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Milking It: Smorz cereal

Smorz Kellogg's Rating: Three spoons out of four.

Cereal description: Corn-flour squares with rounded corners and a color scheme that runs the gamut from tan to light brown; that's quite a range. They're supplemented by cylindrical white marshmallows featuring streaks that are supposed to make diners think of chocolate. As if I wasn't doing that already.

Box description: Great logo: The word "Smorz" is spelled out vertically in marshmallowy letters rimmed by gooey chocolate, with graham crackers serving as both ceiling and floor. This sweets sandwich looks good enough to eat, even if it is printed on cardboard. The bowl beneath it is loaded with cereal pieces that are notably darker than the real thing and marshmallows whose streaks are sharper and more distinct than their equivalents inside -- not that anyone is supposed to notice. In addition, my version of the box includes continuing hype about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which has dominated every Kellogg's cereal package not pimping Kung-Fu Panda for months. The offer of a free search light ("by mail with four tokens") is accompanied by a side-panel crossword puzzle with clues like, "This red fruit tastes great on top of cereal" (pomegranate?) and a back-cover word search topped by the term "VILLAINS." Like, for instance, George Lucas, who can't leave beloved old movie franchises well enough alone.

Taste: When Smorz first came out a few years ago, I thought it was one of the best new cereals in ages. Then I went through a period where I thought it was completely lame. Today, I'm somewhere in the middle. Truth be told, Smorz doesn't taste much like actual smores at all. The squares lack a genuine graham-cracker flavor and the marshmallows suffer a bit from the ol' Kellogg's gumminess -- although less of it than some other products the company makes. However, the cereal bits have a crisp snap to them, especially if you're diligent about re-sealing the plastic bag that holds them, and the light chocolaty after-taste is thoroughly pleasant, making post-breakfast belching a pleasure instead of a risk. What more could a classy diner ask?

Conclusion: Smorz ain't smores -- but it ain't bad, either. -- Michael Roberts

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