Millville Apple Rounds Cereal (Aldi)

A stock image of Millville Apple Rounds Cereal, from Aldi
If they don't taste like apple, then what in the hell DO they taste like?!

The one thing I always think of when I see a box of Apple Jacks, or even in this case, a private label knockoff of them, are the old commercials from the mid-’90s, which always featured a grown-up concerned this his or her child, and group of friends, enjoyed the titular cereal.  “Why do you like these things?  They don’t taste like apple!” the adult would say, to which the child would respond, “That isn’t why we like them!” The befuddled adult would then add another line to the interrogation. “Then why?”  There would always be a lengthy pause as the child seemed caught off-guard by the question, until he would inevitably respond, “We just do!”  Then everyone would laugh.

As a kid, the commercials had an almost rebellious feel to them:  Here were kids that liked something their parents didn’t approve of, for no specific reason.  They were eating them because they wanted to, and no amount of argument from the parents were going to change any of that.

Twenty years later (Good Lord, where has time gone?), and it’s good to see that some things never change:  These damn things still don’t taste a single thing like apple.  On the other hand, other things do:  The rebellious nature of the commercials has lost its appeal to me, and now I find myself on Team Grown-Up, wondering what in the world the appeal of this cereal is.

Anyway, like many of the products that end up in my cart on any given shopping trip, the only reason I grabbed a box of these is because it was on sale…for 99 cents.  Where I come from, you just don’t turn down any full-size box of cereal that can be had for just a dollar, so I decided to throw it into the cart.  If nothing else, it would manage to be a nice blast of nostalgia.

And that blast of nostalgia is about where it stops.  I remember them being a lot sweeter back in the day, though some of the sweetness could have just been lost in the translation from national brand, to private label.  The cereal O’s get soggy real quick, so eating a bowl of the stuff is more a race to finish it before it becomes inedibly soft more than an exercise in enjoyment.  While we’ve already established there’s no apple flavor, there’s really not much of a flavor period, beyond a slightly-sweetened mess of undetectable flavors, most of which are probably provided by artificial colors and chemicals.

I guess I can’t complain too much because I only wasted a dollar on these, but “waste” is certainly the word I’m looking for.  Even next time I see it for this cheap, I’ll know I can pass right on by.

Overall: 3/10.  Proof that some things should stay in your past.  Sure, these don’t taste a thing like apples, something that was a gleeful part of the national brand’s ad campaign years back.  But what DO they taste like?  They’re nothing but awkward-tasting, semi-sweetened “O”-shaped cereal bits with random flecks of red peppered throughout, for absolutely no reason.  They’re edible, which accounts for the three points, but they’re nowhere near enjoyable.  Also get soggy way too quickly, meaning you’ll be frantically trying to finish the bowl before it becomes a soft mess of grotesquerie.  All this being said, unpicky kids will probably love it.