Many years ago, I used to frequent a comedy website called i-Mockery owned by a guy named RoG. At some point during that time, I stumbled across RoG’s strange obsession with a cereal called Boo Berry. In an effort to grow Boo Berry’s army of devotees and stake a permanent spot in the cereal isle, he has run an Unofficial Boo Berry Page since at least 2000. You should check it out, it’s so nineties, I just love it.

Now, I’d seen Boo Berry before, albeit infrequently, and I was aware of its existence, but, as there are so many choices in the grocery store, I never really gave it a shot. But when somebody fanatacizes over something, it has a curious effect – it makes one curious. It’s curious how curious it can make you. Also curious is how polarizing the cereal seemed to be. Maybe my memory has just been muddled over the years, but it seemed like people either loved it or hated it outright. My favourite photo is this one of RoG force-feeding his sobbing friend a bowl full of Boo Berry, which I’ve used now and then in attempts to persuade people to help me locate a box and group test it. It never really worked, mostly because my friends and acquaintances were really bad about following through with any interesting ideas.

But, lo, just last month, at Ferny’s Christmas party, old friend BP came to town with a mysterious gift just for me. On the brown wrapping, in cryptic runes, it read, “I don’t know what you’ll do with this, but my heart says you want it.” A friendly face greeted me from within. The time had finally come.

A Brief History of Boo Berry

Boo Berry totes itself as the world’s first blueberry-flavoured cereal. It is a part of General Mills’ Monster Cereals breakfast line, which includes Count Chocula, the first chocolate cereal, and Frankenberry, the first strawberry cereal, as well as two others which are oft forgotten. Boo Berry was released a year after the first two, in 1972.

Boo Berry typically only shows up in markets for a brief time every year – around Halloween. I believe that some claim Count Chocula and Frankenberry also only make annual appearances, but I’m fairly certain that I see them with some regularity in my area, whereas Boo Berry is strangely absent. I’m not sure why that is. Is Boo Berry just not as popular? Is it because it’s blueberry-flavoured and not something more mainstream like chocolate? I can only assume as much.

Whatever the case may be, unless RoG gets his way, chances are that, if you want a box of Boo Berry, you’re going to have to wait until October, drive around until you find it in store, and stock up on a bunch of it. BP found some in October and bought at least two boxes, one for me and one for himself. He said he tried it and liked it. Finally, after nearly a decade of idle wondering, I, too, would uncover life’s ultimate question: “Is Boo Berry good or, like, not?”

Opening the Box

A fresh box of Boo Berry.

A fresh box of Boo Berry.

You might not recognize the cereal at first if you haven’t seen it in a while. Boo Berry has this new, CG look to him (the artist confirms that it’s meant to play into Pixar’s popularity), a variant of the theme which I guess was introduced in 2010. I like that the cereal itself isn’t even featured on the front of the box. Boo Berry’s just like, “Yeah, you drove 2,600 miles just to buy a box of my cereal. I don’t need to show you shit.” Fortunately, mine is a “family size” box, and I’m eating it by myself, so it will last for a while.

The back of the box.

The back of the box.

The back of the box seems rather tailored to the dedicated Boo Berry eater. Two of the three little “games” involve matching box art to the year it came out, and there’s even a little screenshot from the first Boo Berry commercial in that TV in the bottom-right corner. The whole aesthetic of the thing indicates to me that they’re mostly making this cereal for the people who demand it, while trussing it up in a way that might appeal to younger initiates.

The Moment of Truth

The first couple of bites were kind of weird. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of the taste. It surely wasn’t as sweet as I’d anticipated. Actually, you know how blueberries have a sweet but bitter taste to them? Boo Berry is kind of like that. It’s not overly sweet like many breakfast cereals, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like too much sugar and thus generally despises cereal, you might want to try this.

But yeah, it does taste kind of like blueberry.

Boo Berry, before milk.

Boo Berry, before milk.

Scattered amidst the cute ghost-shaped pieces of cereal are a bunch of marbits (marshmellow bits). I’m pretty sure that they’re just standard General Mills marbits, like what you’d find in Lucky Charms. They serve mostly to provide a bit of a sugary punch without overloading on sweetness, I think. Or, if you’re that kind of child, they’re the things that you deliberately don’t eat until you’ve eaten all of the cereal, and then you shove them all in your mouth at once. I’m not going to lie, I saved about five of them at the end in order to do this.

The weird thing is, the more I ate of the cereal, the more I started to like it. Ordinarily, I’m fond of very sweet cereals. I typically start my day with a bowl of Capn’ Crunch. Boo Berry is not nearly as sweet as Capn’ Crunch (it has about 1/2 the amount of sugar in an equivalent serving), and yet there is an alluring aspect which I cannot presently identify. Maybe it’s because it’s so subtle, or because it’s so different, or maybe it’s just one of those foods that tastes better the more you eat of it (Does that happen to anybody else? Do I just not have a refined palette?).

Before I began typing this article up, I was thinking about it. I kind of wanted another bowl, but I knew that I would need to wait until the next morning. It is now, at the time of this writing, lunch time, and the only thing that sounds good is more Boo Berry. I don’t know what’s happening. What have I done?

I will need to wait until tomorrow to finish this article.

The Verdict

I waited over a week to finish this article.

Alright, so first of all, the cereal tastes very different depending on whether and how you combine it with milk. As a dry cereal, the blueberry flavour is much stronger. The milk dilutes the flavour, but it doesn’t make it bad. My personal suggestion is to pour a half a cup of milk over the top and let it sit at the bottom, and then eat the cereal off the top dry or lightly doused. Interestingly, the mlik doesn’t become infused with the blueberry flavour all that much, so I’m not sure what happens there.

It is at this point that I recognize my hubris in believing that I could even come close to providing a satisfying critique for this article. I can’t describe what it is about Boo Berry that draws me to it so much. I feel like a schoolchild engaging in a generic writing prompt. “I like Boo Berry. I like it a lot.” There, is that a good enough answer? That doin’ anything for ya?

Secondly, even a week later, eating a bowl of Boo Berry after taking three days of other breakfasts, I’m sitting here at lunch time and I’m thinking about that cereal again. The taste doesn’t linger in your mouth. It just… haunts me. It haunts me. That’s what it does. It is a ghost-themed cereal that takes basically possesses me to eat more of it.

I understand now.

I understand so many things.

I understand why people are willing to go to such extreme lengths to get ahold of some Boo Berry. The people who love it have fallen to his ghastly charm. The man known as RoG doesn’t exist, and probably hasn’t for a very long time. He is merely a fleshy puppet, a vessel for Boo Berry to use to spread his word across the physical plane and lure more hapless individuals into him. He is gathering souls. I know not for what purpose.

Hahah. Hah. Just kidding. So in summation, you should try Boo Berry, mortals – er, I mean, dear readers. Partake of the feast, and join us – uhhh, that is, join us in enjoying this delicious General Mills breakfast cereal. Seriously, I actually really like this stuff. I’m alternating each day, Boo Berry one day, Capn’ Crunch the next, in an effort to extend the longevity of the box. Once it’s gone, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably drive across the country in search of more boxes. I doubt you’ll hear from me for many months. When you do, it’ll be on NoSleep.

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