I might still be nursing something of a Halloween hangover. The details of it are kind of a blur. I know I had a good time, but I’m sure there were a few moments of “What the hell did I do that for?” even though I can’t quite remember what those moments were. It is such an event for me that once it’s over, I kind of get these phantom limb pains once it’s gone. I have to remind myself that the thrills of October don’t really work year round, and most painful of all, Count Chocula has again left the shelves.
One of my favorite discoveries in recent Halloween seasons has been Cap’n Crunch’s Halloween Crunch, a delicious cereal with all the flavor of Cap’n Crunch but the added benefit of turning milk green. It’s a sheer delight. So when I laid eyes on the boxes of Christmas Crunch on a recent trip to Target, I saw more than just a box of cereal, I saw a faint glimmer of hope. A hope that some of the excitement of a trip down the cereal isle in mid-September could be found in this cold, dark at 4:30 PM corner of the calendar cycle.
Let’s start with the box art. Now nothing is going to excite me quite like the just about perfect Halloween Crunch art, but this is fun. If you doubt the fun factor, look no further than the lower right hand corner where the box boasts “FUN HOLIDAY SHAPES.” Is the Cap’n swinging that string of lights around like a lasso? Or is he engaged in the traditional plight of the everyman, struggling to make something presentable out of them? It’s hard to tell, but the look in his eye as he tries to decipher why they’re draped over his nose leads me to believe that he’s thinking what all of us have many times before: Christmas lights are a pain in the ass. As engaging as the Christmas light mastery/frustration is, the tree being tied down to the word CHRISTMAS is brilliant and steals the show.
Moving on the back of the box, we get a few crafty ideas. I’m not about to put any cereal on a string because it seems like an operation far too delicate for me, but the gingerbread house idea is good. I also like that the “frosty window” theme from the front of the box carries around to the back. Overall, I like the back of this box better than the Halloween Crunch one, which has a pumpkin stencil (even my imagination cannot be stretched far enough to envision any kid requesting they carve a Cap’n Crunch jack-o-lantern).
The box prepared me for what kind of shapes I could expect to see once I opened it, but what I wasn’t expecting is how robust the pieces are. Seriously, they’ve got some mass to them. I get the feeling that Cap’n Crunch’s war against the Soggies was won simply by having giant pieces of cereal that takes more time to saturate than it does to eat a bowl of the stuff.
And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.
How’s it taste? Well, it’s Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries, which is to say that it tastes pretty good. It’s been awhile since I’ve had regular Crunchberries, but these might be tangier. I bought a box for further research, but as of now I’m siding with it being the same exact thing.
Overall, Christmas Crunch is a fun distraction from the cereal you can get year round. It doesn’t have a milk changing gimmick, nor does it taste any different from regular Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries, but that makes it delicious by default. If you like Christmas stuff, you’ll enjoy the shapes. If the retail world didn’t feel the need to start reminding me that Christmas was coming shortly after Independence Day, I’d probably be more stoked on it, but that goes more for the season in general.