REVIEW: Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rating: 9/10
Found at: Target ($2.99)
Quick Nutrition: 3/4 cup – 110 cal – 2g fat – 120mg sodium – 22g carb – 2g fiber – 8g sugar – 2g protein

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REVIEW: Limited Edition Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal

It’s true.  In a time when chicken has become a taco shell and Twinkies have been turned into ice cream, it’s only fitting that Girl Scout cookies are now breakfast cereal.  As if we couldn’t get enough overpriced factory cookies into our diets in the first quarter of the year, we now have an excuse to start our day with this indulgence as well.  General Mills have teamed up with the little hustle-Scouts to unleash Limited Editon Thin Mints sweetened whole grain corn cereal.

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Opening the box the smell immediately screams Thin Mint, with a chocolate and mint aroma that favors the mint slightly more than the chocolate.  The taste of the dry cereal builds on that smell but pushes the chocolate a little more to the foreground, with a minty, distinctly spearmint tingle rounding out the bite.  General Mills seem to have achieved the right balance between the two flavors, with the mint definitely present but not lingering with any toothpaste-y consequences.  The finish is classic corn cereal, with that sweet vegetal crunch that tastes oddly like a hybrid between a Girl Scout cookie and a Cheeto; which isn’t as weird as it sounds considering how awesome I think Sweetos are.

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When combined with milk, the chocolate smell intensifies and gives my nose signals that I’ve just opened a fresh sleeve of Thin Mint cookies.  Unfortunately, that intensified smell doesn’t translate to the flavor, as the notes that were prominent on the dry tasting all dull significantly and become much less unique.  The cereal holds its crunch well, but the perfectly balanced mint takes a backseat to not only the flavor of the corn and chocolate but the milk as well.  After crunching along through the bowl with mixed feelings I was pleasantly surprised to have a mellow but noticeable minty-ness in my mouth when I was done eating.

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A breakfast cereal, even a sweet one like this, will never truly be able to emulate a cookie (think: Cookie Crisp), but this is a pretty decent attempt at putting an American snack time classic into our milky bowls for the morning.  I have never seen mint used like this before and I’ve got to give General Mills credit for taking that risk and doing a good job of getting the balance down to give honor to the cookie as well as making a tasty new product.  I don’t think I would rush out to buy this again but would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves Thin Mints; plus, it’ll go great on top of some ice cream (which I have done, and can confirm its greatness).

Rating: 7/10

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