Milking It: EnviroKidz Leapin' Lemurs
Rating: Two-and-a-half spoons out of four
Cereal description: Here's a partial list of ingredients in Leapin' Lemurs: "organic corn meal," "organic whole grain corn meal," "organic evaported cane juice," "organic peanut butter," "organic molasses," "organic cocoa," "organic soy oil" -- as opposed to "soy oil assembled in a lab using only unnatural ingredients made in other labs," I suppose. Based on this list, I'm guessing that the folks who market this brand want people to know it's organic -- but I can't say for sure.
Box description: First things first: Getting into this container was like unlocking a chastity belt without a key. The glue (organic glue, no doubt) sealing the top was slathered on so thickly that I was afraid I'd tear the top simply opening it -- and I had to absolutely shred the plastic bag inside when the adhesive used to close it refused to surrender its grip. At least there was information printed inside the box about Lemurreserve.org, an organization dedicated to saving real-life lemurs. A lot more gratifying than, say, a recipe for lemur stew -- particularly given how adorable the mama and baby lemur on the front cover are. Their big yellow eyes stare at the breakfaster as another one of the critters leaps to a tree in the background, and a fourth sits on a branch over the Leapin' Lemurs logo, shaped to imply that it was carved rather than printed. Above it is the children-centric EnviroKids stamp and (natch) the word "organic"; beneath it, a bar labeled "Peanut Butter & Chocolate." The bowl in the lower right-hand corner is accompanied by a "USDA Organic" symbol and a banner declaring that "This Product Has Always Been Gluten Free" catty-corner from an announcement that the munch is "New" -- calling into question just how long "always" has been. The side panel opposite the nutrition information notes that 1 percent of EnviroKidz sales "is donated to species & habitat conservation and environmental education" and points out that the company's products contain "no synthetic pesticides." Guess I won't sprinkle it in front of my garage to try to kill ants. And on the back? More information about lemurs, including the sad fact that they've lost 80 percent of their traditional homeland to deforestation. It made me almost too depressed to eat.
Taste: Hate to rip on this stuff too much given its do-good aspects, but it's not exactly a revolution in early morning fare. These light tan and deeper brown orbs are unexpectedly hard, requiring energetic chomping to mash them into an edible form, and they surrender their flavor reluctantly. Although the cocoa and peanut butter infused within them ultimately make their presence felt, the effect is mild sweetness, as opposed to the bold, eat-gasmic kind. That's a lot of work for a modest reward.
Conclusion: These Lemurs probably won't make you leap. More like a small hop.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.