As the kind of verbose blogger who likes to break every single facet about every single item I put into my belly into painstaking — one might even say, molecular – detail, I’m naturally suspicious of concise, matter-of-fact comments. Like this one:
I’ve got them, they’re good.
The comment came from a well-known cereal expert in his own right, whose five simple words regarding the new Peanut Butter Toast Crunch seemed to hint at a “thank you for stating the obvious” response one would assume only natural when peanut butter combines with one of the world’s greatest cereals. Clearly you’d expect Peanut Butter Toast Crunch to be good, but why is it good, asks the curious reader? Is the peanut flavor roasted and natural tasting? Does the cereal maintain the integrity of crispness found in normal Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Is the balance of sweet and salty just what a peanut butter lover would and should enjoy, evoking both a visceral and emotional response that simultaneously touches the taste buds and evokes memories alike?
The answer is “yes” to all of the above, and having now tried Peanut Butter Toast Crunch, I’m inclined to not only agree with this esteemed cereal expert, but I’m inclined to admit that his five simple words summed up the cereal perfectly.
The first thing that hits you is the smell of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. Wendell, that lovable plump French baker who adorns the box, may be holding a jar of generic looking peanut butter , but the smell suggests anything but cheap and processed. The depth of peanuty flavor comes across as bolder than almost any other peanut butter flavor cereal or snack I’ve had, including, I should add, peanut butter cookies. There is a Golden Graham hue going on here, but the crispy,cinnamon and sugar-coated ridges of the classic Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares are still there. So is my main man Wendell:
I started with a dry handful and immediately thought, “hey, these are pretty good,” but after allowing the flavors to develop as I chewed on, I started to realize how good the crunchy little morsels are. Not just “pretty good.” More than “really good.” They were, for lack of a more profound description, really, really freaking good.
Crunchy, sweet, salty, and cinnamon-ey, each handful develops into the kind of chewy and comforting taste and texture that is so beloved with a peanut butter and honey sandwich. There’s a real “stick your roof” effect that allows you to savor the depth of peanut butter flavor, which tastes as if it’s not only coating each piece of cereal, but as if it’s been baked in by skillful French hands (albeit stubby cartoon hands.)
I enjoyed Peanut Butter Toast Crunch in milk, but I didn’t love it. This is where “they’re good,” doesn’t reveal any deeper meaning, but more accurately depicts a slightly less peanut buttery sweetness that occurs to the pieces in milk. Sure, they still hold their crunch, while the texture turns into a mushy slurry that might bring the cereal closer to actual peanut butter, but I felt like even a 50/50 cut of skim milk and half-and-half wasn’t good enough to make the cereal preferable to snacking dry. The end-milk, accordingly, was good, but I would have prefered it a bit sweeter.
Prior to eating Peanut Butter Toast Crunch I would have ranked Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs cereal as my favorite peanut butter cereal, with Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch coming in a respectable second. Following the release of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch though, I’m apt to give Wendell at least the second spot. I stress at least because, when faced with equally priced versions of Reese’s Puffs and Peanut Butter Toast Crunch and only enough money to buy one of the boxes, I’ll borrow a lesson from one of my favorite Old Testiment figures. Drawing from the wisdom of King Solomon, I’d chop both boxes and half and combine them together, because I don’t think any cereal lover or peanut butter fiend could be made to make such a gut wrenching decision.
Nice job, Wendell. As far as I’m concerned, you have more than made amends for the nonsense you attempted to bake up with last year’s release of Frosted Toast Crunch. But please, for the love of all things sweet and salty, make an appearance in the commercial this time around!*
Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
- Price: $2.50 (Walmart)
- Ranking: 9.0/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 100%
*As you may know, Peanut Butter Crunch was first introduced in 2005, although I, a sophomore in high school at the time, was likely in too much of a “I’m too cool for the world” mood to care. Marvo actually reviewed the cereal for TheImpulsiveBuy.com back in those days, although I can’t imagine the cereal he tasted then and what I hold in my cabinet now consist of the same formula.