Thursday, February 14, 2019

Trader Joe's Neapolitan Puffs Cereal

The word "neapolitan" means to be "of the city of Naples". Simple enough. Though to be honest, I always that it was neopolitan, not neapolitan...did this change at some point of time without any of us knowing? Is this another Berenstein/Berenstain Bears glimpse into a parallel universe? I'm pretty sure it is.

How this word also came to mean "chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream altogether" is, of course, purely American. Three flavored desserts like spumoni became popular in the good ol' U S of A back in the 1800's, and since those three flavors just so happened to be also the 'merican tastes of choice, well, it became nearly synonymous.

So, a little confusing, and of arguably two origins? Sounds about right for the new Trader Joe's Neapolitan Puffs Cereal. Let me explain.

First - this is supposed to be fun cereal, right? It's three flavors of puffs! Words fall short of how excited my girls were to see the box when this definitely looked like more like a treat than an actual breakfast to them, bless their hearts. And it is fun. Out of the three, only really the vanilla kinda falls flat flavorwise, which is to be expected. High quality vanilla taste isn't really expected to be conveyed well via breakfast cereal. The chocolate and strawberry, though somewhat muted, still come across pretty well in a not-too-super-sugary kinda way.

So we could identify this is as a junk or special treat cereal, maybe kinda like Cocoa Puffs or Lucky Charms.

But then - look at the ingredients! Beans and rice! No corn! No wheat! None of those regular ol' breakfast grains. Rice isn't that odd - Rice Chex and Rice Krispies, amirite? - but beans? For breakfast? Odd, weird. It gives the cereal a kinda a healthyish vibe - I mean, look at all that fiber! And naturally then this is also gluten-free which is a plus.

So could this be a healthy cereal?

Maybe both?

Two origins, and kinda confusing. I'm kinda stuck on that beans thing.

No matter. This is a good, munchy cereal. There's a slightly shiny shellacky coating that seems to really help the neapolitan puffs maintain a good crunch even after sitting around in milk for quite a while. That's a big plus. Plus, all that fiber - usually, I avoid breakfast cereal in the morning as I feel that somehow it only makes me hungrier. Not here - a bowl kept me reasonably filled til lunch!

Plus, as an added bonus, the pinkish/brownish milk it leaves behind is pretty decent. My kids loved having "chocolate milk" in their cereal. Again, bless their hearts.

I don't do cereal often, and I'm not sure I'd really go for these tri-flavored puffs over and over again, but they do make a nice little pick up. For a gluten-free fun cereal, why not? The box runs $3.99 which is a little high on the TJ's scale, so there's another slight knock. If it were up to our kids, these would be a surefire pantheon pick, but to us more reasonable adults, some matching threes will do.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Neapolitan Puffs Cereal: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Replies
    1. Have you had cocoa puffs? That's chocolate at breakfast.

    2. Actually, no. Even as a child they didn't interest me.

    3. Cocoa puffs with chocolate milk was my go to breakfast in college. With coffee.

  2. I heard rumors that TJ's will be releasing a Neapolitan joe joe ice cream so that might be better.

  3. I love snacking on cereal dry and was sooooo disappointed that my TJs was out of stock of this! And still out of stock of those mythological sunflower butter cups!
    As an aside, the peanut butter puffins cereal that TJs sells is an all time favorite for me- no beans in there but great pb flavor and crunchy, also high in fiber so it’s surprisingly filling.
    I’ll just have to look for this again next time i shop

  4. My best friend and I both love it. I don't mind the sugar because everything else is great stay-wise, and I cannot eat gluten or corn or yellow number 5, so no issues here. It is vegan too, from what I see, which is a plus for me and people who want more options in this realm. Even my husband liked it and said it "tastes like regular cereal."

  5. I am having these right now...they are disgusting!! The flavor is very bland and the texture is “grapenut” puffs.