Recently, I received a box containing the holy trinity of sweet Halloween nostalgia: the re-issue of Monster Cereals: Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry. Any self respecting child of the 80's ought to be highly jealous of me, and also very excited about this re-issue, because you're an adult now and you can eat all the sugary cereal you want.
But let me cut right to the chase and tell you that my first thought upon receiving the parcel was this: which cereal yields the best-tasting cereal milk?
Long considered a by-product of the cereal eating experience, the residual cereal-soaked milk has come into vogue in recent years, with much thanks to the tireless work of Christina Tosi of Momofuku. It's become a beverage which can be appreciated as a stand-alone thing, not a sad liquid giving you pause about whether or not you want to pour in more cereal to sop it up.
This is all to say: cereal milk matters. And therefore, by pouring milk in a sample of each cereal and then tasting the results, I am doing an experiment that really matters. And one that my mother never would have let me do in the 80's, so I was delighted to do it as an adult.
Oh, and since the cereals were sent to me gratis, it's a good time to put this: Disclosure: The product, giveaway samples and information have been provided by General Mills. All opinions are my own.
A tasting of the milk left after steeping Monster cereals for an hour: Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Frankenberry.
I poured a sample of each cereal into a small bowl, and then filled it with milk, which I then left to steep for an hour before straining.
Because I have a naturally scientific mind, I also did some combinations:
- Frankenberry and Count Chocula
- Count Chocula and Frankenberry
- Frankenberry and Boo Berry
and then, for fun, I made one bowl with equal parts of all three cereals.
The steeping process
I then let the cereals steep in milk for one hour. I figured an hour was a long enough period of time to get as much flavor as possible out of the cereal.
At the end of an hour, I strained out the cereal (I'd like to say I ate it, but it was at this point soggy and gross).
And then I took a deep breath and set to tasting.
And here are my results.
Taste test: which Monster Cereal milk tastes best?
This was undoubtedly the prettiest of the bunch, with a light pink hue. The flavor was like a gentle strawberry milk--and when I say strawberry milk, what I mean is the kind that contains no actual strawberry. It was pleasant, but perhaps not memorable.
The Boo Berry yielded an only gently blue-hued milk. The flavor was not very pronounced, and quite honestly tasted like Franken Berry milk but with slightly less personality. I was unimpressed by this milk.
The color was a light cocoa hue, and the taste was like a milky chocolate milk, with undertones of Yoo-Hoo. It made for smooth drinking, and I thought it might be super nice when foamed and put on a latte.
Franken Berry and Count Chocula:
The pink color and strawberry flavor remained dominant in this mix, even though it contained equal parts of each cereal. It tasted a little more interesting than the strawberry alone, but I found myself hoping for more chocolatey flavor.
Count Chocula and Frankenberry:
This milk had a sort of unpleasant purplish-brown hue, and the taste was just OK. It was not offensive, but it was like light chocolate milk with a soupçon of berry flavor. It was not memorable.
Franken Berry and Boo Berry:
This milk had a lightly purplish hue and tasted like a slightly enhanced version of the strawberry-flavored milk from Franken Berry alone. I liked the enhanced aspect, but I did not enjoy the color. Still, I would have this milk with a slice of cake.
All cereals together: Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula
I will confess, I was extremely surprised by the mix. I had thrown it into the mix mostly to be amusing, but I surprised myself by loving the combo. It had high notes of fruit, an extended strawberry flavor, and a lingering chocolate aftertaste. I surprised even myself by loving this mix. It was different, it was interesting, and I drank the entire little ramekin-full.
In spite of how horrifying it sounds, the mix of all of the cereals together, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula, yielded the most interesting milk and the one I'd be most excited to drink again.
Second place goes to the Count Chocula milk, which I think would taste great frothed and added to a latte.
Third place goes to the Franken Berry and Boo Berry mix, which sounds like a Dr. Seuss creation and had a pleasing berry flavor.