The Cereal Quest: Days 220 – 224 – Nestle Nesquik Cereal

Another cereal, another 5 servings, this time I bought the cereal to stop the rot, the rot in my gut.  I needed a break from the heavily oat based cereals, I needed a comfort cereal.  Unfortunately, since I last had Nesquik it has changed, for the worse.  The chocolate flavour is there visibly, but the chocolatey flavour has all but gone.  It’s very crunchy and to be fair it leaves a nice flavoured milk but this does not make up for the fact they have dropped flavour in favour of more wheat to make it better for kids.  It did not make it better for me as on the 5th and final day after breakfast I headed to work, I got to work at 9am, by 10.30am I had been to the loo in a big way 5 times.  It was immensely embarrassing and awkward and most importantly, painful.  My goodness me, not even Andrex with Shea Butter could have stopped me from the burning pain of 5 quick trips.  On the plus side during eating Nesquick cereal I did get introduced to bar billiards by Mlekotaki Darren and played a couple of games in a small bar, it was quality, and I can confirm I have never lost a game of bar billiards in my life, what a fact. I drove home and immediately looked on eBay to buy a bar billiards table, I was excited, excitement lasted at best 2 minutes when I realised that even a used battered 2nd hand one would cost me the best part of £600.00.  In a brief conclusion to Nesquik, it owes my boss about an hour of work but has given me an undefeated record at bar billiards.

Here is my review of Nesquik cereal:

Cereal Cost: £2.49
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 49.9p
Pros – Good milk, stays crunchy in milk.
Cons – Embarrassingly regular toilet trips.

The Cereal Quest: Days 215 – 219 – Stop in the Name of Love – Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Clusters Honey and Nut

After some rather pathetically expensive muesli I was looking forward to something new, something that sounded like it would taste good so off to the shops I popped and bought Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Clusters with Honey and Nuts, sounded good, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes are essentially corn flakes with honey and nuts so for clusters of them to be put with more honey and nuts sounded like a taste explosion.  I enjoyed my first bowl and then read the box, in hindsight it was the wrong way round to do things, on the box, the main ingredient was…….oats.  This was the first of what was to be 5 bowls in 5 days.  This cereal was the first cereal that made my wife ask me to stop eating them, she really didn’t want me to complete the box, I really was unwell with these, my body was unstable and my body movements were agonising.  I actually didn’t mind the taste of them, the oats (although the primary ingredient) were hidden well by the honey and nuts.  It was like I was a poorly cat and they had slipped the oats in with other food to trick me in to eating them.  The week felt long and tough, I couldn’t eat them twice a day because they were making me really ill and I will have to be really careful with similar cereals too.  It has also been incredibly hot this week, talks a of ‘heat wave’ in England are a rare thing so what better way to celebrate than run the skittles stall at the local church fete for the day, outside, in the wave of heat, this I did, this I found particularly warm and on the day I was going to risk a 2nd bowl simply didn’t feel like eating.  In  a honey and nut-shell, these taste just about average but are terrible for ones body.

Here is my review for Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Clusters with Honey and Nut:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 53.8p
Pros – Actually tastes quite nice.
Cons – Yet more for the avoid if you have IBS club.  Also may make your wife want to ban cereal consumption.

The Cereal Quest: Days 209 – 214 – 50 Down with Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli

Who would have thought I would celebrate my 50th cereal of the cereal quest with Muesli?  Certainly not me.  But I quite often don’t think things that end up happening.  So was it a celebratory cereal, did Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli taste so good that I was I tempted to put 50 candles in it?  No.  It was a massive disappointment with a horrible unexpected twist.  I started it on the Monday I was instantly disappointed, yet again Dorset Cereals miss out on the vital ingredient of muesli which as we all know is, milk whey powder, there is simply nothing to bind the ingredients together, it doesn’t taste nice and creamy and despite pouring milk on it the Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli tasted watery.  All this is bad, but what is worse is the slightly delayed realisation that for some reason they decided to add prunes to the mix, prunes, danger, prunes, pain, prunes, IBS, prunes, me not like.  It was day 2 when they hit when I had an ‘incident’ in Little Chef, I wrote to them to let them know I had a little issue with their establishment:

“Dear Sir/Madam,

Re. Little Chef on the Northbound A34.

On Tuesday I had to travel to Manchester from the sunny South of England, we were up bright and early, I tiptoed through the house like a mouse wearing those slippers that have carpet on the bottom as my wife had made it very clear that if I was to wake our daughter up at 5.30am I may well not enjoy the ‘chat’ we had when I got home. I was not really looking forward to such a long drive, especially a long drive which involves the most frustrating road in the country, the A34.  The good news was that we knew you would be waiting for us as our journey up the A34 was nearing its end.  As we approached we saw your Little Chef man smiling, looking like a 10 year old who had just completed a dance routine in a middle school musical and he entice us inside to try some of the delights he had to offer.  I didn’t need to peruse your menu for long, I was hungry as I had resisted having cereal at home and instead decided I would have cereal in the evening and something from you on the journey for breakfast.  That something was to be your Olympic Breakfast.  The breakfast itself was quite nice, although no need for a tomato in my opinion, I would have quite happily swapped the tomato for another sausage because as the old saying goes “It takes more than one sausage to make a swan jump hurdles.”.  I was full up after I had eaten it, I sipped at my now over stewed tea and my stomach gurgled.  Yesterday I had started eating Dorset Cereals Muesli, unfortunately I did not read the box before I ate my bowlful and only later did I realise the rather unnecessary and unwanted addition of prunes to the mix.  Prunes are like wasps, there is no point to them and when you get close to them they bring you to tears.  Unfortunately after enjoying my Olympic breakfast and sat comfortably in the booth you provided my stomach started cramping so I had to depart the conversation with my colleagues and venture in to your enjoyably decorated toilets, I felt at peace with the bird song and cleverly painted scenery all around as I sat down to help clear out what had become a bit of a curdled mess in my intestines.  I was relaxed and that helped me, until suddenly the toilet I was sat on flushed causing me to bolt forward in shock. As my body relaxed again I leaned back again to resume what was becoming quite a drawn out trip, as I leaned back the toilet flush again, effectively acting as a bidet, this was unappreciated.  Despite what the French think bidet’s are not luxurious, they are not enjoyable and they are certainly not enjoyable when they are a surprise bidet, if I want to wash I will wash in a bath or shower, or if desperate, in the rain.  As the toilet water now surrounded my buttocks and non-discussables I reached for some toilet tissue to dry myself, but then as I went to dry myself it flushed again.  It was at this point I realised that you have got toilets with a hand sensor flush which ordinarily is no bad thing (hygiene wise) but you had positioned the flush activator directly behind the back of the toilet user, in this case me.  This is foolishness of the highest order.  I had to complete my trip in the most awkward of positions, it must have looked like I was sniffing my shins.   I doubt it was your personal fault, perhaps if I hadn’t of eaten muesli containing prunes I wouldn’t have ended up sniffing my shins but please do something about the positioning of the flush sensor.  It spoilt a nice breakfast trip.
Many thanks,
Phil Botto
P.S – Thanks for the lollipop.”
They are yet to reply.  Nor have they published the letter to their feedback section on their website.  The prunes continued to lay in to me like a Chun Li’s kick on Street Fighter, non stop pain to my stomach.  I was far from happy with Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli.  At one point I found myself struggling to even digest them, I couldn’t swallow them knowing that each spoonful accounted for approximately another 2 minutes in the loo.  I wouldn’t recommend these to anyone.  This week I also played rubbish at football, and sweated plentifully in the evening.  All in all far from a classic.
Here is my review for Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli:
Cereal Cost: £2.99
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 49.18p
Pros – Weight loss.
Cons – Awful for IBS, prunes, watery taste, expensive.

The Cereal Quest: Day 208 – The Granolasaurus Wrecks – My Day

Good news – this mornings bowl was the last bowl of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Glorious Oat Granola.

Bad news – after about 40 minutes in agony on the loo (including 3 flushes just to clear the way for more) I spent the whole afternoon and evening on edge, this was far from an enjoyable feeling, I felt so tender, just agonisingly tender, oh granola you are a dangerous dangerous cereal.

Here are the vital statistics for Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Glorious Oat Granola:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 3
Cost per Serving: 89.6p
Pros – Taste good, really sweet and enjoyable
Cons – Stabs you in the back, after complimenting taste it ruined my stomach, it was also extortionate.

The Cereal Quest: Day 206 – The End of Cookie Crisp Brownie

Those reading the post title need not panic, I don’t mean for Nestlé, purely its for me, the box is gone.  Yet again I found them salty which is really odd, I waited til I had finished all of them and set about composing a reply to Zack at Nestlé consumer relations:

“Hi Zack,

Thank you for your reply, don’t panic about misrepresentation I am not going legal on you, I have bigger fish to fry (not literally, I hate fish and especially the smell they release during the cooking process).
My letter was merely to make you aware of the lack of brownie or cookie flavour which although may easily trick children doesn’t fool me.  I wanted to wait until I had finished the box off before I replied, this morning I finished the box.  6 servings and the box was as gone as my dream of partnering Steve Fletcher upfront for AFC Bournemouth.  I decided I would email you when I got in to work.  On my way in to work I almost crash my car going round a long bend, this was because on the other side of the road there was a cyclist going round the bend downhill, he had clearly been pedaling hard (I could see this because he had enough sweat pouring off his body to provide a safe home for at least 3 goldfish) but as he was going downhill he was pedaling backwards to indicate he had not got a care in the world unfortunately this played tricks with my eyes and luckily I had the cat like driving reflexes to avoid a slow pensioner in a now rarely sighted mini metro.  After I had maneuvered past this lady I approached a roundabout and saw hundreds of advertising leaflets for a local double glazing company, it was clear the paper boy had just lobbed them on to the dual carriageway rather than taking the time to insert them in to his local newspaper prior to delivery, as I tutted to myself I felt inward guilt and now feel the need to confess something to you.
Around 1995/6 someone I knew did a local village newspaper round, prior to delivery I usually helped put the leaflets in between the pages and on occasions companies used to put samples of their products in to also be delivered.  One week the samples to be delivered were a 2 pack of Shredded Wheat, Nestle Shredded Wheat, your Shredded Wheat.  Realising that the additional thickness of the Shredded Wheat to our papers would mean restocking our luminous newspaper satchels (sponsored by the Daily Echo) a ridiculous amount of times it was decided that he would keep the Shredded Wheat in our garage instead of delivering it.  I will be honest, I ate at least 24 of the Shredded Wheat over the summer, it was a treat for me as I was used to cereals from the local market like ‘Wheat Shreds’ or ‘Corny Flaked Cereal’ or on birthdays ‘Coco Poofs’ (a cereal name that to this date makes me chuckle).  I don’t know what the other boy did with the rest but I am 100% sure he didn’t deliver them to villagers.  I owe you for about a full box of Shredded Wheat, I am sorry.  To be truthful over the past 9 months or so I have spent more than enough with Nestle Cereals but if you want to be reimbursed for my 10 year old Shredded Wheat theft just let me know and I will arrange payment.  Again I am sorry and I can assure you I haven’t stolen cereal from a local based marketing campaign since.  Any way I am writing to ask why there was a salty taste to the last 33.33% of my box of Nestle Cookie Crisp Brownie?  Any ideas?  I found it odd and couldn’t decide whether it was a welcome addition or not.
Best regards,
P.S – In my head there is only one Zack, and he was in Saved by the Bell, surely Zack is to cool a name to be a consumer relations person for Nestle?”
I hope I have made my points clear to Nestlé and I hope they don’t want to to pay my debt.   As I said, this mornings serving bought an end to the box so here are the vital statistics and my Cookie Crisp Brownie Review:
Cereal Cost: £2.49
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 41.5p
Pros – Taste nice (although not of Brownie), surprising amount of servings in the box.
Cons – Don’t taste like brownies or cookies.  This is their biggest fault.
As this cereal ended another had to begin so I started upon some more granola, brilliant:
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Glorious Oat Granola to be precise.  I am hopefully not the only one who would think that this might contain any of the main ingredients of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, after all it is clearly using the ‘Crunchy Nut’ brand.  Unfortunately, much like its predecessor Cookie Crisp Brownie, this cereal has nothing to do with its name, they are just jumping on the Crunchy Nut bandwagon and trying to make granola seem like an attractive option.  This granola was like lots of mini bits of very crunchy fruit flapjack, it actually tasted alright and had a good sweetness to it.  Disappointingly this was the calm before the storm and my intestines reacted badly to the arrival of tons of oats, IBS and granola are as comfortable to my stomach as a burning hot cattle prod would be.  Please, please be a one off (or two in quick succession off, as it was today).

The Cereal Quest: Day 205 – A Reply from Nestlé

This mornings bowl of Nestlé Cookie Crisp Brownie still had no taste of cookies or brownies, aside from that it was an enjoyable crunchy wake up call. It is worth noting that the apparent chocolate chips in fact are not, they are there for appearance and in no other way do they resemble the humble chocolate chip you will have no doubt baked with as a child (one for me, one for the cake), this is seemingly the way Nestlé are focussing on this cereal, for them it’s all about appearance. At lunch time during my 2nd of today’s bowls I noticed that several of the ‘brownies’ were very salty, which added a lot of peculiar savouriness to this otherwise sweet treat. As I sat down to lunch I noticed an email I had received, it was from Nestlé, it was a reply, a reply that left me a bit confused, what do you think?

Dear Sir,

Thanks for your email – it was a very enjoyable read and it definitely will be shared within the department!

I’m sorry to learn that you do not feel this cereal is not truly reflective of its name; I would like to reassure you that we have not set out to misrepresent this cereal. All our pack designs, titles etc are checked with our legal and regulatory department to ensure that the packs, cereals are not in any way misleading the consumer.

May I reassure you that we take all consumer comments seriously as consumer feedback is important to us. I will ensure that your comments are brought to the attention of our Research & Marketing Teams for future reference.

I appreciate the time you have taken to contact us and thank you for the very entertaining read.

Warm Regards,

Consumer Relations

The Cereal Quest: Day 204 – A Letter to the Good People of Nestlé

So this morning I ate another bowl of extremely crunchy Nestlé Cookie Crisp Brownie, they were very crunchy, scratch the roof of your mouth crunchy, but that I think is a good thing. The chocolate milk they left me was a pleasure it really was a precious morning gift.  At lunch time I went to have another bowl and spent the whole bowl looking for a glimmer, a sign, a tiny taste of brownie type flavour, the search was hard the quest to find brownie taste was about as hard as a snails quest to cross the Sahara.  It frustrated me and prompted me to get in touch with Nestlé:

“Dear Sir/Madam, 

I am writing to you in regards to your New Cookie Crisp Brownie cereal.  
As I perused the shelves in Tesco’s yesterday lunch time to find a new cereal to try I was whistling the only two lines I know of the song ‘Hot Time Summer in the City’ by ‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’ repeatedly, it was after all a beautiful summers day.  A man walked past clutching a hot chicken he had picked up from the hot food counter, he was holding it tight like it was the remains of a loved one, it bemused me how fond he was of this dead cooked chicken that I found myself staring at him accidentally in a way that suggested his behaviour was a tad confusing to me.  He didn’t appreciate me staring and made it clear by tutting under his breath, his tut was just about loud enough for me to hear.  He walked pretty much at me so I had to dodge out the way and I found my left leg clattering in to a display of your new Cookie Crisp Brownie cereal, I was confused because a) I hadn’t meant to irritate the man and b) because I hadn’t seen your cereal on the cereal shelves (it’s natural home) so was surprised to see it next to jars and jars of Uncle Ben’s Sweet and Sour sauce, Uncle Ben’s gleaming shiny bald head was glistening in the light.  I figured it must be fate so decided I would pick up a box of your Cookie Crisp Brownie and take it to the till.  I paid and then took it back to my car, on the way to my car I saw a man getting on to a Harley Davidson, he was a fairly large chap and he was wearing a leather jacket (which for the weather was ludicrous) with ‘Harley Davidson’ on the back, I found it a little funny that Harley Davidson riders wear Harley Davidson clothing, I am yet to find a Nissan Almera Tino jacket to wear in my car, if you ever come across one please do let me know.  When I got back to work I poured out a bowl of your new cereal, they looked like they were going to taste really good, after all the name of the product and look of the product make it look like mini chocolate brownies and as a man quite fond of all sorts of cakes (ask my wife, she will no doubt confirm) this was pleasing to me.  Unfortunately this was where most of my happiness ended.  You see your cereal is very good at looking nice but when it comes to taste it has about as much in common with chocolate brownies as I do DIY skills (again feel free to ask my wife, a shelf I put up literally pulled itself out of the wall the other week almost crushing my daughters pink ukulele).  In the late 1990′s I appeared in a local church pantomime production of Cinderella, I was playing the part of an ugly sister, I really did look the part in a lovely floral dress kindly donated by an elderly member of the congregation specifically for use in the pantomime, I even put on a fairly convincing high ladies voice to complete the character, a voice that I know I would never be able to replicate these days given my age and the fact that I am now more of a man.  You see although for that excellent 90 minute musical production I was an ugly sister the reality of it was that when it finished I took off the dress, put back on my corduroy trousers and cardigan and was back to being my normal teenage boy self.  I was not and will never be a woman, or a sister, ugliness maybe, but never a female.  Hopefully you can see what this analogy is all about.  Unfortunately your cereal dresses its self up to look great and chocolate brownie like but that is where the comparisons stop.  Taste wise it isn’t terrible, I have tried a lot worse cereals recently (Jordan’s Super Nutty Granola for example) but I am frustrated by the fact it simply does not taste like brownies and in the big scheme of food related importance ‘taste’ is fairly high up.  I let it slide with original Cookie Crisp (which also tastes nothing like cookies) but felt the need to share my frustrations on your second Cookie Crisp release.  I am letting you know as I know how important customer feedback is and I hope you can take my points on board.  Finally I also spotted on the back of your box (which includes a nice range of entertaining puzzles for which I thank you) your mascot/character is called Chip, he also looks nothing like a chip.  Might I suggest a better name for this chap to be Wolfy the Wolf.
Best regards,
Phil Botto”
I hope they understand and that my letter helps with their product development.  I await their reply.

The Cereal Quest: Day 203 – New Nestlé Cookie Crisp Brownie

Well well well, who would believe it in the last 2 weeks I have noticed 6 new cereals on the shelves in Tesco’s, my situation is simple, if the cereal manufacturers keep bringing out new cereals at this pace it will be physically impossible for me to ever finish the quest!  So as I perused the new products I stumbled across one which intrigued me enough to buy it. Ladies and Gentlement, let me introduce Nestlé Cookie Crisp Brownie:


So please let me tell you straight away that taste wise this cereal has about as much in common with cookies and brownies as bricks do with yoghurts.  It frustrates me massively as this cereal has potential, I like the taste of cookies, I like the taste of brownies but these simply do not taste of either.  Nestlé have only done half the job, they have made the cereal loosely resemble a chocolate brownie but it still doesn’t taste like one.  You can dress me up to look like an Outer Mongolian Yak Herder but it doesn’t mean I am one.  I’m annoyed, you might be able to tell.  Taste wise these are OK, they don’t even vaguely resemble cookies or brownies but that doesn’t mean they don’t taste OK.  They are very crunchy but essentially taste exactly the same as Cookie Crisp Original, the slight difference I have found is that as you go down the bowl the bits of cereal lose their brown colour and give it to the milk which to be fair tastes nice and chocolatey at the end.  This cereal may also have given me special powers, its a long shot but maybe.  Tonight I popped upstairs to have a wee, half way through my liquid emptying I heard my wife scream in pain, I was worried and somehow managed to do the impossible for a man of my age, I stopped mid flow.  I was impressed and perhaps reading this you are, perhaps but doubtful.  I ran downstairs to find that my wife had not burnt herself or set herself on fire or anything to serious, she had hurt her fingers killing a mosquito with a tissue.  I love my wife to bits.

The Cereal Quest: Day 202 – Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with Chocolate Curls – Done

Like me in year 6 at school, Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with Chocolate Curls were short and sweet.  Just 3 days and 3 bowls in the small box is empty, granted I had a nice full bowlful this morning but I was going to need it, I was going to the beach and then running a youth group sleepover including a nice big old fashioned game of rounders.  Energy today was going to be vital.  I sat down in my dressing gown eating this big bowl of Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with Chocolate Curls and really enjoyed them, I think maybe my taste buds were acclimatising to the bitterness of the dark chocolate, all in all this isn’t a bad cereal however it is poorly priced considering it is essentially a mini box of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes but with some dark chocolate chucked in but they still charge the same amount for the box.  Classic.

Here are my vital statistics for Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes with Chocolate Curls review:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 3
Cost per Serving: 89.6p
Pros – Crunchy, taste grows on you.
Cons – Very expensive and bitter chocolate not good value for money.