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December 3, 2019

Sign of the Apocalypse: Twinkies Cereal

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Reviewed by Emily Heil in the Washington Post as follows:

New Twinkies cereal tastes like a spoonful of sugary nostalgia — and never gets soggy

In the mathematics of current food marketing, one plus one is somehow more than two.

At least that's an explanation for the ever-increasing mania for mashups of popular brands: Doritos to form the shells of Taco Bell tacos! Pizza Hut pizzas in the shape of... Cheez-Its!

The latest in this lineage of food-world centaurs is Twinkies cereal, a potentially unholy alliance between snack company Hostess, the maker of the iconic spongy "cream"-laced sweet, and Post, which has been filling the bowls of sugar-craving children since before Saturday morning cartoons (or TVs, for that matter) were even a thing.

The resulting cereal is puffy bits of corn flour sculpted into miniaturized versions of the log-shaped Twinkies that the companies, in joint marketing materials, promise (or threaten, depending on your tastes) "replicates the distinctive taste and familiar oblong shape of the golden-colored snack cake, delivering delightful sweetness in every bite."

The boxes, with their cartoonish image of a giant bowl full of the breakfast item (its milk inexplicably splashing out of the sides), will hit grocery store shelves in late December, the companies say.

But they sent us an early sample to taste.

And taste we did, dear reader.

We readied our spoons — and because the companies insisted the cereal was also meant to be enjoyed "outside the bowl," we also popped some, sans dairy.

The verdict, your honor?

As a hand-to-mouth snack, we didn't like them much. They left a cheese-puff-like dust on our hands, and the pungent scent of butterscotch was a little too much.

But add some milk and the cereal was pretty good, albeit nearly sweet enough to serve as breakfast for Will Ferrell's strung-out-on-glucose Buddy the Elf.

The cereal's makers weren’t kidding about that "sweetness in every bite."

The first two ingredients listed are dextrose (corn-derived sugar) and regular sugar.

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Each serving contains 16 grams of added sugars, which is about a third of the daily recommended sweet stuff, but at least that's less than the 19 grams you'd get from eating an actual Twinkie.

December 3, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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