Milking It: Trix

Trix General Mills Rating: Two spoons out of four

Cereal description: Puffed corn orbs in a variety of notably radioactive colors: a light green that would result in thousands of casualties if it was ever used on camouflaged uniforms, an orange that looks like a nugget of hellfire, a yellow as blinding as the sun, a pink that suggests an internal organ, an aquamarine seemingly made of fish-tank rocks and a purple that -- well, actually, the purple is pretty much just purple. I'll bet the other puffs pick on it.

Box description: The latest version of the Trix rabbit is amusingly stylized, his ears giant, his bulbous eyes perched atop his half-skull like chicken eggs with pupils, his eyebrows floating in space, his oversized mouth gaping with joy and his hands outstretched in praise of assorted Trix bits that rain from above à la manna from heaven. All of this takes place against a red backdrop that contrasts boldly with a levitating Trix logo and a jumbo pile of cereal beneath a white banner that declares the stuff to be a "Good Source of Calcium & Vitamin D: Nutrition to help your kids grow up strong!" The panel opposite the nutrition information echoes this theme via a currently standard feature: More blabber about Calcium and Vitamin D over a photo of a kid measuring herself against a grid to her right. Only problem: Her head is only about an inch-and-a-half long, making her only peer Mike Teavee. The portion of the back not taken up by another General Mills nutrition-oriented space waster is devoted to "Trix Fruitalicious Lanes," a modified bowling game that calls on breakfasters to match cereal globes picked randomly to colored dots on the box. The results are actually kinda fun -- more fun than eating the stuff, anyhow.

Taste: I enjoy almost every iconic brand from General Mills, including Cocoa Puffs, which share more than a few similarities with this stuff. But I've never been drawn to Trix -- which is why it's probably been ten years since I've eaten them. My best guess as to the last time I brought some home: when my son, who turns twenty in a week, wanted a toy that came in the box, back in the glory days when toy surprises were commonplace, not rarer than bipartisanship in the U.S. Congress. But because he doesn't like cereal very much -- another piece of evidence boosting what I like to call "The Mailman Theory" -- I'd have to finish the box myself, usually while grumbling. I thought the passage of a decade might change my point of view, but no. The taste still strikes me as notably stale, like fruit left out to rot, and the texture lacks a crispness and snap no mater how recently the plastic bag containing the cereal was opened, causing an unpleasant mash to collect in my molars. Obviously, this opinion isn't universally shared; otherwise, Trix wouldn't have been around since 1954, according to our anonymous friends at Wikipedia. But from my point of view, this cereal represents dirty tricks, not the amusing kind.

Conclusion: You can have 'em, silly rabbit.

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