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Wendy’s Frosty Cereal, Reviewed

Jamelle Bouie reviews Kellogg’s Wendy’s Frosty Cereal in a new episode of Cereal Eats.

A box of Wendy's Frosty Cereal (and a bowl of the cereal) atop a black counter.
Serious Eats / Jamelle Bouie

Allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Jamelle Bouie, New York Times columnist, and your humble cereal reviewer. This is another Serious Eats Cereal Review.

If you've watched these videos before, you know I like to choose cereals that are novelties. They're gimmick cereals. They're clearly not really meant to be eaten on a regular basis. So I'm very excited to have with me the Wendy's Frosty Cereal, which seems to come from the tradition of cereals like Reese's Puffs, and Cookie Crisp, and Oreo O's—cereals that are explicitly meant to just be glorified candies. They're desserts.

This comes from Kellogg's. It's not new, but it's pretty recent. The box isn't too special. Has some fun Wendy's facts. I guess you might be interested in those; I'm not.

I can't imagine any kids that would be. On average, about how many Frosty treats does Wendy's sell in the US per year? Choices are 30 million, 130 million, or 260 million. My guess is going to be 260 million. And the answer...the answer is C, 260 million. There you go.

If you are not familiar with these cereal reviews, I go through a certain process before I render a verdict. First, I open the box, and I get a sense of the aroma. Then I try the cereal dry. Then I put them in the bowl of milk, eating them as you would at the table. Then I have a bowl here that's been sitting for a few minutes, and I will try [that]. Then I'll taste the milk to see if any of the flavor from the cereal seeps into it. It's all very straightforward! And we're going to begin right now.

Let's get a sense of this aroma. Chocolate cereal, I'm going to expect you to smell like chocolate. And it does. It smells specifically like cocoa, not just for the milk's chocolate, but, like, if you open up a container of Hershey's cocoa powder, [it] more or less smells like that. We've got marshmallows, and we got dry cereal.

Very chocolatey. No idea if it tastes like a Frosty, because I...[have] no idea. These are good. Try these with some milk. I feel like they're skimping on the marshmallows because I only get a handful in here. But I'll get a spoonful with marshmallows, as many as I can. Let's try these.

...I mean, these are great, I would say. Kind of one note, just chocolate. But chocolate cereal is hard to beat. Very sweet, which makes sense with the 17 grams of sugar. That checks out. That's out the way. Now we go to the part that I hate, which is trying soggy cereal.

They hold up great. Almost no difference with the freshly poured — I don't know, the freshly milked? That sounds terrible! — cereal. Final test, milk test. And yeah, it's like drinking a glass of chocolate milk.

To some extent, none of this is a big surprise. It's rare to get a bad chocolate cereal. Even the worst one I can think of, Cocoa Pebbles (which gets soggy really quickly), tastes good.

I probably should have eaten or had a Frosty before I did this so I could have some sort of sense memory. But just as far as a chocolate cereal goes, I think this is top-tier. I'm going to give this 4 and 1/2 spoons. I'm going to give my usual admonition here. Don't eat these for breakfast. This is a treat, and you should treat it as such. Having said that, as far as novelty dessert cereals go, I'm going to give this one a high recommend. It's really good.

Again, I'm Jamelle Bouie and this has been another Serious Eats Cereal Review. I'll be back with something else that I will regret putting into my body.

General Mills’ Plentifull Cereal, Reviewed

Video Review of General Mills’ Plentifull Cereal by Jamelle Bouie

Box of General Mills Plentifull Cereal on a counter with a bowl filled with the cereal in the foreground
Jamelle Bouie // Serious Eats

For once, I thought I would try a cereal that wasn’t actually trying to kill me.

Which is why I picked up a box of peanut butter-flavored “Plentifull” cereal, the latest product from General Mills. This is supposed to be a legitimate breakfast cereal for adults, and the box advertises its protein and whole grain content. I personally think you should ignore that stuff. The “whole grain” labeling is meaningless, and there isn't nearly enough protein in this cereal to justify the caloric content.

Having said that, what matters for our purposes is whether it tastes good. And, well, it does. If you insist on eating cereal for breakfast—and I am of the firm belief that you should not—you could do a lot worse than Plentifull. It has great flavor and crunch, a nice mouthfeel, and it seems like it's pretty filling, all things considered. I honestly do not have any complaints, and would easily recommend this to anyone in the market for this kind of cereal.

Verdict: 4 spoons out of 5.

Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf Cereal, Reviewed

Video review of Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf Cereal by Jamelle Bouie

Box of Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Cereal on a counter with a bowl in front of it
Jamelle Bouie / Serious Eats

I should say from the jump that I have an ideological problem with the entire idea of the “elf on the shelf.” I think it is unconscionable to subject children to imaginary surveillance for the sake of altering their behavior. It’s basically training them to live in a police state. It’s bad!

But the question of this review isn’t whether the concept of “elf on the shelf” is bad; the question of this review is whether the cereal based on the concept is bad. And I regret to inform you that it's terrible.

It’s worse than terrible; in fact, it’s putrid. The single biggest problem is that it is attempt to mimic a baked good, so it has the cloying sweetness and fake butter flavor of every cereal that attempts to do just that. The problem is that cloying sweetness and fake butter flavor are awful, and I would not wish them on anyone.

This is not the worst cereal I’ve ever eaten, but if I had to choose between this and a bowl of coal straight from Santa’s mines, I’d choose the coal.

Verdict: 1.5 spoons out of 5.

Kamara’s King Crunch Cereal, Reviewed

Video review of Kamara King’s Crunch cereal by Jamelle Bouie

Box of Kamara's King Crunch cereal on a counter with a bowl filled with the cereal in front of it
Jamelle Bouie / Serious Eats

I have no idea who Kamara is. I can hazard a few guesses from the details on the box, but I’m not interested enough to look him up. And I don’t feel any need to either; I’m not here to talk about celebrities, I’m here to talk about cereal. And this cereal is good, if unremarkable.

I say unremarkable because it's little more than a generic-version of Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats, a classic cereal that should land on any list of best supermarket cereals. It's a little less sweet than its brand-name equivalent, and the oat clusters are a little crunchier, but it's essentially the same product. Which is to say, it offers a perfectly pleasant dining experience: tasty, substantive, and satisfying.

As for the box, it's supposedly a “collector’s edition,” although I’m not sure why anyone would collect a cereal box. In any case, the cereal itself is worth eating, and if you can’t find Kamara Crunch, you can always get Honey Bunches of Oats.

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 spoons.

General Mills’ Cinnagraham Toast Crunch Cereal, Reviewed

Jamelle Bouie Reviews General Mills’ Cinnagraham Toast Crunch Cereal

Box of General Mills' Cinnagraham Toast Crunch cereal on a kitchen counter
Serious Eats / Jamelle Bouie

I've eaten more than my fair share of Cinnamon Toast Crunch during my 34 years on this planet. I've also eaten more than a few bowls of Golden Grahams. But I’ve never been compelled to combine the two.

Thatt’s why I was keen to try the new Cinnagraham Toast Crunch. How would it taste, exactly, to have Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch together? Well, the answer is that it would taste great.

Contrary to my expectations, Cinnagraham Toast wasn't simply a combination of the two cereals in the same box. Instead, it’s something like a blending of the two products: graham-flavored squares coated in a cinnamon-sugar dust. In milk, they have the structural integrity of Golden Grahams and the flavor of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with the graham as a key but not overly dominant note.

I’m somewhat surprised to say that this combination is more than the sum of its parts, delivering an experience that's superior to the one either cereal provides on its own. I've reviewed quite a few cereals for this site and this is one of the few I feel truly enthusiastic about. Cinnagraham Toast gets the first 5 out of 5 spoons ratings for this series.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 spoons.

Kellogg’s Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies Cereal, Reviewed

Jamelle Bouie reviews Kellogg’s Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme cereal.

Box of Kellogg's Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies cereal on a counter with a bowl of cereal in front of box
Jamelle Bouie

In my review of the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie cereal, I said that the actual Cosmic Brownies were never my favorite snack. That distinction goes to the Oatmeal Creme Pie, which I loved and would eat at every opportunity. My hope was that the Oatmeal Creme Pie cereal would capture the taste and experience of eating one of the Little Debbie snacks. A little bit of nostalgia in a bowl, you might say.

My hopes were betrayed.

These are simply bad. No, they aren't wretched; they won't ruin your life. But they will ruin your morning. They're cloyingly sweet and the "creme" flavoring is barely tolerable. They don't hold up well in milk, and the milk left over after you finish the cereal is nothing to write home about.

It's possible that the distance between my memories of an actual Oatmeal Creme Pie and the taste of this product have colored my evaluation. Perhaps if I'd never had an Oatmeal Creme Pie and was given this cereal to eat, I would like it. But that's a different world. In this world, I would never eat these again.

Verdict: 2 spoons out of 5.

Kellogg’s Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie Cereal, Reviewed

Jamelle Bouie reviews Kellogg’s Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie Cereal

Box of Kellog's Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Cereal on a counter with a bowl filled with the cereal in the foreground
Jamelle Bouie

The Cosmic Brownie wasn't my favorite Little Debbie snack. Whenever I had a chance to eat a Little Debbie, it was usually an Oatmeal Creme Pie or a Nutty Buddy bar. Which is to say that my expectation for this cereal was not particularly high. I mostly just hoped that it would be good enough to eat a few bites, and anything better than that would be a pleasant surprise.

I'm pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

This Cosmic Brownie cereal isn't the best thing I've ever eaten, but it's pretty good! It tastes like the brownies I remember, it maintains its integrity in milk, and the milk that's left over is tasty. Despite the ridiculous conceit, it's a competent cereal, workman-like, the kind of thing you can imagine eating any time as a snack or a treat.

Verditc: 3.5 spoons out of 5.

General Mills’ Space Jam: A New Legacy Cereal, Reviewed

Jamelle Bouie reviews General Mills’ Space Jam: A New Legacy cereal.

Box of Space Jam: A New Legacy-themed Cereal on a kitchen counter
Jamelle Bouie

Space Jam: A New Legacy is not good. Compared to its predecessor, which is at least watchable, it has worse writing, worse acting, and worse visuals. It's a pure I.P. grab, a cynical product of studio plotting that's even more cynical than most modern Hollywood blockbusters,

Naturally, a new Space Jam movie has a new Space Jam-themed cereal. And, like its namesake, the cereal is bad. However, it's not as bad, relatively speaking, as the movie.

The single biggest problem with this cereal is it doesn't taste like anything. The writing on the box says, “Berry With Marshmallows,” but there's no berry flavor—not even the generic berry flavor that you get in most breakfast cereals—and there are barely any marshmallows. The two bowls I poured for this video even looked gray and flavorless, more like mounds of nutrient pellets than food (to the extent that modern breakfast cereal can be considered, or expected to look like, food).

What’s fun about reviewing cereal is tasting unusual flavors and judging ambitious attempts to recreate the taste of various snacks and foods. It's a serious issue, then, when a cereal just doesn’t have a flavor, because it becomes impossible to ignore what you're actually eating: Industrial corn, sweetened with industrial corn syrup and flavored with the products of some anonymous lab.

Verdict: 2 out of 5 spoons.

Its General Mills’ Jojo Siwa Strawberry Bop! Cereal, Reviewed

“I don’t really care what they say!”

Box of General Mills Jojo Siwa Strawberry Bop Cereal
Jojo Siwa Strawberry Bop! cerealJamelle Bouie

I’m not about to say that General Mills' JoJo Siwa Strawberry Bop! cereal is good. It's yet another one-note, sugary cereal with a flavor profile that bears little resemblance to what it’s supposed to be. I didn't taste any strawberries in this bowl; I would be shocked to learn if anyone, anywhere, did.

But it isn't bad either. If you eat it for what it is—a branded cereal designed specifically for children who love this particular teen pop star—then it’s fine. Unlike some previous cereals tasted for this column, it isn't life-ruining. The most I can say about this cereal is that it's completely inoffensive; you can’t get mad about it, nor can you be all that disappointed.

As a result I feel comfortable giving JoJo Siwa Strawberry Bop! three spoons out of five. Even if I find it kind of boring, it does what it's presumably supposed to do: make breakfast a little more fun for the tween set.

(Not that anyone should be eating any of these cereals for breakfast in the first place.)