This post should ruffle some feathers.
(Note – this is a “British / UK blog” perspective on an American cereal)
In the numerous debates of which Chocolate Breakfast Cereal reigns supreme, the likes of Chocolate Chex, Chocolate Lucky Charms, Chocolate Frosties, Chocolate Cheerios, Cocopops, Kokoa Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Count Chocula have been named. Note that I have only named cereals which have some potential of colouring your milk: “healthy” variants like Special K don’t count, since the remnants of chocolate in that one hardly qualify.
Chocolate Lucky Charms aren’t available in the UK. You can get them from American Soda, with relatively cheap shipping too, since they don’t charge some GBP5 flat rate like most online grocers do.
Attack of the elves. It doesn’t get much better than that. The box art consists of this creature munching on a HUGE bowl of cereal. Does this attract kids? I have absolutely no idea. It actually seems almost nightmarish, akin to a massive Clown attack (many of us have a secret clown phobia that lies deep within us.)
Chocolate cereal with dehydrated marshmallows. Not much deviation from typical Lucky Charms here – I suppose there isn’t any reason for changing a successful formula that’s lasted through the decades.
Curious shapes. Another manufacturing masterpiece – akin to the Cascadian Farm Clifford Crunch shapes which had holes in them. Wait a minute – these two cereals don’t merely resemble each other in aesthetic complexity: they DO have similar shapes. That’s odd. The only difference being their colour – one is massively cocoa-stained.
Size is similar too, so I need not delve into that.
The key difference in Chocolate Lucky Charms is the heavy-handed addition of dehydrated marshmallows. These are similar to the ones in the conventional Lucky Charms, multi-coloured little tykes. You can see that there really ARE quite a lot of marshmallows in this cereal. The producers aren’t deceptive producers like Kellogg’s who add minuscule chocolate pieces to Special K Chocolate. The only way to explain this, would be through a picture.
Texture – ooh. I’d expected threethings:
1) Typical chocolate / cocopops crunch
2) Some crispy, then puffy bites of marshmallow
3) Cereal gets mushy like any typical Cocoa Puff out there.
Guess what? My expectations were met.
There’s nothing SPECIAL about this one. Mediocre crunch, expected marshmallow texture, expected duration-to-mushy-ness. Note how I don’t say I was “disappointed” here. I had expected this.
Maybe the good part of this cereal is something I will never understand. I think it’s the NOSTALGIA evoked when one chews on the marshmallow; the yield of the crispy crunch to the “dissolving puff” of it, that I can’t associate with, having never eaten this cereal in my childhood.
Texture – PLAIN, with some surprise through the marshmallows.
Oh yes – a note on the cereal milk produced. This one stains your milk. A nice brown – like your horribly sweet Cocoa Krispies. Not just physically – but you can detect that faint chocolate taste in the milk as well, though not as apparently as those in Cocopops / Krispies. Some would say this alone makes Chocolate Lucky Charms worthwhile as a chocolate cereal. I don’t think so. That’s just one aspect of the following.
Now: the deciding factor in most battles of the “Chocolate Breakfast Cereal” kind, which many so-called cereals have lost: Does Chocolate Lucky Charms confer the chocolate hit that so many of us crave?
Nope. Sad to say. To me, it fails to. Why?
On biting into this, there was a vague familiarity in the cereal. As the trapdoors of cereal memories opened in my mind, with tastes of previously-had breakfast cereals revealing themselves, I realized these tasted of Cocoa Krispies. Plain, simple, low-cocoa content sweetness. I had expected so much more – taste-wise – of the famed Chocolate Lucky Charms which theimpulsivebuy, Grubgrade, and others had spoken of. The chocolate-y flavour was there: it was just too simple.
Of course, you could say that I’m being an ass for expecting so much. After all, this is a kids’ cereal we’re talking about here. Not some artisan chocolate product.
“You buy these off the shelves, for crying out loud.”
My rebuttal: Yeah, but if Reese’s Puffs, Cap’n Crunch, and Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins can give me that rich, dense PB hit, why can’t this? If some granolas can give me a decent cocoa hit, why can’t this?
Chocolate aside, the marshmallows were fabulous. Lightly sweetened to match its light texture, a dissipating, fine sugar-compound that is more complex than you think, as if it was “packable cake icing”. Phew. I see why people can succeed on creating businesses around the sole purpose of selling these cereal marshmallows. Cereal marshmallows are incredibly versatile, and match any breakfast cereal base.
Nutritionals: 120 kcal for a 3/4 cup. Not bad – similar to your range of chocolate breakfast cereals out there (pretty close to Chocolate Cheerios too). So this cereal doesn’t score particularly highly on this point.
Plain-jane chocolate cereal with some fancy-schmancy, yet time-tested marshmallows to add a crispy-puffy bite. I wouldn’t pick this over Cocopops for chocolate-y-ness, but I would pick it over the rest for it’s marshmallows.
UK readers: pop by American Soda, to get some!
-The Exercising Male