Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CHRISTMAS CRUNCH!

It’s Cap’n Crunch the Way You’ve Never Seen Him Before (Even Though It Tastes JUST LIKE the Regular Cereal, But Still!)


Good lord, the troubles I had to go through for this cereal.

I saw "Christmas Crunch" last year, and thought about picking it up, but didn’t. I waited an entire year and saw a big cardboard container of it at a local grocery store a few days before Thanksgiving, and once again, I thought about renewing my inventory, but I didn’t. So, the next week, I went out in search of the Cap’n Crunch variation, and you know what I found? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, anywhere. I spent the better part of a month just combing through local retailers, and not a single damn one had the stuff on their shelves. Ultimately, I did end up finding a box at one grocer, but the box literally looked like it had been chewed through by a rat or something. I thought about picking it up anyway, but since I’m not really that big a fan of the Bubonic Plague, I had to reshelf the item at the last second.

And so, about a week before Christmas, I finally found a non-rodent-chewed box, and this time, I knew better. I snatched it up, I locked it in my trunk, and I kept that thing well-guarded like it was the Stanley Cup or something. If I had to wait until 2013 to taste this stuff, I thought to myself, then I’m not quite sure I have the internal motivation to press through such a long moratorium sans seasonal Crunch in my life.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a lot of Cap’n Crunch variations out there. And also, it wasn’t until recently (as in, the past month) that I realized that the actual brand name was “Cap’n Crunch” and not “Captain Crunch,” as so many souls are often prone of calling it. And, uh, if you read my review of “Halloween Crunch” back in October, uh, yeah, let’s talk about Christmas Crunch, why don’t we?


I guess a good place to begin is the packaging. Not surprisingly, the box feature Cap’n Crunch decked out in a Santa suit - I guess because depicting him as Jesus Christ probably would have ruffled more than a few feathers.


The big hook with “Christmas Crunch” is that it really doesn’t have a hook to speak of. All in all, it’s just regular old Cap’n Crunch, only with a couple of red stars and green Christmas trees thrown into the mix. And they’re not even marshmallow addendums, either; we’re talking cereal bits that taste JUST like the main product, only shaped and colored differently.



As far as the rest of the packaging goes, it’s quite basic. You’ve got your nutritional info on one side and ads for the million billion other Cap’n Crunch permutations out there on the adjacent panel. The top and bottom flaps of the box say pretty much the same thing, which is, fundamentally, nothing at all.


The back of the box, however, is kinda’ the exception here. For one thing, it says that there are “five” differently shaped cereal bits inside every box, including some red snowmen and a Santa hat, but I didn’t see anything within my cereal that came close to resembling either. Maybe it was a last second excision, or perhaps cereal-crafting technology isn’t advanced enough to give us adequate Santa hat corn puffs yet?


The backflap also suggests that you go out and buy a gingerbread house, and use the cereal bits as, among other things, shingles and landscaping foliage. A cool idea, I guess, but I think I have a better one; how about instead of using “Christmas Crunch,” you open up one of those boxes of “Halloween Crunch” you’ve been hoarding since fall and make a HAUNTED gingerbread house instead?


And, onto the cereal itself. It’s quite festive and colorful, no doubt. I’ve never really thought of yellow as being a Christmas color, but it’s not too sore a sight on your peepers, either. And if you see anything in there that resembles a snowman or a Santa hat, please encircle it with a bright black marker and e-mail me the photographic evidence.


Yeah, there’s not too much to say about the cereal, as far as aesthetics go. For whatever reason, I keep getting a trail-mix vibe here; although, for the life of me, I’ve never had a bowl of trail mix with sugary pine trees in it before.


And there’s even LESS to say about the taste of the product. If you’ve ever had Cap’n Crunch before, well, this stuff tastes EXACTLY like what you’ve already eaten before. And unlike “Halloween Crunch,” you don’t even have the incentive of radioactive green milk to keep you glued to your cereal bowl. It ain’t bad, by any stretch, but the “special” attributes of the product, I am afraid, are limited to purely cosmetic differences.


The Herculean task of finding a box of this stuff was probably several million more calories than anyone should ever expend in quest of a breakfast item - I’m convinced that Ah-nold put in a lesser effort trying to find a “Turbo Man” doll in “Jingle All the Way” - but I can now say that I’ve tried TWO different Cap’n Crunch variations explicitly tied to two different holidays, when most of humanity can never say that they’ve tried just ONE. The final product wasn’t too exciting, but this gimmick opens up the door for untold possibilities in the future. Easter Crunch? St. Patrick’s Crunch? Independence Crunch?

Yes, please. Yes, so hard.

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