Like some tiny and untouched secret that nestles innocently within the tender embrace of its protective flake sisters, yet longs for another's embrace, you know well why you seek their firm and pleasing texture. Yes, to the clusters you will always return. Fine flakes get 8/10, commendable clusters get 9/10.
- mashford

Puffed Kashi: accurate description. But when you try it without knowing that it's nothing like it's evil twin, Sugar Smacks, you're in for a sudden spit-out back in the bowl, unless you can manage.
- JD Saenz (Sandwhich Lovers Club)
Cookie Crisps

Gypsy Woman Told My Mother
- JD Saenz (Sandwhich Lovers Club)
Jumbo Rice Krispies

Well, well, WELL! I don't even know where to begin, i'm so titillated. Curious, do you have a review on Jumbo Rice Krispies? Also, what is your stance on milk?
- bxcat (OKC, brooklyn)
well now... i should add a section on rice milk. i've now decided as i get older. i tolerate less cow milk and more rice milke for cereal. soy is fine too but filling. rice milk is the simplest. i used to scoff at any non-cow milk. until i got used to the other types and realized they were easier to digest. i.e. i got old. will try jumbo RK's - great idea.

- coldbacon (OKC, it changes)

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