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Milking It: Eggo Maple Syrup Cereal

Eggo Maple Syrup Cereal Kellogg's Rating: Two and a half spoons out of four

Cereal description: Puffy wheat, corn and oat platters, light yellow in color, with a series of holes punched through them. The result suggests manhole covers with a thyroid condition.

Box description: The red Eggo logo, familiar from a generation of toaster waffles, hovers over a yellow background, with a white star of brightness directly behind it, as if it sits at the right hand of the Father when not nourishing breakfasters. Beneath it runs what looks like a maple-syrup expressway that boasts of being "Naturally & Artificially Flavored." It's like tapping a synthetic tree! Six giant cereal bits, stuck together by thick advertising milk, occupy the lower left-hand corner; opposite it, on my box, is in offer for an Adidas "Sports Tee" available for free ("by mail with 8 tokens"). The details are on the back -- beyond side panels touting nutrition information and "Fuel Up for Action" text that includes "The Adidas Zig Zag Drill" -- and I must admit, the shirts themselves are mighty sweet. I'm not so taken by the generic model, which is white and sports a stylized blue stripe. Better by far are ones emblazoned with the images of Snap, Crackle and Pop and, especially, Toucan Sam holding a giant basketball in one elongated wing. He doesn't just believe he can fly; he actually can! Suck it, Michael Jordan.

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Taste: As we all know, aroma is an important part of taste. And in this case, the maple syrup scent is positively overwhelming. Even after the box has been open for a while, it's so strong that it makes me flinch, leaving my eyes with the sort of burning sensation I feel after working on the computer for too long without a break. Luckily, the cereal's flavor isn't quite that strong. Otherwise, it'd be like chugging a jug of syrup straight from the tap. But as a result, the experience of actually chewing on the stuff isn't that distinctive. The texture is good, retaining its crunch long after being doused. But the eating as a whole delivers little pleasure, turning Eggo Maple Syrup into a purely utilitarian munch. And I want more from a cereal than to simply feel full afterward.

Conclusion: I'll leggo of my own Eggo, thank you very much. -- Michael Roberts

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