In the history of the breakfast cereal universe there may be nothing more boring than Shredded Wheat. Okay…there’s Grape-Nuts, but I actually find something endearing and delicious about those little fiber-packed granules all soaked and sloshy in milk. But in all seriousness, Shredded Wheat is real damn drab. The mini variety with a coating of “frosting” over the top are a definite improvement, but would anyone really take those over Lucky Charms, Honey Bunches of Oats, Fruity Pebbles, or even good ole’ Cheerios? Most likely not, but General Mills, as clever and crafty as ever, are turning to the age old solution of curing boredom at any given time or event – getting absolutely blasted. That’s right, just like your introverted uncle at the quinceañera, welcome to the party Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds.
Picking up the box I wasn’t sure if I was in the grocery store or free weight rack at the gym, as the cardboard slid out of my hand and hit the ground with an assertive thud. This cereal is HEAVY. While most boxes of cereal can be tossed around like a jovial toddler, this one has more heft than any I’ve bought in recent memory.
The aroma of the cereal is wheat-y and just a bit spicy with some general sweet notes lingering with the classically craveable smell of cardboard. Eaten dry the flavor is everything I expected it to be and a little more – cinnamon sugar sweetness followed by toothy wheat and a surprisingly delicious buttery finish. It really is everything Cinnamon Toast Crunch is without the airiness, and the way the wonderful butteriness carried over to the denser stronger wheat flavor is impressive and really good.
In milk the presence of cinnamon is amplified and softens the wheat bricks bringing the whole flavor full circle with sparkling sweetness and great texture. The solid buttery flavor stays strong in the creamy milk, and while the cereal is good dry, it’s great when submerged in the cold moisture and allowed to soak for a minute. While the overall flavor is enhanced in milk, the stuff at the bottom of the bowl is testament to how truly blasted these rectangles are. The brown speckled liquid leftover from a bowl is incredibly sweet and thick with a wonderful spicy shine that rivals the best cereal milks I’ve ever had.
This is a really great cereal, but not one that I’m sure I would buy again, and certainly not as a replacement for the one and only CTC. The flavor is incredible, and there’s no doubt that the box will last me a long time, but I prefer my cold carby bowls on the voluminous and airy side. When all is said and done the density of the shreds don’t give me as much satisfaction as an overflowing bowl of flakes, but there’s no doubt this is some of the best shredded wheat you’ll ever have, whether clear headed in the morning, or blasted in the late night.
Found at: Safeway ($4.99)