I consider myself to embody several catch phrases in life. “Too Cool for School,” obviously, as well as “Don’t Tread on Me.” But when it comes to me and cereal, I differ to the always appropriate I’M CUCKOO FOR COCOA PUFFS.
It don’t just embrace my lunacy for the iconic
chocolate cocoa-flavored cereal, I wear it on my sleeve. Actually, I wear it over my barely sprouting manly chest-hair, because the shirt-sleeve shirt I have bearing the slogan doesn’t have much in the way of sleeves. Never-the-mind, the important point in this ungodly image is that while Cocoa Puffs may not be the epitome of chocolate’s sumptuous and sweet qualities, it remains, and always will remain, pretty much totally freaking awesome.
I don’t consider Fiber One totally freaking awesome. Marginally cool would be a better description. Like that kid in high school who every once in a while said something hilarious but for the most part tried too hard, Fiber One has a track record of hitting it big amid mostly average products. Truth be told, I’ve always felt the cereal to be the weak-end of the Fiber One line, although I admit their Honey Clusters and Original Cereals often find their way into my pantry. The 80 Calorie version? Not so much. I gave it a 7.5 in a past review, but looking back, I can see I was far too generous. Having finished the box I originally reviewed, I found it rife with off-brany flavors and too little honey taste. Plus, the amount of Fiber in it, and every other Fiber One product, is pretty much eat at your own risk. I don’t care what they say about Americans and fiber. This stuff makes you fart more than a kid in a whoopee cushion store.
This juxtaposition of totally freaking awesome kids cereal and marginally cool, sometimes worth-it fart-inducing diet cereal takes on relevancy given the latest addition to the Fiber One Line, 80 Calorie Chocolate (Enter Hungry Girl readers going blah blah OMG this is so totally great. You know what’s also great? A Double Double from In-N-Out. ADMIT IT!) I snagged a box for a cool $2.00 at Walmart, and set out to determine whether this could be one of those marginally cool moments in Fiber One product development.
Long story short, it is. It actually pains me to say it given the fact that a serving of 80 Calorie Chocolate is a whopping 20 more calories than a serving of Cocoa Puffs, but aside from a slight fibrous aftertaste, it’s really quite similar to my all-time cocoa, deer-poop looking favorite. I point this out because if you’re fussing over 20 calories or extra five grams of sugar in Cocoa Puffs, this is not the blog for you. I also bring this up because if you like snacking on dry cereal with a sturdy crunch and bittersweet cocoa taste that has a mellow, familiar flavor (Cocoa Puffs) than Fiber One 80 Calorie Chocolate is the cereal for you, provided you’re not easily prone to tooting, and/or prefer to buy cereals without talking animal mascots.
Because I am prone to both tooting and much prefer animals to numbers, I’m inclined to stick with Cocoa Puffs for snacking. As I mentioned, 80 Calorie Chocolate is good, but it does have a slight aftertaste that I can only describe as fibrous, and which offsets the other alkaline elements which make Cocoa Puffs so good in that middle-of-the-road chocolate spectrum we all can enjoy. The aftertaste isn’t something that registers so much until you add milk, which robs the cereal of much of its chocolate flavor and leaves each piece bitter and off-tasting. The milk becomes a deep brown — too brown for its own good, if you ask me — and tastes strongly of diet cocoa. In other words, it tastes like cocoa powder and splenda. Indulgent, it is not. Still, I can’t get over how much I am enjoying this cereal as a snack. The slight glaze on each piece even adds an enjoyable mouthfeel Cocoa Puffs can’t claim. It’s really not suppose to work this way…
I give props to Fiber One. While it’s mediocre in milk, I prefer my cereal eating in the hand-to-face method, so this works for me. It’s really a solid cocoa option as a dry snack, and a real improvement over the honey version of the cereal. I think I’ll even be picking up a box in the future every so often. I just wish it wasn’t marketed as a diet cereal, because it’s really going to clash with the ethos of Whoops All Berries and Utz Potato chips in my grocery bag.
Fiber One 80 Calories Chocolate (Nutrition)
- Price: $2.00 (Walmart)
- Rating (Dry): 7.5/10
- Rating (Milk): 3.0/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 55%