Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal
I think that a reasonable person would take one look at this box of cereal, and conclude that it is nothing more than a fairly direct copy of Honey Nut Cheerios. Maybe this reasonable person pictures taking the SATs, and answering a question that goes "Oreos are to Newman O's as Honey Nut Cheerioes are to ________" with "C. Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal." Why, just look at the picture of the cereal itself on the box! Those familiar 'O' shapes, interspersed with the fresh fruit that no one ever puts in their cereal [here it's raspberries, but we would also accept strawberries or bloo-beh-rees.] So as to not infringe on cereal copyright, there is also a smattering of cereal pieces that are shaped like hearts instead of o's. And yes! Speaking of hearts! There is an endorsement from the American Heart Association! Just like Cheerios! There are also many claims about how this cereal can "REDUCE CHOLESTEROL," and "SUPPORT HEALTHY ARTERIES" [side note: The dickishly-picky high school English teacher in me wants to circle this phrase with a red pen and write "VAGUE" in a severe-looking underlined cursive by the margin. Support them?] Finally, "PROMOTE HEALTHY BLOOD PRESSUE." [Better!] So alright, same look, same basic ingredients, same flavor, same intense THIS IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART! cheerleading. Looks like our reasonable SAT-taker is one step closer to the dream of a 1600 score. But NO! Turns out the correct answer was actually "D. BreakfastTime Honey Hoops."
You see, lurking in the upper corner of the box, so close to the brand name so that one kicks oneself to have overlooked it, is the lettering "Now With White Tea!" Now, it's debatable whether this white tea will really affect anything, but it is definitely an ominous cloud that causes more questions than answers: now with... white tea flavor, too? A previous version of this cereal didn't have white tea? Why? Once you've added white tea, why not go all out and add something like spinach, too? Or...will this white tea not even be noticeable?
Now: once you pour a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal[or KHTHHTOC], another troubling fact emerges. The cereal looks fully, unmistakably like dog food. I know, right? Visually, there's already such a fine line between dry cereal and dry dog food, and Kashi has absolutely crossed it with their weirdly thick, course-looking o's. I thought for a second that I made a mistake. I mean, I already totally missed that "Now With White Tea" thing that was right in front of my face; what's to say I wouldn't take another look at the box and see that the FULL name of the "cereal" is "Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal For Dogs?" [or KHTHHTOCFD]
The MAIN THING, though, is that... the texture of the cereal, once you pour milk over it, is SO FUCKING WEIRD. As it turns out, the few heart-shaped pieces are fully crunchy, which is fine. But the far-more-abundant o's are... chewy? Like little pieces of a sponge made out of seven whole grains. Picture cereal that is about to become soggy, but isn't quite there yet. It is, in a word, appalling. So appalling that I think the usually-too-gross-sounding term "mouth-feel" is fully appropriate to use here. Kashi Heart to Heart: bad mouth-feel! Also, where is the honey flavor? Anywhere? And is that... tea I taste? Just a hint? Just a hint to complement the horse-feed flavor of grains?
And that brings me to my final grade on the 100 point scale: 32. It is definitely, definitely not good enough to merit a 33, but despite me spending this entire review slamming it, I've managed to secretly and invisibly allocate the 31 additional points it needs to avoid receiving the scathing, unprecedented '1' rating. Nonetheless, avoid.