Cereal Eats

Breakfastime musings about cereal.

Cereal Eats: Reese's Puffs, the Closest Thing to Candy in a Cereal Box

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[Photographs: Jessica Leibowitz]

Well, it's Halloween. And since I've already written about Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry, I figured we'd talk about the next most Halloweeny cereal there is, the only currently available cereal*, to my knowledge, that's based off a candy: Reese's Puffs. It just so happens that it's also one of the most incredibly delicious cereals of all time (and I really mean this).

* Apparently there was a Nerds cereal and equally unappealing Candy Corn cereal in the past.

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The Puffs were introduced in 1997 and marketed with the tagline, "Candy...for breakfast!" The cereal is so blatantly on the sweets end of things that I heard they were forbidden even in the most liberal of cereal households. Truly a special occasion or dessert cereal.

So these are clearly a novelty item, but how do they taste?

Well come on.

Anyone who knows anything knows that Reese's Puffs are a superior cereal up there in the epic ranks of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Rice Krispies Treats Cereal. I'm a pretty big Reese's fan already so it wouldn't take much to win me over, but I marvel at every aspect of this glorious cereal.

It's made up of chocolate and peanut butter corn puffs, both kinds covered in a sort of peanut butter coating that provides that perfect Reese's hit. The Puffs are crispy, crunchy, and somehow creamy all at the same time with a very appealing saltiness factor. I never thought about salt in cereal in my younger years but it plays a huge role in the awesomeness of this cereal.

I actually can't put into words how freaking incredible Reese's Puffs are. Maybe the story below will help.

There's a reason why I've mentioned several times, and I hope I'm not alone, that I pretty much can't keep cereal in the house. Because I have absolutely no control whatsoever; that box will barely last a day and a half.

Any variety of troubling scenarios might occur. Like me standing in my kitchen at 11 p.m. crunching it down in dry, desperate handfuls or getting trapped in the milk-cereal cycle. You know, when you are left with too much milk so you add more cereal, then you have too much cereal so you add more milk, and so on. Pretty soon you're breathing heavily with an empty cereal box and a milk mustache.

Well, since the start of this column I've HAD TO keep cereal in the office for various research and inspiration. They stare me down every single day, the endless line of brightly colored boxes bringing to mind my childhood fantasy of being locked in a supermarket by accident. Occasionally, I'll keep a box on my desk, which always ends in disaster. Exhibit A : the Count Chocula incident of last week.

After hunting down Reese's Puffs, the first time I actually had to keep the box in the "faraway" editorial side of the office. Like, could not even keep them in my line of vision or it would have been over. Even with those precautions taken, I found myself awkwardly strolling over to the other side 5 to 10 times a day (for the two days the box lasted) and maybe re-arranging a few papers before giving up the charade and grabbing a clandestine handful, then quietly retreating back to my desk.

So back to the Puffs themselves.

This is one of those cereals that even a non-cereal lover is drawn to. Reese's has always been a crowdpleaser and this iteration of the choco-PB combo is no different. I could be perfectly content with them dry but, oh, when you add the milk! The smooth coating gives way to delicious, mouth-scraping puffs that keep their crispiness and leave behind a silky peanut butter milk. If you have never had them, good grief, GO, make haste and get a box NOW.

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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