Merely uttering the phrase “Twinkies cereal” may cause a mild sugar rush. But you have to give credit to Hostess and the company Post — who have already transformed Oreos and Chips Ahoy! into cereal — for seizing an opportunity when they saw it. Yes, Twinkies cereal is real, and it will hit stores in December. So, when the folks at Post sent a box to Grub Street HQ, we knew there was only one thing to do: Fire up some cartoons, pour a few bowls, and give it a taste test. Then we managed to calm our jitters for long enough to type up our impressions. Here’s what you need to know:
You’ll smell it before you see it.
As we began pouring bowls for the test, one colleague commented on the fact that he could smell the cereal — even though he was sitting a good 15 feet away. If you want your home to smell like pure sugar and fake vanilla, this is the cereal to make it happen. “You can see they’re covered in sugar on the outside,” one tester pointed out.
They don’t taste like Twinkies.
The flavor is familiar, but as a cereal. It tastes less like traditional Twinkies and more like somebody made Rice Krispies out of marshmallows. It might not be what you expect, but our tasters also felt compelled — much to their own surprise — to finish their bowls.
Don’t expect any cream filling.
How do you engineer cereal to contain a creamy center? That remains unclear, because Twinkies cereal doesn’t have it. “But that’s the entire point of a Twinkie!” one taster bemoaned upon learning the bad news. The milk, of course, serves as a sort of deconstructed version, but it’s just not the same.
These things crunch.
Even in milk, the cereal stays surprisingly crunchy, although once you chew, the little Twinkie bits magically dissolve like little yellow sugar cubes. They are, much like actual Twinkies, a feat of industrial engineering.
Twinkies cereal is not for kids.
Our tasters agreed that you would have to be a seriously bad parent to give these little sugar bombs to anyone under the age of about 16. This is not a cereal for breakfast consumption; it is a cereal designed for late-night eating on the sofa, while you stream episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
This cereal leaves the milk disappointingly un-sweet.
Our tasters, having made peace with the fact that they were eating Twinkies cereal, looked forward to a sip of the leftover milk, which they expected to be spiked with lingering sugar. Alas, the milk mostly just tasted like milk. (Not a good thing.) One taster pointed out that maybe the cereal just needed to sit in the milk longer, until it got soggy, but nobody volunteered to give that idea a try.
We agreed that we actually … liked this?
The overwhelming opinion among our seven tasters was that the Twinkies cereal was resoundingly, and shockingly, good. (One person even admitted, bravely, they would be willing to eat Twinkies cereal every day.) The other tasters agreed, though, that this was probably more of a sometime food, as in, Hey, do you want to come over some time and get high?