Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Afghanistan (in which case, the U.S. Army is coming for you) or you’re just a general Scrooge who lives in your own little world (in which case, stop reading my damn blog) you may have noticed Christmas is a week away. Obviously this means lots of great stuff. Jesus, for starters, with requisite shout-outs to the holiday cheer of presents, carols, and yes, lots and lots of food. Aside from buffets filled with honey glazed hams, Christmas cookies (cocoa crinkles, please), and – for our Jewish friends – delicious assortments of latkes, Christmas inspires another traditional treat; Captain Crunch’s Christmas Crunch.
Despite having a stocked cereal pantry, I decided that for $2.50 this cereal commanded my hard-earned dollar on a late November sweep of Walmart. First introduced during my 1988, the cereal was welcomed into the world in all it’s green and red festivity at the same time which I entered the planet. There is, however, no documentation of my eating this cereal during the lead-up to my first Christmas. There is also no evidence that Charles Dickens meant to include it in place of Figgy Pudding during while composing his classic Christmas Carol. Both circumstances, I should say, are a real damn shame.
I didn’t let either of these unfortunate facts deflect my excitement for letting my inner child rule the day in the vicarious form of some good old-fashioned, limited-time only junkfood cereal. Having been subjected to several ho-hum ‘adult’ Christmases in which both LEGOs and Star Wars action figures remained consciously absent from under the tree, you might say I’ve been waiting to let that kid out for quite some time. And, like eight-year old Adam proudly opening that amazing machine known as the Sega Genesis during a childhood Christmas, so I tore through the packaging on Christmas Crunch. I was met immediately by the fruity-ish yet inexplicably Christmasy smell of red and green crunchberry pieces, and proceeded to down my first few spoonfuls with such excitement that I almost forgot to actually taste the cereal. Almost, because like all renditions of Cap’n Crunch, the cereal’s crunchy corn pieces refuse to dissolve into mush when in milk. You either love it or you hate it. I love it like I love the fact that Johnny Football won the Heisman.
The corn pieces are your standard if not delicious Cap’n Crunch nuggets of corn and oats. Sweet but with a touch of salt, I’ve always felt they fit the definition of crispy-crunchy as opposed to just crunchy, but regardless, they’re scrumptious thanks to a hint of brown sugar and coconut oil. Now, as for the Holiday shapes of red and green. It’s been said they do not exactly taste like traditional Crunchberries, but I disagree. They actually taste like Strawberry Crunchberries, which contain, as Leandra points out, a “vaguely fruity flavor.” Note that this is true for both the red and green pieces. Don’t ask me why the green pieces taste like strawberry crunchberries. It’s the same reason why some of the trees shapes are red and some of the Santa hat shapes are green. THEY JUST ARE. Call it a Christmas miracle, or attribute it to the magic of Santa Clause, but in either case, it’s best beyond our human understanding. And it’s best left that way.
The cereal is incredibly sweet to be sure — so sweet, in fact, that I’m think Kirby the Dentist-Elf would file a formal protest with Cap’n Santa Clause Crunch. Thing is, I’m confident the Cap’n isn’t actually Santa Clause. The borrow a phrase from Kevin McAlister in Home Alone, “he works for him.” While cereals which are overly sweet often get a bad rap, I feel like the taste of corn and hint of salt do bring some balance to the party. And of course, an overly sweet cereal is better than and cereal with not enough sweetness when it comes to producing end-milk. Thanks perhaps to that baked-in coconut oil fruitiness, the Christmas Crunch end-milk has that drink-the-bowl-with-two-hands quality about it.
Is Cap’n Crunch’s Christmas a better tasting cereal than Cap’n Crunch Crunchberries? Probably not, but that’s ok. The novelty alone of buying a Christmas Cereal is worth it, while the shapes make excellent decorating adornments should you decide to play White Christmas in your vanilla ice cream. I highly recommend this, and highly recommend Christmas Crunch as an essential part of any proper Holiday feast. Even if your Jewish.
Your Turn: Favorite Christmas food? Love the Cap’n as I do, it’s cookies for me. And how awesome would a Hanukkah cereal with dradle shapes and chocolate coin pieces be? Answer? Freaking awesome.
Cap’n Crunch Christmas Crunch
- Price: $2.50 (Walmart)
- Ranking: 8.5/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 100%