The Cereal Quest: Day 240 – Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes Review

I always love the excitement of a new cereal, the thrill of something new, the enchantment of mystery and what treasures may lie within.  Today brought great excitement:

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Look carefully and then imagine my glee when I saw that there was something in the pack, some sort of prize, some sort of treat, something that, had I been 10, I would have reached my filthy 10 year old hands in to the bag and grabbed.  I am a lot more mature now and will await the excitement of it simply falling out, much in the same way as we didn’t find out the sex of our baby, again we will just waited until it fell out.  I used to love the rare occasions as a child when we had a cereal that had gifts/toys in and it was like winning a prize, we would all argue over who would get it, multiple hands in the cereal, fights breaking out, cereal all over the kitchen floor, complete mayhem, all for ‘Spokey Dokeys’.  Unfortunately due to people moaning about possible choking hazards or some other non realistic problem there are no spokey dokeys or toys but inside the clear pouch of delight hidden amongst the cereal there are some ‘discovery cards’.  Exciting.  Anyway on I went to pour my cereal, no discovery cards fell out today just a whole bowl full of what must be one of the dullest cereals I am likely to meet along the way on this quest.  My goodness they have zero flavour, they have the texture of foam packaging beads and the taste.  I worked my way through the bowl eating slightly milk wetted foam packaging type cereal, surely the milk left at the end would save the cereal, surely it would be its saving grace?  No the milk ended up tasting the same as did when it went in the bowl.  It was not good, unless of course I had wanted a glass of milk.  Tomorrow I will hunt for some sort of flavour, but I just don’t know if I will find any.  The dullness was not all I would take from the Kellogg’s Multi Grain Shapes, they made me very self-concious, those who know me will know that I really don’t care that much about my appearance but when I looked in the mirror this morning I was fed up with my hair, so much so I went to a barbers for the 2nd time this year.  I Googled the nearest barbers to my work and went in my lunch break, I was dubious as the barber had no hair which immediately worried me but I persisted, he asked me what I wanted and I said “don’t mind, something like grade 3 or 4 on the back and sides, bit longer on the top maybe?”.  He just stared at me then said firmly “3 or 4, which one?”, I said he could choose, he tutted and then cut it, it turns out he was a really nice bloke and didn’t do a bad job.  However he did that awkward thing at the end of the haircut when he held a mirror behind my head and looked at me for some sort of reaction, please can I say now once and for all to all barbers/hairdressers….I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT?!?  I don’t understand.  Why do you hold it there and look at me for a reaction, every time I just sit there, with a confused expression, and say “Yep.” in an enthusiastic way whilst nodding my mirrored head, I don’t know what the question is you are asking me with the mirror but I am saying “Yep” for no reason other than to confirm it is my head in the mirror.

The Cereal Quest: Day 239 – The Krave Hat Trick Effect

The convenience of cereal as a meal is one of it’s best features and on a day like today was perfect.  Monday is always the busiest day of the week and today we were 2 staff down, coupled with that the whole network suddenly went down and I was the only one who might have known how to fix it, luckily I did.  Heroic I know.  That meant that after a bowl of Krave for breakfast I soon followed it up with another for lunch, it has been a while since I had 3 bowls of cereal in one day, mainly because of having heavily wheat based cereals so I seized the opportunity today and had a 3rd bowl for dinner before football.  I was hoping it would give me burst upon burst of energy, which it did for 5 minutes of the game.  After that I was walking round clutching my abdomen, I was getting really tight clenching pain in my middle, I have no idea what the pain was but I thought I was going to collapse at one point, that or vomit.  When I got home I made something savoury, I attempted a spanish omelette which turned in to a eggy version of an Eton Mess and that seems to have sorted it.   I’ll have to see how it progresses overnight.

Sadly the 3rd bowl today and 4th overall for Krave Chocolate Hazelnut saw the end of the box, despite Kellogg’s claims of 12 servings, here is my brief review of Krave Chocolate Hazelnut:

Cereal Cost: £2.79
Real Servings per Box: 4
Cost per Serving: 69.7p
Pros – Tastes great, could easily eat a whole box in a day and nearly did.
Cons – Cramping pains and outrageous lies about the amount of servings in the box.

The Cereal Quest: Day 238 – Introducing Krave Chocolate Hazelnut

My newest cereal is another version of Kellogg’s Krave cereal.  This time Krave Chocolate Hazelnut.  Little ricey parcels encasing a joyful dollop of what is essentially Nutella Chocolate spread, something of which I am currently very familiar with because at work we have no glasses for drinking cold drinks from, so we are buying jar and jars of Nutella and cleaning them out after and using them as glasses, they work surprisingly well, as does this cereal.  They have given me a real break from wheat and for that I am eternally grateful.  The cereal itself is very crunchy and I had mine in milk for quite a while this morning as I was eating them slowly due to a mixture of tiredness and admiration of a rug we bought in Ikea yesterday with big buttons on.  If it wouldn’t count as being terribly wasteful I would try smashing some up and speading them on toast but my quest will not allow that.  They have so far made me manly, very manly as today I put up a shelf (admittedly to replace the one that fell dramatically in the night a few weeks back obliterating toys, books and a ukulele in my daughters room) the shelf looks good and feels sturdy…..so far.  Lets hope all this positivity continues as tomorrow at work I have to start dealing with the French.  Ou la la.

The Cereal Quest: Days 235 – 237 Shredded Wheat Bitesize Summer Fruits

 

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The time of year chose this cereal for me, we have recently had some blisteringly hot weather, the sort of weather we lovingly say summers used to be like.  The more observant of you will notice this is the 3rd wheat based cereal in a row for me,  this was brave, very brave indeed.  These though had a certain charm to them, almost an angelicness as I picked them up and put them in my basket.  Once I had poured them out and bitten in to them they danced on my tongue and awoke my taste buds, they are literally packed full of fruity squidgy flavour bombs which burst out of the dull wheaty coating and come to life, they are almost too flavourful.  They are in a very thin box which is why they only lasted 4 servings, 3 days as I had 2 servings on the first day, the 2nd was simply to get my head around the flavour.  Day 3 was my birthday, I turned 28 but was pleased as for the last year in my head I had thought I was already 28, my birthday treat was to go to Ikea, not specifically to buy anything but I just love intelligence, I love ideas and I love clever designs, my daughter loved beds. There is barely a bed in the Southampton branch of Ikea that my daughter has not jumped on and said “nice…and….cosy.”  She loved Ikea more than me, she was running around (which considering she has only just learnt to walk is impressive) like a lunatic and of course she loved the Ikea cafe too.  The day before my birthday me, my brother and 2 friends went to watch the new Alan Partridge movie; Alpha Papa, it was brilliant, utterly hilarious.  I had a great few days with this Shredded Wheat Summer Fruits, it’s going to be a tough act to follow.

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 4
Cost per Serving: 67.25p
Pros – Bursting with flavour, gave me plenty of energy for Ikea.
Cons – Very small box, not one that will feed a family for long.

The Cereal Quest: Day 230 – 234 – Weetabix Crispy Minis with Chocolate – Carnage

I stood contemplating where to take the quest next, I stared confused as to what cereals I had previously tried and had to Google this website to double check, that pretty much sums up my memory.  I played it safe and logical, I chose one I knew 100% I hadn’t had before and logically thought it would be a good time to have it.  Having just has Weetabix Crispy Minis with Fruit and Nut I opted for its sibling, Weetabix Crispy Minis with Chocolate, I was not looking forward to these having had Weetabix Chocolate and being far from impressed, however if this quest has taught me one thing it is not to judge a book by its cover, more specifically; not to judge a cereal by its box or by past experiences.  Straight away after bowl one I knew these were going to bring me more happiness than the Weetabix Chocolate, I don’t know why but possibly because they were smaller and I knew I wouldn’t have to have 12 servings I could try and focus more on individual servings.  Again I had to sprinkle with sugar because the chocolate is not a sweet tasty chocolate, the chocolate is nothing more than a gimmick to entice kids.  These 5 days saw one of the most exciting/scary/dangerous/fun days of my life, me, my wife and my daughter were meeting 3 other couples with young children for a picnic at local childrens attraction Honeybrook Farm near Wimborne, a nice relaxing afternoon out with the kids we thought.  What was to follow will stick with all of us for many many years to come.  We bought a picnic to share, each bringing a different picnic element, we sat in a circle around the edges of 4 carefully squarely placed picnic blankets, ours was donated kindly by the previous owner of my car, so a big thank you to him.  As we sat down on the grass surrounded by other families and a few scatterings of chickens, ducks, geese we tucked in, all was peaceful and tranquil, soon however things would change.  My brothers new wife revealed she was not a fan of birds, particularly chickens.  It was almost as if the chickens heard her and sensed the opportunity.  To set the scene there was at least another 10 groups of families/friends enjoying picnics, the sun was shining and aside from the lack of an uncut tiger bread loaf the picnic was perfect.  On hearing of possible chicken fear one chicken started hovering around us, occasionally he would look enquiringly at my new sister in law to try and freak her out, it worked, he knew he had a chance to grab some delicous fresh picnic food.  From merely pottering around the outside of our group this chicken darted across out picnic blankets quickly swooping for some bread, his blast of pace clearly disorientated him slightly as he landed his claw feet in the wide open ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ my sister in law screamed, a few of us jumped to our feet to usher this beaked invader away, unfortunately his successful jaunt encouraged his mates over, in the blink of an eye we had at least 5-6 chickens running riot on our lunch, one ended up stepping in the houmous (it was that type of picnic) one hot stepped it out of there carrying a slice of chorizo in his mouth, 1 by one children were running, bursting into tears of terror, their understandable crying attracting more and more varieties of birds to the party, each carrying away various treats although much like humans no one wanted to touch the olives.  A duck carried away some Roast Chicken Pringles but sadly didn’t reverse the Pringles and stack them in his mouth to make him look like a duck, to be fair to him he had no need.  The picnic couldn’t get any worse, until the wasps joined in, crawling all over things, I pretty much guarded my family really well from them in a manly heroic way, I’m sure my wife would echo that but we’ll never know.  It wasn’t the chickens that annoyed me, nor the ducks or geese, the most annoying thing was that throughout the ‘Chicken Trauma of 2013′ some woman was feeding ducks with her son/grandson and clearly didn’t have eyes, she somehow didn’t see numerous screaming children/mums and was throwing bread in the direction of the already well fed chickens, I enjoying throwing the remains of our picnic in her general direction.  Later on we went for coffee and some of the wives were excited to see ex-Brookside child Ray Quinn, excited but not excited enough to go and speak to him, just excited enough to question husbands on whether it was really him.  The rest of the trip was fun, pony grooming, tractor rides, penned in animals, it was great.  I would imagine it was that mornings Weetabix Crispy Mini’s with Chocolate that gave me the courage to get through the ordeal.  I was grateful but like so often in the quest after becoming so friendly with the cereal it turned round and got me where is hurts, the toilet.   All in all the cereal was a massive improvement on Weetabix Chocolate and I was sad that it was only on the last day that I decided to try them microwaved with milk and sugar because that tasted very good indeed.

Cereal Cost: £2.29
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 45.8p
Pros – Tastes really good and gave me courage and bravery.
Cons –  Chickens could smell it on me.

The Cereal Quest: Days 225 – 229 Weetabix Crispy Minis Fruit & Nut

My next challenge was to heavily involve one of my most daunting ingredients, wheat.  Now  me and wheat have simply agreed that although we are not best friends we will agree to try to get on.  Weetabix Crispy Mini’s are a slight change of angle and size to the normal Weetabix offerings (as the name suggests).  These mini versions of Weetabix get poured in to the bowl like a more regular cereal, which to me instantly makes them more friendly and attractive to eat.  These had sporadically dotted bits of raisins and nuts.  Let me shock you, these are actually really quite nice. They needed a bit of sweetening with a liberal dusting of granulated sugar and on one day caster sugar due to me forgetting to buy sugar when asked.  Weetabix Crispy Mini’s came at a very happy time too.  They were here for our baby’s 20 week scan, things were good and the baby (currently located inside my wife) was fine.  That night I helped to take a youth group to watch the south’s biggest talent show Talent Call.  It was a good night out, and bought a pleasant end to the week that had generally been fun and eventful.  There were 2 days during the 5 of eating this cereal where I was questioning completing the quest, my insides were quickly becoming my outsides and my stomach cramping was agonising, but I know that this is the rough to the occasional smooths such as Ricicles.

Here are the vital statistics for Weetabix Crispy Minis with Fruit and Nuts:

Cereal Cost: £2.29
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 45.8p
Pros – A refreshing adaptation of a classic cereal, made more fun by their size.  A great fun Thursday.
Cons – Agony.

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.