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Hospitality Bunch o’ Cinnamon Squares Cereal (Dollar Tree)

I’ve only tried cereal from Dollar Tree one other time prior to this, and the experience did not go well. That probably explains why it’s been about four years since I bought one—and it probably would have been even longer had they not had this perched on an endcap, cartoon elephant peeking out at me through sad eyes as if begging me to take him home. I waffled back and forth a little bit, remembering how bad the fruit loops I had were, but a couple of things put my mind at ease: 1.) The 7 oz. size. I figured since it was a fairly small box, the cereal could still be pretty good; I’d be terrified of trying a full box for a buck, but places like Aldi have some excellent cereals for $2 or less, and that puts this about in the same price range; and 2.) The picture on the front. I know, I know, pictures can be deceiving, but the cereal pieces looked just like they do in the national brand.

Well, pictures are deceiving, which were my first thoughts after opening this cereal. It looks more like little pieces of a graham cracker-based cereal, rather than the typical, soft pieces that are in the national brand (and pictured on the front box). They’re also really small, too, though there did seem to be a decent amount of cinnamon on them. I went from being pretty intrigued, to being a little worried…and it was still downhill from here.

I hate to say it, because I really wanted to like this, but this cereal is terrible. Just awful. The cinnamon sugar tastes nothing like any cinnamon I’ve ever tasted…it’s somehow barely even sweet, almost to the point of being bitter, which is completely uninviting. The cereal bits have a slight taste at the beginning (though not a good one), but once they’re doused in milk, all the flavor goes away, leaving tasteless bits of sponge-like material floating in a sea of white.

Even the milk at the end was nearly undrinkable, despite having a ton of visible bits of cinnamon floating in it, thanks to the bitterness. This is not at all what I was expecting, and probably not at all what anyone buying this cereal is wanting…I somehow managed to finish the bowl (I was hungry), but I don’t think I’ll be able to even force down a second now that I know how bad it is. Spend an extra buck or two to get Malt o Meal’s version…then thank me later.

Overall: 2/10. The second cereal I’ve ever had from Dollar Tree, and pretty much guaranteed to be the last (note I’m talking about weird off-brands I’ve never heard of…the small Malt o Meal boxes are fantastic), Hospitality’s Bunch o’ Cinnamon Squares has to be the first example of cinnamon anything that isn’t sweet…in fact, it somehow comes off as almost bitter. The cinnamon also washes off the cereal pieces in milk, leaving tasteless masses of cereal floating around. I really wanted to like this, but there are really no redeeming qualities for this junk…spend the extra buck or two and grab Malt o Meal’s version from somewhere.

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