Review: Pebbles Boulders Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal from Post
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I’ve always had a soft spot for both Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles. Arguably
one of the most nutritionally devoid of all cereals, the Flintstone-themed pellets of sugar nevertheless formed an incomplete part of my childhood weekend routine. I would seldom eat either in a bowl, and never with milk. Instead, I had a habit of lazily removing myself from the couch during commercial breaks of One Saturday Morning, only to make a sore-eyed beeline to the pantry.
There, a handful (or two) of cereal awaited my chubby little fingers. For two hours this would continue, gaining increased speed as Recess gave way to Pepper Ann. I can only imagine how these intervals of breakfast snackage must have driven my father crazy. Apparently Saturday nights were a big “invite people over” night, and cleaning a white tile floor interlaced with streaks of Red #40 and Blue #20 fell on him.
Variations of Fruity Pebbles have come and gone, with some more memorable than others. We’ve seen S’mores and Christmas flavors, marshmallow add-ins and an homage to the cupcake trend. Curiously, however, we’ve never seen peanut butter. Until now.
Buyer beware — I’ve only been able to find these in Safeway stores to this point, but the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor of Pebbles Boulders does exist. Taking a page from the Caramel Apple Boulders released earlier this year, the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor doesn’t make use of the iconic, toasted granules of Fruity Pebbles, but instead uses a slightly puffed and toasted multigrain sphere not dissimilar to Kix or Cocoa Pebbles. If in its inability to satisfy nostalgia alone, the appearance of these shapes bummed me out on first inspection, but the smell was enough to perk my interest back to life. Juxtaposing my bowl right next to a jar of peanut butter, I can definitely pronounce this cereal as having a distinct peanut butter smell. Reminiscent, if not identical, to Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs (a favorite of mine and fellow bastion of cereal knowledge Leandra), the smell was slightly less chocolatey but more molassas-ey.
The taste is overall pleasing, but you’d expect that. The peanut butter flavor is most intense when eaten without milk — in my case 1/4 cup skim mixed with a likewise amount of half-and-half — and has a slightly salty, roasted peanut flavor with a distinctive edge of molasses on the backend. But it comes off as not sweet enough, and overall, not as tasty as Reese’s Puffs or even Mothers Peanut Butter Bumpers. Most disappointing is the chocolate element. Unlike Reese’s, which really do contain a distinctive flavor of chocolate and peanut butter in the black and brown puffs, the Boulders pieces don’t feature distinctive flavor elements. It’s like one’s a kind of vaguely vanilla, somewhat sweet-and-salty puff and the other is, well, a hollow molasses flavor. The mouthfeel of the dark puffs is certainly smoother, but in a fake tasting, incomplete way. What you’re left with is a milk absorption halfway between Kix and halfway between Cap’n Crunch, with the distinctive peanut butter flavor only really coming through when eating in excess.
Of course, every cereal gives off flavor in excess of the serving size on the box, but the true measure of flavor is if one can eat an ounce or so of cereal and be satisfied with the intensity of the flavor. With the best cereals — Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Waffle Crisp, Froot Loops — this is the case, but with Pebbles Boulders, it is not. Right now, in terms of peanut butter cereals, I’d rank it below Reese’s Puffs (which has more chocolate flavor) and below Peanut Butter Bumpers (which has more sweetness and a better contrast in sweet and salty). Saying a peanut butter cereal is bad is like saying pizza is bad in that, even when disappointing, it still has merits. But with Reese’s Puffs still on the market and (God willing) not likely to go the way of Oreo O’s anytime soon, I’d skip on Pebbles Peanut Butter Chocolate Boulders.
Adam’s Cereal Ranking Index: Pebbles Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Sweetness: 5.00/10
- Flavor: 6.00/10
- Snackability: 7.50/10
- Healthy Junk: 5.00/10
- End Milk: 6.00/10
- Nostalgia: 7.50/10
- Final Score: 6.25/10
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]