There are some companies that beat around the pumpkin plant when it comes to their spicy autumn products, but let me assure you, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios is not one of them. Picking them up in the store I could smell the cloves through the box, and at the cash register I had to check myself to see if I was buying a box of cereal or a box of cigarettes. For the spicy earthy aroma of cloves to permeate not only the plastic bag, but the cardboard, and then float the three feet from my hand to nose, is insanely impressive, and General Mills deserves a resounding slow clap for their pumpkin prowess.
It’s no surprise that opening the actual bag reveals a wash of fragrant spicy autumnal goodness on top of earthy whole grains. There’s a very pleasant, squashy pumpkin presence in the mix that when I sniff deep with my eyes closed I can envision hay stacks at the pumpkin patch.
The flavor starts with Cheerios’ signature hearty oat-y crunch and gradually evolves into a smooth and sweet pumpkin with notes of honey, reminiscent of its big Honey Nut brother, before finishing strongly with pronounced cloves, cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg. The clove flavor is intense, but it isn’t over the top, and as with most cereals the nose is a touch more dramatic than the actual bite.
In milk, as expected, the clove-leaning flavor drops down a bit, and the creamy pumpkin honey notes are amplified, but the flavor overall is incredibly well-rounded with spicy cinnamon delight. The moisture awakens the bouquet of fall spices and ties them together with a beautiful orange bow, making for a bowl that should be agreeable to most palates and not just fiends like myself. Cheerios are some of the most classic in the game when it comes to a quick morning fix, and their ability to hold up to milk is proven and no different here. They work perfectly when submerged in the cold creamy stuff and cradle my spoon like a cozy autumn scarf in the most satisfying way.
Whether you’re a certified cinna-slut spice junky, or just want a fresh spin on your breakfast cereal, this is one seasonal release that’s worth your time, and will get you in the proper mood for carving that jack-o-lantern in, ya know…six weeks.
Found at: Target ($2.99)
Quick Nutrition: 3/4 cup – 110 cal – 2g fat – 120mg sodium – 22g carb – 2g fiber – 8g sugar – 2g protein