We Eat French Toast Crunch; Or Why 90s Fetishism Is a Sad, Sad Exercise

It is a pretty cereal
It is a pretty cereal
Photo by Ryan Cady

Boy, we do love our nostalgia. Seriously, in a lot of ways, as a generation, we're holding the '90s at gunpoint and demanding more majestic feats of reminiscence. The return of Surge, every television reboot ever, BuzzFeed's entire existence -- pretending the days of dial-up were better is all the rage. I'd say I worry about what happens when we run out of stuff to get nostalgic over, but honestly by then it'll be at least 2020, and we can safely daydream about how "dope" the early 2000s were and get all teary-eyed about Motorola RAZRs and Heelies or whatever.

So with a world-weary sigh, I bring you this latest review of the Ghost of Snack Foods past -- General Mills French Toast Crunch Cereal.

Before we move on, I think it's pretty well established by now that I have a pretty immature palate. In a perfect world, all of my meals would be some combination of chicken, cheese, carbs, and ranch dressing. So I try to be impartial (at least in terms of taste) when doing my reviews, and think - hmm, what would a sane, normal human being like or dislike about this dish? Which is pretty much what I expected to have to do for this cereal, for a handful of reasons.

First, I don't like French Toast. I KNOW, OKAY? I know. I am defective. But it's always all soggy and I can taste the egg on the back of my tongue and it makes me gag and it's just gross, okay? Get off my back. Plus, let's all take our Cool Guy '90s Abercrombie Sunglasses and puka shells off and admit it -- Cinnamon Toast Crunch is already perfect. You didn't need to mess with it, and there's not fathomable universe where a different breakfast starch will taste better. Not happening. I mean, I don't really remember even eating French Toast Crunch back in the day, but you know what I still eat, to this day?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

But all of those excuses aside, I'm a sucker for novelty food (and for getting paid to write about novelty food), so of course I bought a box as soon as I could and of course I immediately wrote you all this review. And here's the thing, people.

French Toast Crunch is fucking awesome.  

Did we really ask though?
Did we really ask though?
Photo by Ryan Cady

First of all, the little cereal bits are actually shaped like little slices of bread. Yes, crust included. It was so cute that I kept pointing it out to my roommate and asking if he could see that they were shaped like little slices of toast. He had his own bowl, I just couldn't shut up about it. I felt like one of those little old ladies that get all into those miniature crystal statues of things, except these ones I got to eat. They were a little puffy, and wonderfully crunchy, and, as promised on the box, they really were covered in a syrupy sweet, slightly cinnamony glaze.

But speaking of the box, a little sidebar. On the back of the box (see the picture below) is this list of '90s things which is either so "Hey, Fellow Kids!" cringeworthy that I want to gouge my eyes out, or a really, really clever jab at how ludicrous our obsession with the decade of Deep Space Nine and Korn actually seems to people who lived through it as adults. You can take a quiz to see how "90s" you are, which is just...yeah. I mean that pretty much speaks for itself. I'm gonna go pedal my Huffy bike off of a cliff now.

The dream of the 90s is alive on the back of this box
The dream of the 90s is alive on the back of this box
Photo by Ryan Cady

Anyway, back to the cereal: it has that rare quality of being able to float on top of the milk and soak just enough to get soft and flavorful, but never really gets soggy. Granted, that makes it a little difficult to eat - I think we're all familiar with the trials and tribulations of finding that perfect medium between crunchy and soggy, and while it may not be the apex of puffed grain consistency, French Toast Crunch comes pretty close. I'd say I'll totally eat it again, but let's be honest: once the nostalgia dissolves (like so much soggy cereal in room temperature milk), we'll all stop buying the stuff and sales will drop and General Mills will stop producing it. The Circle of Life, and it moves us all.

Since it didn't make much of an impression on me when it came out (beyond the memory that for at least a week I had to have French Toast Crunch in the morning instead of Oreo-os), I can only assume that General Mills has done something to improve the flavor. Or maybe I've just matured somehow, or my tastes have changed. Or maybe it's just cereal and it's really no big deal and we should all just stop pretending it's amazing because it came out the same year as Toy Story.

Whatever. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is still better.

You can follow Ryan Cady on Twitter @rycady! Also, follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!


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