By now you are probably (overly) familiar with the status of my childhood cereal cabinets. It was a healthy land of twigs and barely sweetened flakes and O's that just weren't Cheerios, no matter how hard they tried. But there was a small band of cereals (a band of rebels if you will) that somehow infiltrated into this land, which was harshly ruled by my mother's iron fist.
I'm not talking about the twice-yearly allowance of a box of sweet cereal. I'm talking moments when my mom just wasn't paying close enough attention and somehow these brightly colored cereals made it into the shopping cart and into my breakfast bowl. They never lasted long; my sister and I would kill a box in two or three days. Honey Bunches of Oats occasionally made it through, even Multi-Grain Cheerios a time or two, but the greatest of all was Frosted Mini-Wheats.
On those occasions when the Wheats made it into the house (looking back it happened far more often than made sense, but I certainly wasn't going to question it), my sister and I would marvel at the thick and smooth sugary coating on each little Wheat, ate massive bowls soaked in milk and grabbed huge dry handfuls in between meals. I left certain cereals behind when I went to college, spent years ignoring them, maybe re-discovering them later, but Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats and I have been happily together all these years.
I loved them then, I love them now, and I'll continue to love them.
I've sort of ignored the growing selection of Frosted Mini-Wheat varieties. I am such a die-hard lover of the original, I've almost been afraid to try these. But the time has come to explore.
Original Bite Size: Do I need to talk about these more? I love every inch of these little guys. I love them dry, I love the way they break apart, I love that good wheat-y flavor and that frosty slick of white. I love them in milk, the way they soften, the excellent cereal milk left behind and most of all, the cereal dust. One of my all-time favorite cereals and I want to shout it from the rooftops.
Chocolate Little Bites: Some of you (lookin' at you, A Serial Cereal Eater) have sung the praises of this cereal; it has sort of been built up as a legend in my mind. How does it measure up? First off, I love the size of this cereal. Very fun to eat. Yet I can't quite put my finger on the flavor; it doesn't taste anything like any other chocolate cereals, but I like it. Even though it's chocolate and frosted, it is in no way too sweet. In milk, it gets even better. I kept going back for more of this one.
Blueberry Muffin: Thrilled to see this under-used flavor getting some play and impressed with the pretty blue frosting but alas, I cannot get behind this one. Blueberry flavor is just too strong and candy-like. For serious berry-flavor lovers only!
Strawberry Delight: Once again, loving the candy-pink color but this was by far my least favorite of the Wheats. Tastes scarily like bubble gum. Guess the pink should have tipped me off but I wanted to like it so much. I can't even recommend this to berry-flavor lovers.
Cinnamon Streusel: My other favorite besides chocolate and a favorite around SEHQ. It's good dry, but once submerged in milk, this cereal really works. A great example of cinnamon done right. I'd go back for this one.
Touch of Fruit - Mixed Berry: Hidden Treasures back from the dead? I was super excited and curious about this cereal! Of course, it's only like Hidden Treasures in theory (and let's be honest, Hidden Treasures was only good in theory). Though there were mixed feelings around the office, I kind of love these. The lightly sweet Wheats make a good match for the tiny squirt of fruit filling. Similar to mini-Nutrigrain bars, but...more fun.
Touch of Fruit - Raspberry: I'm usually such a raspberry fan, but not in this case. Can you differentiate between this and the Mixed Berry variety? Absolutely yes - these are hardly edible. Stick with the Mixed Berry.
Listen, I love variety. I know I've gone on about new versions gone wrong and the overwhelming selection of cereals (and candy bars for that matter) now that everyone needs a chocolate version or a berry version or a peanut butter version. But part of the whole joy and fun of cereal is standing back in the aisle and gazing at those hundreds of colored boxes. But when it comes to Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats, I will be sticking with the original and loving every bite.
Note: I realize I did not cover Original Big Bite, Unfrosted Bite Size and Little Bites - Cinnamon Roll. Guess I'll have to eat more Wheats ... don't mind if I do.