Friday, February 10, 2012

Shiny New Product Review: Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Peanut Butter Cheerios

I'm a bit of a cereal nut.  Growing up, we were limited to healthy cereals (and when we were really, really good, an occasional box of Peanut Butter Crunch).  This meant we ate regular ol' Cheerios quite regularly.  And after a short phase of sugar cereal binges during my freshman year of college, I returned to my love of plain Cheerios with milk or a sprinkling of sliced banana mixed throughout.

I get excited when I see new cereals.  But I got really excited when I saw both of these new cereals in particular - Dulce de Leche Cheerios and Peanut Butter Cheerios.  Why?  Let's see.  We mix my love of Cheerios with my love of dulce de leche (which I originally experienced in Argentina) and peanut butter, and you get a terrible bit of excitement.  And cereal is just one of those awesome things - eat it any time of day, no cooking required, and the crunching is a stress reliever : ).

I love the original Multi-Grain Cheerios.  They have the perfect hit of sweetness that accentuates the grains.  No, really. Those be curvy grains.  I wonder why Cheerios didn't start with a blank slate of plain Cheerios?  I want to like the peanut butter flavor but there is no real punch of flavor to set them apart from anything else.  Better in a cereal bowl than as a snack, the Cheerios don't have quite enough "oomph" in the peanut butter department.  Honestly, if you're jonesing for some peanut butter cereal - just go have a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch.  The one advantage that these have over PBC is that they will not wreck the roof of your mouth.

Lackluster Dulce de Leche Cheerios

And the Dulce de Leche?  Frankly, my first bowl left me quite disappointed.  The flavor seemed overly artificial (which is funny as they are "naturally flavored").  I don't even want a second bowl and cereal is a regular part of this gal's diet.  I suppose I expected with both flavors, that rather than having the new additions mixed into the actual cereal batter, that they would instead have a light coating on the outside - like a glaze.  I found both (although DdL especially) to not be dense enough in the texture.  I wanted to hear and feel a more audible "crunch" when biting down.  There seemed to be more aeration in each cute little circle than I am accustomed to in my other favorite flavored Cheerio (Honey Nut).  My positive discovery after the fact was that while I did not enjoy these with milk, they were far better as a straight snack, no milk necessary.

But this brings me to what I would recommend to my friends.  If given the choice to take 'em or leave 'em, I'd leave 'em.  No ifs, ands or buts.