Cereal Eats

Breakfastime musings about cereal.

Cereal Eats: Bats and Ghosts and Berries, Oh My! Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

I remember having Count Chocula, like, once in my whole young life. I do remember it being incredible but rare, and since it wasn't included in the college cereal barrels, it kind of fell off of my radar. With Halloween approaching, I figured it was the perfect time to take a deep look at the Count and his friends.

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't really know that Franken Berry and Boo Berry existed. Apparently these are childhood favorites of a lot of people? Boy, do I feel like the odd man out. Rumor has it that masses of people look forward to this time of year to get their monster cereals. Somehow, I remember Count Chocula being available year round (mostly because I remember seeing the commercials all the time), but I see not this is not the case. All three cereals are only available for six weeks of the year.

Count Chocula

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Crispy, bat-shaped chocolate cereal pieces and nicely cocoa-flavored marshmallows leave behind awesome milk and rank among the best chocolate cereals out there. I kept the box of Count Chocula on my desk, "saving it" until it was time to write this post, but ended up blowing through the whole thing in dry handfuls in a matter of days. There were moments where it was a face-off, just me and the Count. Me, telling myself, "That was your last handful of the day," and the Count, laughing, luring me with his delicious offerings and weird single tooth. I couldn't resist! Back into the box, my hand dove.

I know there's a big camp of Lucky Charms lovers who either pick out all the marshmallows or save them all until the end, but I've always just eaten the cereal as a whole. (Yes, there will be a post about this.) But with Count Chocula, I found myself digging furiously through flocks of dark bats and discarding them, searching for those impossibly chocolatey little mallows.

Franken Berry

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My first thought when I opened the box was, "OMG IT'S BRIGHT PINK!" It's beautiful! What can I say; I'm a fool for bright pink. The box says it's strawberry flavored, but they just tasted kind of...weirdly fruity. Close enough. The marshmallows are fun pastel colors, with a fruity taste that is pretty darn good.

Boo Berry

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I think someone in the office may have called this character cute, but I find him downright creepy, with his weird, hooded eyes and shelf of teeth. I once again applaud the color—a fascinating blue. Boo Berry is clearly supposed to be blueberry (another underused cereal flavor much like maple), but once again I found that vaguely fruity taste. The mallows appear to be the same as Frank Berry's.

Ok, question: Does anyone else think these two taste exactly like the old Berry Berry Kix? It's eerie! Ok, they're both made by General Mills so I guess it's not that eerie but, oh, what the heck—it's Halloween season, IT'S EERIE, GANG! Well, actually these came out in the '70s and Berry Berry Kix came out in 1992, so I guess I should say Berry Berry Kix taste like Franken and Boo Berry. But since I'm new to the monster berry scene, I thought this was an earth-shattering discovery. Meanwhile, some diehard Franken Berry lover out there probably tried BBKix for the first time and said, "Oh, this is Franken Berry with no mallows and a different name," and moved on with his life. Well I can't move on, now that I know the truth.

Oh and why do I say old Berry Berry Kix? Well, I don't know when the sneaky switch happened, but Berry Berry Kix are sporting a new, earthier box, duller color, boring shape and bland taste. Now I never actually liked Berry Berry Kix (for the record I freaking love regular Kix) but for hardcore Berry Berry fans like my sister, this is a devastation. Looks like she's only going to be able to get her fix around Halloween, bracing her way through bushes of scary Boo Berries imagining that they are fresh, summer patches of Kix Berries.

I know we got some die-hard monster cereal fans out there, am I right?

About the author: Aside from doing an awesome job with her role as Advertising Sales Manager, Leandra Palermo secretly harbors a lifelong passion with all things crunchy and served with icy cold skim milk. This column represents the culmination of that love affair.

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