Milking It: Jumbo Multi-Grain Krispies

Jumbo Krispies Kellogg's Rating: Three spoons out of four

Cereal description: Rice alone isn't enough to make these Krispies. The supersized kernels also feature wheat, corn and oats -- hence the words "Multi-Grain" squeezed between the "Jumbo" and "Krispies" in the cereal's name. The pieces aren't blasted out and hollow, either. They're firm and surprisingly solid, and their shape suggests abuse-ready medication of the sort seen on assorted covers for Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls. Down the line, maybe they could put Patty Duke on the cover. Although Alex Rodriguez would move more units...

Box description: On the front cover, the word "Jumbo" is yellow and puffy, as if it's ready to burst and splash melted butter all over the room. As for the term "Multi-Grain," it's graham-cracker brown, while "Krispies" wears white and appears in the traditional font above a graphic boasting "a touch of honey." How about a gallon of the stuff? Psychotically gleeful illustrations of Snap, Crackle and Pop occupy the lower half of the frame, with Snap and Pop holding three pieces of the cereal in lieu of the usual overflowing bowl: a bold design decision! Too bad this intriguing twist is offset by the sight of Crackle holding a sign that reads, "Good Source of FIBER." Way to reduce the fun factor by emphasizing health, guys. At least the panel opposite the nutrition information ignores this imperative via a rhyming fill-in-the-blanks puzzle that echoes an elaborate back-of-the-box illustration inspired by a magic shop "where small things become big." No word about whether the "Magic Jumbo Powder" held by Pop has an expansive effect on his penis.

Taste: In searching for an image to accompany this review (finding one wasn't easy), I stumbled upon a consumer review of Jumbo Krispies by Al Sicherman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who massacred the munch in part because it features more sugar than regular Rice Krispies. But that's precisely why it's good. Whereas old-school Krispies taste a lot like nothing, their Jumbo cousins have a beguiling sweetness -- and they don't turn into spackle in milk, either. It's sugar bigots like you, Mr. Sicherman, who've inspired manufacturers to make cereals so boring in recent years. Don't listen to him, Kellogg's mixmasters! That touch of honey is the real magic here.

Conclusion: In this case, bigger really is better.

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