Supermarket Sweets

Taste-test, Aisle 1.

Supermarket Sweets: New Eggo Granola Waffles

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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

I like granola. I like waffles. Granola waffles? Sign me up.

Here's the thing, this isn't a new treat from Waffles and Dinges. They're frozen Eggo waffles. Before yesterday, I hadn't had Eggo waffles in oh, almost two decades. My memories of them are fond. They were a staple of my childhood breakfast table (it was actually a breakfast bar, but no matter.) I liked to take the bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup and carefully pour it into every square. I'd like to say that I did this to devilishly hold up my sister and sabotage her breakfast, but I think I was just showing early signs of being a control freak. In any case, I wasn't sure how I would like the waffles as an adult, so I was careful to judge the new product based on the what the box promised: waffles with "rolled oats and granola pieces."

There are two flavors: Chocolate and Mixed Berry.

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The first question you might be asking yourself is, which waffle is this? Here's the other one.

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Still confused? You have a right to be. Those with good eyesight will see that the little specks in the first photo are dark whereas those in the second are purplely/pink, leading you to guess that the first is the chocolate and the second is the berry. You'd be right. But you'd also probably guess what my first and most grave complaint is with these waffles—where are those "rolled oats and granola pieces"? Or the chocolate? Or all the berries?

The Chocolate Granola Waffles taste mainly of regular Eggo waffle. That taste is really salty, something I definitely didn't pick up on as a kid, with a hint of fake butter. Pretty underwhelming, in my opinion, but if you like original Eggo, you'll probably like these. There were very few chocolate chips, as you can see, and which was sad because I actually liked the bites that had them. There was definitely no oaty flavor or honeyed granola sweetness. In fact these waffles are flimsy (their puniness explains why it's only 190 calories for two) and have none of the heartiness of granola. I'd have loved to see some big chocolate chunks, maybe some pecans, even uh, a whole rolled oat.

The Mixed Berry Granola Waffles were much harder to take. I'll give ten points to whoever can tell me exactly what other berry product these taste like (my best guess is Mixed Berry Poptarts but I think there's something closer). The whole waffle is infused with berry flavor but again, no heartiness, no granola, no oats or fruits or chunks.

Of course a waffle tasting wouldn't be finished without having them as nature intended: with syrup. Doused in maple syrup, you start to understand the saltiness of the plain waffle. It turns on that salty-sweet light in your brain, the one that tells you that you're eating something akin to crack, and you should keep going to find out. The Chocolate Granola Waffles definitely won this test because they end up tasting like syrup. The Mixed Berry Waffles, on the other hand, compete with the syrup and become a cloying, berry sweet mess.

Beyond a little disappointment, I was left with a lingering question: "Why?" Why pretend that these waffles are full of "rolled oats and granola pieces", why say they're "fuel for the morning!", when you know that they're not? Why not just put granola into the waffles as promised? I guess I won't be working for big food companies anytime soon, because I don't have an answer.

So, Eggo Waffle lovers out there, tell me, have you tried these waffles? What did you think?

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