Pancakes have played a pivotal role in my culinary journey. They were the first thing I ever learned to cook when I was five years old, are the breakfast I have every Christmas morning, are my most often customized and changed entree, and the only reason why I own a plug in griddle. I even memorized the recipe from the Joy of Cooking book, which I have since adapted and incorporate blueberries whenever I can get my hands on them. Blueberries work so well in pancakes that I often wonder if they were created solely to be cooked in cake or muffin form, so I was elated to learn that the Cap’n had caught onto this perfect combo and wanted to package the flavor in cardboard form to deliver Cap’n Crunch’s Limited Edition Blueberry Pancake Crunch.
Opening the box delivers a big sugary aroma with the sharp undercurrent of maple syrup. It’s hard to explain exactly how the two smells work together, but there isn’t a specific blueberry essence as much as there is just standard breakfast cereal “sweet”. Trying the cereal dry has a satisfying sweet and slightly salty crunch, with some but not a ton of distinction between the tan and blue colored corn and oat balls. You would think that the two different colors would function similarly to the Cap’n’s crunch berries, but they taste much more like each other than they do two separate flavors. There’s a touch more maple in the tan balls and a hint more berry sweetness in the blue ones, but still no dominant blueberry flavor, especially when compared to a cereal like Tiny Toast.
Adding in some milk really drives the maple smell to the foreground and I’m excited. The moisture from the milk helps bring the flavor together and definitely reminds me of a maple-y pancake, although not one studded with my favorite baking berry. As the blue cereal balls towards the bottom get more soaked in milk they give off more blueberry vibes and I’m starting to see the full flavor be revealed before me. Interestingly, as I sit contemplating over my empty bowl the flavor that lingers in my mouth IS blueberry, which is pleasant, but a bit of a surprise considering it didn’t play too big of a role during most of the chomping. The leftover milk has absorbed a good amount of the maple flavor and tastes like cold creamy syrup, definite A+ cereal milk satisfaction.
I’m not going to be unreasonable, but it’s worth noting that none of the other nuances you would expect from pancakes like butter, eggy-ness, or buttermilk can be found here; but there is a golden sheen from the maple that will remind you of the classic griddle cake. Is it as delicious as a piping hot short stack bursting with berries and drowning in syrup? No, of course not, but it is a maple-forward cereal with some berry boost and a satisfying sugar snap that is right up there with Peanut Butter Crunch as some of the Cap’n’s finest work.