I consider myself a connoisseur and historian of breakfast cereals. Whether it’s remembering long gone staples of breakfast like Mr T cereal (corn based puffs shaped like the letter T) or killing a box or two before anyone else in the house is awake. Throughout the years I’ve consumed it all. The new cereal based on Sour Patch Kids candy was seen as another mark on a checklist.

Instead it became a lesson in pain and disappointment.

Sour Patch Kids current gimmick is, “they’re sour, then they’re sweet.” Much like actual children. Just when you’re ready to smack them out of the house, they do something cute. Likewise, the candy has an initial sour shock and as your mouth begins to reject the flavor, the sour has worn away and a tasty sweet treat remains.

The Sour Patch Kids cereal on the other hand is an endurance test of flavor horrors.

There are lots of flavors I enjoy in cereal. Chocolate, honey, cinnamon, and of course sugar. Sour has never once felt like a flavor that’s been lacking from my most important meal of the day. Much like meat, vegetables, and fish have also not been missing from the morning bowl.

The first spoonful starts like a joke. There is no way this entire serving is going to be this sour. No way the whole box, the entire purpose of this cereal is to taste like crunchy puffs of lemons. Much like the candy, the hope is that the sour wears away quickly with nothing but a sweet taste left. That assumption is grossly incorrect. The sour gets worse. Every bite chips away at years of cereal eating. Every previous bite of another cereal has been sugar and delicious, but not SPK. It tarnishes the memories of Saturday Morning Cartoons, toys inside, and a weekend sugar high.

Maybe not every bite of every cereal in my life has been pleasant. I recall eating generic Lucky Charms once that tasted heavily of salt. Soy sauce has less of a salty taste than this low rent leprechaun. A fresh batch of McDonald’s fries reels back from bargain basement Blarney stones and claims to be watching its sodium intake. Sour Patch Kids cereal made me crave the halcyon days of that half pint half price half quality cereal.

As if the single bites aren’t enough, the Patch detritus contaminates all of the milk. Much like a bowl of Cocoa Krispies or similar will turn the milk chocolate, SPK is a jigger of lemon juice without any balancing chaser.

This box of cereal has been in the house for nearly two weeks, and remains untouched beyond the initial bowl. I left the bag unrolled and box opened in hopes that a mouse might find this and the food wouldn’t go to waste. I awoke to a note from the mouse that read he’s going back to the animal testing lab because it’s less painful than this cereal.

I can’t think of a bigger mistake in cereal or kids’ foods. It’s honestly so bad I thought Dan Akroyd created it for a Saturday Night Live sketch. I implore you to never feed this to any child. If you have already bought a box, take it to the farm upstate or say it went out for a pack of cigarettes. Your kid will understand when it never comes back again.

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