Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The 100-Cereal Taste Test

ShareThis

Many of the healthier people I know—my wife, my daughters, my ­yoga-­loving friends—are cereal addicts. I am not a cereal addict. You could even describe this humble critic as a cereal curmudgeon. When given the choice between a bowl of ­virtuous-­looking oat flakes and a greasy mess of eggs, bacon, and grits in the morning, I will choose the greasy mess every time. But sometimes a man must eat cereal, especially when his employers insist upon it. On these pages are the results of my 100-bowl taste test, dutifully conducted in the New York office kitchen on a recent Friday afternoon. Note that we’ve included none of the classics here—no Cheerios, no Rice Krispies, no Cap’n Crunch, no Froot Loops. The focus, instead, is on righteous, next-­generation New Age cereals, all of which were chosen more or less at random from the shelves of Whole Foods. When it comes to cereals, you will notice, I tend to be a purist. The fewer ingredients listed on the box, the better. Sugar is permissible, but not too much of it. Artificial colorings should be avoided (except, for the record, when ingesting Froot Loops). And all newfangled, Yankee Candle–style flavorings (cinnamon, vanilla, etc.) are a really bad idea. Here, my ratings (1 is the worst, 4 the best) and tasting notes. Given my general distaste for the food group, it’s safe to say that any cereal I liked is probably pretty good. Now, pass the bacon.

Photographs by Mitch Feinberg
365
Organic Morning O's
Okay, but too buttery.
Rating: 2
kashi
Good Friends Cinna-Raisin Crunch
Minus two points for the cinnamon.
Rating: 2
kashi
Mighty Bites
Kashi for the kiddie set.
Rating: 2
365
Raisin Bran
Too sweet, but high-quality bran.
Rating: 3
Mother’s
Cinnamon Oat Crunch
Nice oatiness, but death to cinnamon.
Rating: 2
365
Bite-Size Shredded Wheat
A solid doppelgänger for the real thing.
Rating: 3
Nature's Path
Organic Flax Plus
Hearty, grainy, flaxy.
Rating: 3
365
Organic Strawberry Brown Rice Crisps
Rice Krispies in rosewater soap.
Rating: 1
cascadian farm
Cinnamon Raisin Granola
Tastes like week-old apple pie.
Rating: 1
365
Organic Cosmic Cocos
More natural cocoa flavor than Cocoa Bumpers.
Rating: 3

kashi
GoLean
Simple, healthy, no cinnamon.
Rating: 3
365
Organic Brown Rice Crisps
Quite palatable despite synthetic aftertaste.
Rating: 3
annie's
Bunny Love
Not bad. The pasta reference will have traction with yuppie kids.
Rating: 3
feed granola co.
Raisin Nut Crunch
As generic as the name.
Rating: 2
uncle sam
Toasted Whole Wheat Flakes & Flaxseed
Frighteningly healthy; bad spaceman food.
Rating: 1
Nature's Path
Organic Millet Rice
Not as good as spelt.
Rating: 2
peace cereal
Essential 10
Yankee Candle cinnamon taste.
Rating: 2
kashi
Autumn Wheat
The gold standard of wheat.
Rating: 4
365
Organic Soy Crunch
A disconcerting piña colada back-taste.
Rating: 2
cascadian farm
Organic MultiGrain Squares
Meaty, for a cereal.
Rating: 3

barbara’s
Ultima Organic High Fiber
Lots of twigs, tons of fiber.
Rating: 4
cascadian farm
Vanilla Almond Crunch
Good, but minus 1 for the vanilla.
Rating: 2
365
Organic Rainbow Rings
Passable Froot Loops facsimile.
Rating: 3
Nature's Path
Organic Synergy
Straightforward, inoffensive.
Rating: 2
envirokidz organic
Koala Crisp
Like dry, chocolate-flavored Skittles.
Rating: 1
arrowhead mills
Shredded Wheat
Boring. But good boring.
Rating: 3
Nature's Path
Organic Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch
Okay, despite the pumpkin flavor.
Rating: 2
kashi
GoLean Crunch
A little overworked. Lacks the purity of the original.
Rating: 2
mother’s
Peanut Butter Bumpers
A vaguely healthy version of peanut-butter Cap’n Crunche.
Rating: 2
kashi
7 Whole Grain Puffs
Like bird food on steroids.
Rating: 1

Nature's Path
Organic Açaí Apple Granola With Pomegranate
An unspeakable disaster.
Rating: 1
365
Organic Raisin Granola
Oddly fake tasting, like a snack pack from JetBlue.
Rating: 1
barbara’s
Ultima Organic Pomegranate
Pomegranates?! Barbara’s version ain’t so bad.
Rating: 3
kashi
7 Whole Grain Flakes
Simple and pure on the palate, with a nice crunch.
Rating: 4
cascadian farm
Raisin Bran
Dull, tastes too organic.
Rating: 1
Nature's Path
Organic Honey’d Corn Flakes
Bogus honey taste; flakes are oddly un-flaky.
Rating: 1
barbara’s
Organic Grain Shop
Big and beefy.
Rating: 4
Nature's Path
Organic Corn Flakes
Is fruit juice a good substitute for sugar? Sort of.
Rating: 2
kashi
Mountain Medley Granola
Lots of good raisins, though probably 800 calories per bite.
Rating: 2
arrowhead mills
Organic Spelt Flakes
Not as offensive as it sounds.
Rating: 3

Nature's Path
Organic Optimum Power
The power fades as you go.
Rating: 2
cascadian farm
Purely O’s
The weak little O’s dissolve sadly in the milk.
Rating: 2
365
Honey Puffed Wheat
Excellent heft, and almost tastes like real honey.
Rating: 4
kashi
7 Whole Grain Nuggets
Light; better as a topping than as a whole bowl.
Rating: 3
barbara’s
Cinnamon Puffins
Plastic-y. And cinnamon!
Rating: 1
food for life
Ezekiel 4:9 Original
Righteously tasty.
Rating: 4
365
Oat Bran Flakes
The flakes have an eerie Pringles uniformity, but they’re crisp and sweet.
Rating: 3
barbara’s
Shredded Spoonfuls
Simple and straightforward.
Rating: 3
arrowhead mills
Organic Amaranth Flakes
What’s amaranth? Good, that’s what.
Rating: 3
365
Bite-Size Frosted Shredded Wheat
Good wheat, too much frosting.
Rating: 2


Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising