Infinite Cuisine

There are certain things I looks forward to every October… the perfectly ripe apples, the pumpkins and gourds placed everywhere, and of course, the reemergence of General Mills monster cereals. This year the usual suspects of Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Booberry were joined by old friends Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, which Newton featured in an earlier Infinite Cuisine. In the past few years, the popularity of the monster cereal brands has led to some spinoff products, such as Frankenberry Fruit Rollups and today’s subject, Count Cholula cereal bars.

I’ve tried all of the monster cereals, and my favorites are definitely Count Chocula and Frankenberry. It’s no secret that Chocula is basically Cocoa Puffs, in a different shape and with marshmallows. But while I always pick up at least one box of Count Chocula each year, I never buy Cocoa Puffs. The simple change of shape can have a big impact on cereal, as it changes the texture and the way the pieces interact with the milk. The addition of marshmallows is a big plus as well. My point is, there is a connection to Cocoa Puffs, but the cereals are not the same.

Unfortunately, these cereal bars are made out of Cocoa puffs, and not Count Chocula. The cereal pieces are clearly little chocolate globes, not the chocolate ghosts I was expecting. And while there is some small amount of gooey white marshmallow in evidence, I was expecting a healthy portion of the crunchy Count Chocula marshmallows to be mixed in. Instead there are none. These bars are probably released as Cocoa Puffs branded treats all year long. Continue reading

Brach's Candy Corn Review
Halloween is all about candy, right? Undoubtedly. I’m not super old or anything, but the fact of the matter is that, over the course of the last 5-7 years, the amounts of candy put out at Halloween time is just crazy, and the mad rush to get new candies out there, even crazier! Couple that with Wal-Mart and Target making their own candies, and you’ve got a real case of diabetes on your hands!

With that, we cannot review each candy separately—we would be here until Christmas, only to fall into another candy coma (it’s almost just as bad, you know Jesus and Christmas candy go hand-in-hand). So, we bring you…. CANDY CORN CORNICOPIA! Now, I didn’t eat a lot of candy corn growing up, so I hardly ever buy it now; however, I was scoping out candy for reviews in Walgreens and came across the new Starburst Candy Corn, and decided to grab a couple other flavors (rather than the original) and give it to you all at once—blow your mind. Thus, we also have S’mores and Pumpkin Spice from Brach’s. From a visual aspect, each has its own appeal, as the S’mores are made to mock S’mores colors, and so on. You know what I mean? Right.

In the end, it’s freakin’ candy corn. Each tasted okay, but the S’mores and Starburst Fruit Corn were most likely the best. The Pumpkin Spice tasted like every other pumpkin spice stuff out there (unless, you are referring to Jamba Juice’s Pumpkin Smash, which I highly endorse, because I could live off those).

Wolfman Candy Corn
These kinds of candies are clearly for individual enjoyment, as I don’t think it is wise (at least not anymore) to hand out unwrapped candy. Some jerk-off ruined that years ago. So, at only $0.99 a bag, you can totally afford to pick these up, and enjoy some, or not. Or throw them at people, or use them as teeth if yours fall out from candy consumption, or you know, whatever. I think, much like twinkles, these things may last forever!

I’ve often mentioned that Frankenberry is my favorite of the General Mills monster cereals, but I was happy to find out this year that GM was bringing back two long forgotten other flavors, Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute. It took me a while to find both in stores (I just found Frute Brute this week) but I figured I might as well throw up a review of these cereals, since not everyone has had the chance to try them. I just recently learned that in the UK, they don’t have any of the monster cereals!

Fruity Yummy Mummy was introduced at the tail end of the 1980’s with a bizarre commercial that had the Mummy doing some mambo drumming. He had a voice that sounded a bit like Wolfman Jack, but the cereal never appealed much to me. In fact, I saw the Fruity one as an enemy. Some new creation trying to crowd in on my favorites.

But it’s a bit of a welcome addition back to the breakfast table this year. For starters, it tastes surprisingly good. While it isn’t overly flavorful, there’s just enough hint of citrus that you keep going back for more. My GF, who rarely likes these sugary cereals, found herself grabbing a few bits of the Mummy’s goodness from time to time. I don’t know if it’s a great flavor to add to milk, but eating it plain (as I often do with cereal) is quite good. Continue reading

Monsters Cereal Returns!.  (PRNewsFoto/General Mills)
In a rather shocking announcement, General Mills has revealed that this holiday season (and that holiday is Halloween) not only will Franken Berry and Boo Berry return to the shelves in what has become a bit of an annual tradition, but for the first time in decades, Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy will also return. It seems clear to me that bringing the cereals back as part of Halloween has been a great success for General Mills. My favorite remains to be Franken Berry, but I will definitely buy both of these when they hit the shelves later this fall.

Frute Brute 2
Frute Brute (sometimes spelled Fruit Brute) was a main cast member for a while, appearing mostly in the 70’s. He hasn’t been seen since 1983 and only children of that era really remember him. Fruity Yummy Mummy came around in the 80’s and I recall him immediately being a bit of a bastard child of the General Mills monsters. Of course, Boo Berry faded away for a long time as well. Perhaps these two monsters will get new life this season.

Interestingly, this will mark the first time that all five monster cereals have been available for purchase at once. Talk about a sugar high! If you’re a fan of the lime or vanilla flavored marshmallows, now is the time to stock up. I suspect if they do good, we might even see spin-off products like last year’s Monster Cereal Fruit Roll-Ups. There will apparently even be special retro boxes shipped to Target stores. The countdown to Halloween is on and General Mills is clearly in the spirit!

Ninja Turtles Fruit Snacks
I consider myself a bit of a fruit snack connoisseur. Through the years I’ve eaten tons of these rubbery, “fruit” products. Oddly enough, as a child I almost never had fruit snacks. It just wasn’t the sort of thing my parents would allow in the grocery budget. Once I started buying my own food though, fruit snacks became a staple.

Donatello and April
In the early 90’s a company named Farley’s made TMNT fruit snacks. In 2003, Betty Crocker got the green machine to do another round of fruit snacks. Now here we are in 2013 and the turtles are once again in fruit snack form. These fruit snacks seem much more a kindred spirit in shape and design to the vintage Farley’s fruit snacks despite once again being made by Betty Crocker.

The side of the box shows off the shapes and flavors of the six various Ninja Turtles fruit snacks. It’s interesting to note that this is more flavors and shapes than the 2003 version, but not as many as the 1990’s version. I like that these are simple designs as opposed to the more overly complex shapes.

Fruit Rat
This is also only the second time that Splinter has appeared as a fruit snack. He was a late addition to the original 1990’s fruit snacks after the second TMNT film. Sadly the snack of Splinter looks more like a hovercraft or the Batmobile than the Turtle’s sensai. Continue reading