Before Violet Beauregarde puffs into a blueberry in Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she chews a stick of Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum. From a single piece, she tastes tomato soup, roast beef with a baked potato, and blueberry pie. Most of Willy Wonka’s magical experiments might still be outside our reach, but while we yearn for the day the Fizzy Lifting Drink will pull us out of awkward conversations, we can find peace in the fact that modern food science has basically given us the three-course gum.
Since 2013, Lay’s has turned potato chips into multiple-course meals of their own, thanks to the “Do Us a Flavor” promotion that spawned Chicken & Waffles, Southern Biscuits & Gravy, and many, many more. It’s only fitting, then, that those magical flavor dusts have moved into other meals, like the recently-announced Honey Brunches of Oats Chicken & Waffles cereal.
As reported by the Daily Meal, the Walmart-exclusive cereal will hit shelves on March 7, National Cereal Day. It’s a mix of tiny cereal pieces shaped like waffles, browner bits in the vague form of a chicken drumstick, and classic oval flakes of Honey Bunches of Oats. Apparently, it will be joined by a Maple Bacon Donut version, but unlike brunch, it won’t drag on forever. This mash-up shouldn’t be terribly surprising, since Post also created Hostess Donettes cereal just a few months ago.
The idea of forcing food to be other food is a weird gimmick, I’ll admit, and sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with a good thing. However, unlike Donettes cereal, which will bring memories of truck stops and desperation to your breakfast table, Chicken & Waffles cereal recalls a dish that’s actually pretty damn good. And while I’m definitely down to dump this in a bowl, we should probably adjust our expectations, because there’s no way crunchy cereal will ever satisfy like perfectly fried chicken skin, and even when it’s soggy with milk, cereal will never match a fluffy, syrup-covered waffle.
Still, waiting for brunch sucks, no matter how many mimosas are waiting on the other end, and if we can keep those weekend vibes going throughout the week, well then, I’m game to try all these marvels of flavor science. If reviews of Lay’s Chicken & Waffles chips are any indication, we can probably expect this to taste a little like a syrupy Chicken in a Biskit—which, to be honest, sounds fine.
However, if we have to live in a world where cereal has to pretend to be other foods, at the very least, can we please have French Toast Crunch back?