The Cereal Report: The Return of Fruit Brute
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a big kid at heart. Not quite a manchild, on account of the negative connotation it brings, but I do spend the majority of my free time playing video games and watching cartoons. A good example of this reigns in my recent discovery that Monster Cereals were back in stores for the season. After a particularly gruesome ambulance call, I departed the fire department when getting home, and needed to deposit money into the bank. Immediately following this I saw the Halloween section of Pathmark and proceeded to buy three boxes of cartoon-monster themed cereals, since that’s what all people working as first responders do after leaving work. I also bought a Super Mario Bros. game too, but that’s just pouring it on at this point. You get the idea.
Interestingly enough, after resurrecting (no pun intended, I swear) Frankenberry and Booberry a few years ago, General Mills brought back Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy for this Halloween. That’s fairly awesome for all of us people born after 1984 when it was discontinued. So pull up a chair and feel important! This is the first time in almost three decades Fruit Brute has been on shelves.
Fruit Brute is a red-colored werewolf, following in line of his various colored-fruit-themed-monster friends. His trademark flavor is cherry, which is unique in and of itself, as far as breakfast cereals go. Now, it’s not flavored with real cherries or anything, but honestly if you expected a Halloween cereal with cartoon monsters on the box to be health oriented, you need to reexamine your views of the modern food industry. The box itself is honest and straightforward about it too, labeling it to be artificially flavored cereal right on the front. While I personally lean towards eating more natural foods myself, there are exceptions, and I actually can appreciate the honesty General Mills has here. They’re not trying to fancy it up and bullshit you, trying to trick you into thinking their box of sugar is a health food, which frankly is rather refreshing in an age where so many food products out there declare “MADE WITH NATURAL FLAVORS!!”, but meanwhile the only thing even resembling some sort of natural flavor in the ingredient list is merely the phrase “natural flavors”.
Which is an awesome little loophole for FDA standards. Yeah yeah I know it’s up to us to look at what we’re actually eating, but come on guys, do you really feel that much bigger pretending that your forty six different impossible-to-pronounce ingredients adds up to a “natural” food? Psh. Nonetheless, General Mills doesn’t beat around the bush here, so good for them.
What does it taste like? Well, to be quite honest, like artificial cherries. Weirdly enough, cherry-flavored foods don’t taste much like real cherries, but not necessarily bad. It just has that generic flavor to it that every red lollipop ever produced also has. It’s good and it’s pleasant, and it’s reminiscent of Trix since Trix had some cherry flavored pieces in it (which used to be SHAPED like cherries too before they decided to turn them into the most generic ball shape possible). It’s pretty good, and unique enough among cereals to be worth your time.
As mentioned, Fruit Brute was around during the ’70s and early ’80s, and pulled in 1984, meaning it hasn’t been around for 29 years. Interestingly enough they randomly changed the spelling of the cereal to “Frute Brute”. That or in the excitement of reviving a three-decade-old cereal they just misspelled it and let it slide by on the quality control floor for every single box. No matter, this cereal is about Halloween, not spelling. Go eat Alpha Bits if you’re that offended by it. To the rest of you, enjoy the Monster Cereals while they’re around. They won’t be back for another year.