Released in late 2002, Berry Burst Cheerios is the latest product in the Cheerios cereal line from General Mills. It is (in this author's humble opinion) a reaction to the surging popularity of Special K Red Berries from competitor Kellogg's.

Berry Burst Cheerios is available in two flavors, those being Strawberry and Triple Berry. Both flavors feature fruit-sweetened standard Cheerios rolled oats. The Strawberry flavor features only strawberries, while the Triple Berry flavor adds some raspberries and blueberries. All fruit is dehydrated, and in milk are quite tasty.

Could this new cereal line unseat the current king of breakfast cereals? Only time will tell.

So it's midnight or so, and I'm walking around Kash 'n' Karry with a shopping basket full of all my requisite foods: ramen, salad mix, canned beans. Suddenly, it strikes me that the Florida winter is drawing to a close, and I'm completely out of warm-weather breakfast. Oatmeal and grits are great on cold days, but not beneath the sunshine of the Sunshine State: you need something cool. Something like... breakfast cereal.

Anyway, I'm looking down the cereal aisle, skipping all the really good cereals priced over $3 (Froot Loops, Smacks, Apple Jacks, ad nauseam), and I get to the Cheerios. The new Berry Burst Cheerios are on sale! I've never had them before, but I figure that any brand name cereal costing $1.99 must be a good deal, so I pick up the pinkish-red box, drop it in the basket, and check out.

The next morning is like Christmas. I can't wait to try out my new cereal. The big pinkish-red box is sitting on top of a pile of old microwave popcorn and Pop-Tarts boxes, ready to be opened. It's saying "EAT ME, ALICE!" And even though my name isn't Alice, I follow the box's instructions.

Crackle, crackle, crackle, as the top comes open. I wonder if UF will take the "box tops for education" thing. Probably not. Then comes the moment of truth: pulling open the plastic bag inside. With a big POP (as opposed to a snap or a crackle), the wonder of the BBC appears before me.

My first reaction is "What the hell is this?" Mixed in with seemingly normal Cheerios are these little runty proto-strawberries that look absolutely inedible, much less m'm m'm good. I compare the picture within to the picture on the box itself: the box touts big, juicy, real strawberries.

"Well, at least they were cheaper than the regular Cheerios," I think, and pour myself a bowl. Then I add the milk, and FAP! I've gone through the looking glass.

Now the strawberries are moist, sweet, succulent. They make me want to dip them in whipped cream and do weird things with Zhang Ziyi's body. "Holy shit!" I say out loud, piquing my roommate's interest. "The strawberries have arrived!" And just as quickly, they disappear, lost without a trace in the depths of sekicho's gullet.

The moral of this story, O my brother, is that you need to fill your house with Berry Burst Cheerios, even at the cost of forsaking your Raisin Bran, Count Chocula, or Cap'n Crunch. Feed the General Mills empire! Keep their brilliant breakfast engineers at work!

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