Oat Cuisine?

New from Kellogg's, the 10th (really!) version of Special K: Multigrain Oats &Honey.

Original Special K, you will doubtless recall, consists mainly of rice, followed by wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, dried whey, some flavoring and a bunch of vitamins and minerals. But the main ingredient in Multigrain Oats & Honey is -- no, not oats, as its name might suggest -- whole-grain wheat, followed by rice and sugar, then whole-grain oats, and wheat bran, milled corn, honey, soluble wheat fiber, salt, some flavorings and a slightly different bunch of vitamins and minerals.

(As Mr. Tidbit has pointed out way too many times, Special K products vary widely in nutritional composition: "Special K" is a brand, not a specific nutritional profile. The new product is much closer to the vitamin and mineral content of the original than are many other Special K items, but, although a serving of original Special K is enriched with 100 percent of the daily value for vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid, Kellogg's sees fit for reasons Mr. Tidbit cannot imagine to enhance the Multigrain Oats & Honey version with only 35 percent of the daily value of each. And where original Special K has 35 percent of the daily value for vitamin E, the new version has none.)



Over at General Mills there's a new version of Cocoa Puffs: Brownie Crunch. According to the boxes, regular Cocoa Puffs are "naturally and artificially flavored frosted corn puffs," and Brownie Crunch is "naturally and artificially flavored sweetened chocolatey squares."

So the pieces of Brownie Crunch are square pillows, not round puffs, and they don't have a shiny "frosted" sugar coat (Brownie Crunch has one less gram of sugar per serving). Is that the whole difference? Not quite. The ingredients are almost identical, but Brownie Crunch has some yellow corn flour that regular Cocoa Puffs doesn't.

So after they've soaked in a little milk, the pieces of Brownie Crunch really are just the least little bit chewy!