Cupcake Pebbles

Cupcake Pebbles

I Paid $3.89 for an 11-ounce box (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 1 stars

The underlying motif of reviewing mass-marketed food is pretty simple: There is absolutely no point whatsoever in judging books by their covers. Case in point is Post’s Cupcake Pebbles. About a year old (thereby placing its release a mere two to three years after the peak of the cupcake craze), the cereal has a premise that is relatively simple: all the subtlety and health of cupcakes transformed into a breakfast cereal. This sounds bad. Not merely bad, but McPizza bad.

As it turns out, it’s not. The cereal is delicate and crunchy, its tiny rice flakes reminiscent of Special K. The taste of cupcake frosting that fills your mouth with each bite is clear and profound—it’s not haute cuisine, but it’s pretty obvious that the makers nailed the flavor they were seeking. In short, it’s molecular gastronomy of a surprisingly elevated level, poured out of a box decorated with cartoon characters that haven’t been culturally relevant since the mid-’80s.

While it’s not clear exactly whom this stuff is going to appeal to—parents will likely give it a pass, as its marketing essentially screams, “Unhealthy!”—it’s still a flavor and texture winner. A bizarre triumph, for sure, but a triumph nonetheless.

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