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Milking It: Frosted Flakes Gold

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Frosted Flakes Gold Kellogg's Rating: Two spoons out of four

Cereal description: Amber flakes made of corn, rice and wheat and baked to an ultra-hard consistency. You could practically pick a lock with them. But a mystery remains: Where's the frosting? I mean, they couldn't call them Frosted Flakes if there's no frosting, right? Right?

Box description: The giant "NEW!" banner stretched across the cover here extends to the box itself. The cardboard has been glazed with a tough, plastic-like finish -- the prepackaged food equivalent of thick wax applied to the exterior of a new car. Betcha it'd hold up better in the rain than any other cereal brand! Other up-front elements include the familiar Frosted Flakes logo curved over the word "Gold," which is outlined in yellow and orange and gives off such a glow that the entire box takes on the cast of a solar flare. A slogan over the by-now stereotypical presence of a drizzled honey dipper promises "Long-Lasting Energy" via "Crunchy Flakes Made With Whole Grain and Baked With Honey." As for mascot Tony the Tiger, he delivers a jaunty thumbs-up, and no wonder: He looks great -- so buff that his secret ingredient could be 'roids. Also present: a small "Earn Your Stripes" graphic midway between Nike's swoosh and Reebok's whatever-the-hell-it-is. Coming soon: Frosted Flakes sneaker. The side panel opposite the nutrition information features more nutrition information -- what a gyp! -- while the back juxtaposes photos of three active kids running and playing baseball and soccer alongside rah-rah admonishments to "Work Hard," "Eat Right" and "Earn Your Stripes." Although hopefully not be using a hypodermic filled to the brim with A-Rod juice.

Taste: There's another name for Frosted Flakes Gold: Wheaties. Yep, these flakes pretty much steal the recipe of that venerable much, and then apply it to a flake that's even harder to chew. The bits are sharp and so firm that they practically shatter when bitten. Watch out for the shrapnel. They don't get soggy after sitting in milk for a while, as the delicious original Frosted Flakes do -- no more than, say, bathroom tile, would. But they tend to lose what flavor they have pretty quickly, so that if you drag out breakfast too long, you'll be left with a bland bowl of shards still capable of putting someone's eye out. Handle with care.

Conclusion: Frosted Flakes without frosting? That's a flaky decision...

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