A trip down the cereal aisle can provide an interesting lesson in semantics. On shelves proclaiming flavors like “honey nut” and “berry,” it goes without saying (‘saying,’ haha, get it?) that some disagreement is born from the labels of Chocolate cereal.
When you’re a little kid, everything chocolate tastes the same. Call it “the brown one” syndrome of developing and still maturing tastebuds, but there’s a certain and inherant lack of understanding for the complexities of the dark eats. What were left with, as cereal eaters, is an incomplete view of chocolate, born from a fundamental misunderstanding of cereals which don’t even promise “chocolate.”
Think about it. Cocoa Puffs. Cocoa Pebbles. Chocolatey Cap’n Crunch. Even freaking Special K Chocolatey Delight. Whether a simple sprinkling of cocoa processed with alkali or, in the case of Special K’s rendition, the addition of “fake” chocolate-flavored chips, most cereals fail to actually contain cocoa butter and solids in their ingredients. The result? Something that may have hints of chocolate sweetness or taste, but never something with true chocolate.
Chocolate Mini Wheats Little Bites is different.It starts with the title, but it doesn’t end there. With an ingredient list which shows semisweet chocolate as the third ingredient, it is, to my knowledge, the only mass produced cereal to include cocoa butter and solids in its ingredients. The addition of cocoa proceed with alkali only adds to the depth of chocolate flavor here, while a sturdy base of whole grain wheat provides structural integrity.
I’ve long-held Chocolate Mini Wheats Little Bites as one of my Top 5 cereals, but the recent rush for new products has kept me from purchasing it for a few months. That all ended in Target last week, when my usual conundrum over how to blow my ice cream tips took a turn for the tried and true.
As a snack, you can’t ask for much more. The pieces are the perfect size for munching on, and their steady crunch is studded with cocoa flavor and a sweet contrast of thick vanilla icing. Keeping the icing to one side is genius, as a play between the deeper notes to cocoa on one side and the sweeter notes of vanilla and semisweet chocolate permeate the other, finally coming together when the hammering crunch of your teeth comes down. But the real kicker is the small pieces of real chocolate chips tucked into the nuggets, which provide a burst of chocolate richness that tastes more of candy than cereal.
The easy portability and lack of obnoxious sugar coating usually earmarks these as a snacking cereal for me, but I’ll occasionally eat them in milk. It’s really not a bad option, because the little bites have great absorption ability, sucking in the the bovine’s nectar into their little wheat-filled capillaries like my vacuum sucks in the stink bug invasion going on in my family’s house. The vanilla glaze becomes exceptionally yummy as it slowly dissolves, while the little chocolate chips fall away from the cocoa layer and melt into the milk.
Clearly, this was a cereal made for a man who likes to use words. But it’s also a cereal that’ll make health freaks happy and sugarholics content. Balancing a solid dose of protein (5 grams) and fiber (6 grams) for 12 grams of sugar, it’s as complete as a breakfast as you’re going to find on this side of the
hippie natural food aisle.
Any other Chocolate Mini Wheats Little Bites fans out there? Also, what’s your favorite flavor of Mini Wheats?
(Calories: 190, Total Fat: 2 grams, Saturated Fat: 1 grams, Fiber: 6 grams, Sugar: 12 grams, Protein: 5 grams)
- Price: $2.66 (on sale at Target)
- Ranking: 10/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 100%