Cereal Review: Blueberry Muffin Tops
When it comes to cult cereal status, we are all familiar with the legends of by-gone sugar-bombs like French Toast Crunch and Oreo O’s. Based off the concepts of indulgently sweet treats that only marketing geniuses could project as even moderately healthful, the disappearance of these creals from grocery store shelves seem to confirm an inevitable slide into maturity that we experience as both individuals and as a society.
Giving into a sense of what exactly those 12 vitamins and minerals were covering up for – and losing interest in whatever puzzle on the back of the box may have provided us – we, the now 20-somethings of the US of A, lost our sense of cereal identity. And with it, our favorite cereals as well. Like it or not, those cereals — and the memories of Saturday morning cartoon watching that came with them — are not coming back to a store near you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t equally enticing – if not ridiculously childhood-nostalgia-inspiring – multi-grain sugar bombs to replace them. That, at least, was my thought when I encountered Blueberry Muffin Tops at Walmart.
Sometimes known as the “knockoff” cereal company, Malt-0-Meal’s economical and eco-friendly bags have long taken up a prone position on the end of the cereal aisle. Essentially promising to match classics like General Mills’ Lucky Charms or Quaker’s Cap’n Crunch with cheaper, if-not-identical flavors like “Marshmallow Mateys” or “Colossal Crunch,” Malt-o-Meal manages to produce equivalents for most of the enduring cereal flavors. Which makes the case of Blueberry Muffin Tops all the more curious. Without a Post, Kelloggs, or General Mills equivalent, the unique flavor garners a certain status as foreign and exotic , like a fine European chocolate bar, or, at the very least, a bag of chips from Canada.
Enjoy the bakery-fresh taste of blueberry muffins every morning in your cereal bowl! We’ve combined the taste of fresh blueberries and oven-baked muffins in a mouth-watering cereal and packed it with essential vitamins and minerals making it easy to get your recommended daily amounts!
Color me the anxious traveler in a foreign land of partially hydrogenated oil and food dye, but not even the long list of ingredients nor the doggy food like bag could deter me from from spending $5.18 on the 30 oz. bag. And even though my pantry was stocked to the point of being able to force up the market value of cereal because of the laws of supply and demand, I nevertheless eagerly anticipated tasting that signature “bakery-fresh” flavor of blueberry muffins.
Points right off the bat for the packaging system. It’s not often I get to brag about being sustainable, but with 75% less packaging (whatever that means) my bag of Muffin Tops does the trees and birds and sky and all that jazz a good deed. Likewise, thank goodness for the resealable top. When you eat as much cereal as I do you run out of bag clips real fast, and the resealable ziplock bag allows the blue-speck toasted, sugar-coated pieces to stay crisp and fresh. I also like that you can… A.) actually see the cereal through a viewing hole and… B.) get your money’s worth in terms of a “full bag.” Points, however, must be deducted for lack of back 0f the
box bag reading material. I feel cheated out of a maze.
The aroma as I open the bag is beyond fragrant. Approaching the kind of over-the-top blueberry essence that only an Entenmann’s Blueberry Little Bites can convey, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch-like pieces give off a distinct oily and sugary smell which stimulates the salivary glands and actually gives truth to advertising. I want to eat the smell, but I show restraint and stick to my “one portion” rule for initial tastage.
While I’m used to small cereal serving sizes, the recommended 30g of Blueberry Muffin Tops equates to maybe — at best — a fourth of a standard sized bowl. Obviously this is disappointing, but my first taste is not. Even after a full 20 seconds in the drink, the toasted flakes retain a higher-than-average crunch, with an enjoyable sugary coating that contains a sweet flavor of blueberry that could pass for the progenitor of all artificial blueberry flavors known to man.
The small specks of blue add a welcomed touch, but as I continue eating from the bowl, I’m struck by the immense sweetness of the cereal and overpowering blueberry flavor. I seldom use to term “cloying” when discussing sweetness, but in this case, no other term seems to suffice. It’s so sweet and singular in flavor I find myself wanting to slurp down the bowl of skim milk for relief, yet am unable to come by a full measure of that relief thanks to the excellent nature of the flavor transfer to the milk.
All things considered, even the sugar-rush incurred through a serving of Muffin Tops in milk is relatively tame compared to eating it straight from the bag. While the first taste of the that sweet blueberry flavor fills you with the inevitable realization that it may just be the best tasting cereal you’ve ever had, the sheer amount of sugar and artificial berry flavor serve as a perfect example of the law of diminishing returns. Within a few bites it becomes overpowering, the start-your-day equivalent to chugging a 2-liter soda. Never did I actually think a kids cereal would defeat my incessant cravings for crunchy and sweet, but in this case, I’ve met my match. Can you have too much of a good thing? You can, and Blueberry Muffin Tops proves that more than any single cereal I’ve ever tried.
Adam’s Cereal Ranking Index: Blueberry Muffin Tops
- Sweetness: 10.00/10
- Flavor: 9.00/10
- Snackability: 3.00/10
- Healthy Junk: 1.00/10
- End Milk: 8.75/10
- Nostalgia: 7.50/10
- Final Score: 6.54/100
Past Cereal Reviews:
[Chocolate Frosted Flakes] [Count Chocula][Chocolatey Cap'n Crunch] [Chocolate Lucky Charms] [Waffle Crisp] [Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch] [Chocolatey Frosted Mini Spooners] [Honey Graham Trackers] [Cinnabon] [Marshmallow Pebbles] [Fiber One Caramel Delight] [Kashi Honey Sunshine]