Cereal Eats: Chocolate Lucky Charms

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[Photographs: Jessica Leibowitz]

Of the many things that weren't allowed in our cereal cabinet growing up, chocolate and marshmallows were probably the two most forbidden of all. Well, sure, we had health-food chocolate cereals, which are actually worse than having no chocolate cereals at all. They were shaped like stars or hearts to try to trick us but the taste is strange, like dark fruit juice and sadness.

After a while I just stopped pretending they were even chocolate and just accepted them as the brown-colored liars that they were. The healthy cereal makers don't even touch marshmallows. Whenever I mention Lucky Charms these days, people love asking, "Oh did you pick out all the marshmallows first or save them all for last like I did?" with big stupid happy smiles.

And I just stare at them, stone-faced. No, you fools, my childhood didn't involve marshmallows, so stop rubbing it in and go laugh with someone who can relate. Wow. Suppressed marshmallow bitterness coming to the surface.

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Anyway, I remember not knowing what to do with the marshmallows on my first encounter with Lucky Charms. In fact, I was more taken with the sweet little cereal pieces, far more sugary and delicious than any other cereal pieces I was eating. I might be the only person out there who actually LOVES the cereal part of Lucky Charms. Conversely, texture of the marshmallows creeped me out at first, and I could only eat them if they were totally milk-softened.

Of course, then came college when I more than made up for my Charm-less years and grew to love this fine, fine cereal in any way, shape, or form.

This brings me to Chocolate Lucky Charms, which I was shocked to find out were introduced way back in 2005. (Where on earth have I been?) Trying them made me think about other chocolate cereals.

My first chocolate cereal encounter was with Cocoa Krispies. They were part of a pack of mini-boxes and the prize of the bunch at that. The combo of chocolate cereal and the subsequent chocolate milk blew my 9-year-old mind.

Since then, I've been sneaking into friends' cabinets grabbing handfuls and hitting every continental breakfast I can to get to the good stuff. Cocoa Puffs are perhaps my favorite of the chocolate cereals minus my brief, short-lived fling with the Count—he was my first brush with marshmallows and chocolate in one bowl. Count Chocula is a superb cereal. The chocolate flavor of the cereal itself is awesome and the marshmallows have a mellow cocoa flavor, all of which results in addiction.

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So how do these compare to Chocolate Lucky Charms? The combination of crunchy, tasty little chocolate cereal pieces and those beloved Lucky Charms marshmallows make for a cereal that would have altered my childhood universe. Forget cake and pie and ice cream—this is all the dessert I need.

Not to mention how pleasing it is to the eye. I love how the marshmallows appear even more bright and vibrant against the sea of dark chocolately cereal. I wouldn't mind a photo of it hanging on my wall.

This is the kind of decadent cereal that I have to make a conscious effort not to buy for fear of eating the whole box in dry handfuls or desperate bowls. This is one cereal variation that most definitely works.

Has anyone out there tried Chocolate Lucky Charms? Any favorite lesser-known marshmallow cereals out there?

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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