Cinnafuego Toast Crunch
General Mills (2023)
The original Cinnamon Toast Crunch was one of my favorite breakfast cereals when I was a kid, but they've gotten a little crazy with variations over the years. Apple Pie Toast Crunch is only one that I've tried that I found to be as good as the original. French Toast Crunch was alright too, but all it really did for me was make me wish I had bought a box of regular Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead. When I saw that they made a limited edition flavor that had so much cinnamon that they put fire in the title, I knew I had to give it a shot.
This cereal tasted exactly like Red Hots candy. If you haven't heard of these, they're a sugar candy that has been around since the 1930's. They came in little boxes which were often on display alongside similar candies like Lemonheads, Cherry Clan, and Alexander The Grape. When I was a kid, I usually saw these sitting on the counter near the register at places like Pantry Quik or Rea & Derick next to boxes of baseball cards and Garbage Pail Kids. I can't remember if they cost a dime or a quarter, but they were pretty cheap. They were spicy, but it's a very particular kind of spicy that isn't really comparable to peppers or hot sauce. The best way I can describe them is to have you imagine the last artificially flavored cinnamon thing you've consumed, and now imagine that same thing if they used about five times more cinnamon flavoring into the batch of ingredients than it was supposed to have. That's what Red Hots were like, and Cinnafuego Toast Crunch tasted exactly the same way, but with a crispy breakfast cereal texture.
Red Hots aren't bad when you're 7 years old and you're eating 1.5 ounces of them before a little league game, however they're not a great choice when you're 42 and you pour them in a big bowl with milk for breakfast. The first spoonful was interesting. The second spoonful was nauseating. The third spoonful inspired me to grab an old grocery bag to pour the rest of the bowl into so that it didn't make a mess in the garbage can when I threw it out. It's not that it was too hot or spicy or that it burned my mouth or anything like that. It just tasted so god awful that I couldn't imagine eating the whole bowl unless there was a cash prize involved.
The best thing I can say about Cinnafuego Toast Crunch is that it's sold in relatively small 5.9 oz pouch instead of a big box so I didn't feel quite as bad about throwing it away. It's an interesting concept, and it might be alright if you used these in place of Chex to make a cinnamon trail mix, but as a breakfast cereal, this gets a thumbs down.