Cereal Chatter. Are you the type to put fruit in your morning cereal to make it a more nutritious breakfast? I was never that type. “What is this, salad?”
The only things I’d add to my cereal as a kid were actual table sugar if it were Corn Flakes or Cheerios, or I’d add my own mini marshmallows if I weren’t already eating Lucky Charms or Count Chocula. Spoiler alert: I was.
So for you fruit-hugging hippies, what’s your fruit of choice? Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and Crunch berries are about all that makes sense to me in theory. Unless marshmallows are a fruit and I’m too dumb to know it, the list stops there. If you put a marshmallow gun to my head and made me pick a fruit that wasn’t on the above list, I can tell you that I would never think mango. It sounds a little crazy, so leave it to the always-a-little-crazy Trader Joe to dish out these new Trader Joe’s Mango O’s.
Trader Joe’s Mango O’s are toasted whole grain oat cereal with mango puree and freeze dried mango pieces. There’s mango puree in the cereal pieces themselves, and fruit-flavored cereal is something I can definitely get down with. Recall Strawberry Cheerios, General Mills Tiny Toast, and my personal favorite: Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles.
My new goal is to convince you all that marshmallows are fruits by the end of this review.
Eaten dry, the mango flavor in the Trader Joe’s Mango O’s themselves is both subtle and effective. The whole grain oat cereal pieces are largely unsweetened except for that mango understated mango sweetness. The only other sweetening agent is cane sugar, but you would never call this a sugary cereal as 1 cup only contains 7g of sugar (and that includes the mango). It’s a mostly generic oat flavor; there’s no signature flavor like in Cheerios. Some pieces have little dried mango pieces tucked right into the center of the O, and these ones predictably carry more flavor than others. I don’t eat many cereals with a tropical fruit profile, but the marriage works well enough for me. The cereal pieces also have a super mega crunch for the ages that make me feel powerful as I eat them.
There are large pieces of dried mango scattered throughout Trader Joe’s Mango O’s. They look like gigantic, puffy cereal marshmallows, but they taste like, wouldn’t you know it, mangos. The flavor is genuine to the fruit because they are literally just dried mango pieces, guys. There’s a little bit of a chalkiness to them, similar to cereal marshmallows, due to the freeze drying process. They’re also stiff like cereal marshmallows, but these fruit pieces melt as you chew them just like cereal marshmallows.
While I kind of liked Trader Joe’s Mango O’s dry, milk doesn’t. The primary flavoring agent in the O’s themselves – the mango puree – becomes nearly undetectable once doused in milk. The O’s weren’t very sweet to begin with, and the milk doesn’t enhance this. The mango flavor and all sweetness is now reliant upon those dried mango pieces, which are fortunately plentiful enough to save this to a degree. The cereal pieces retain a lot of their colossal crunch in milk, so at least there’s that, too. The mango pieces soften exactly like cereal marshmallows do. Fun flavor experiment here, but pretty lackluster in milk.
In summary, marshmallows are still my favorite fruit.
How Much Marshmallows Are Fruit Rating: 10 out of 10
Mango Flavored Marshmallows Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10
*Our friends at Cerealously reviewed Trader Joe’s Mango O’s too! Find out what they thought by reading their review here.*
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