Milking It: Cinna-Graham Honey-Comb

Cinna-Graham Honey-Comb Post Rating: Three spoons out of four

Cereal description: The ingredients for these these thick, hefty, seven-holed wheels include corn flour, oat flour, assorted vitamins, caramel coloring that makes the bits a tad darker than original recipe Honey-Comb, and not much more. It's one of the shorter rosters I've seen for any mass-market cereal -- brevity that would be on the level of health food if not for one thing: Sugar, glorious sugar, places second on the list. Thank goodness for not-so-small favors.

Box description: Beneath a yellow "NEW!" banner supplemented by the Post logo, the words "Cinna-Graham Honey-Comb" stand out bold and proud on the box's front cover against a yellow monolith that would make the primitive humanoids in 2001: A Space Odyssey madly beat their chests. Grammarians should be pleased as well. After all, can you think of any other cereals that rock not one but two hyphens? As for the lower half of the frame, it's dominated by a photo-illustration of huge graham crackers, cinnamon rolls that look large enough to carpet a living-room floor and cereal so large that only seven pieces fill a bowl to overflowing. The side panel opposite the nutrition information takes the less-is-more approach, pairing graphics that pretty much duplicate the ones up-front with text that boasts, "Cinna-Graham Honeycomb [what happened to that second hyphen?] also provides kids a wholesome way to help start the day." Same can be said for 48 year-olds. In contrast, the back is overloaded with mazes, search-'n'-finds, word searches and more, all hosted by a character named Beeboy, who looks like a tween version of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, sans any white in his eyes. In other words, a junior stoner. What are those people at Post smoking? And when are they going to start using it in a cereal?

Taste: Cinnamon is an ingredient that can instantly overwhelm a dish, a dessert or a bowl o' breakfast goodness, but not in this case. The Post bakers apply it judiciously, and their subtlety pays off. The aroma is almost stronger than the flavor, allowing the original Honey-Comb deliciousness to come through unimpeded, with the cinnamon and graham providing grace notes. (Yes, I just whipped out some wine-tasting terminology. Deal with it.) The effect makes for a minor variation, not a major revelation, but it's so delectable that no one will complain.

Conclusion: Nice job, Beeboy. But remember: This stuff is for eating, not smoking.

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