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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Raisin Squares

I wish I could say that living in the United States is awesome, but we're third-world when it comes to our cereal. Where the hell are my Raisin Squares?


To the uninitiated this might look like a dull, health-food cereal, but you're so wrong. Shredded wheat, raisin and milk is a comfort food combination like none other. These simple ingredients combine into an alpha food that's greater than the sum of it's parts.

And now they're gone; and not only are they gone, but they've been replaced by powder.


And I don't even want to think about Strawberry Squares. Did you know those things had genuine Smucker's jam in them?

It's not all bad, though. Kellogg's recently released a new product: Mini-Wheats, with a touch of fruit in the middle!
Is this the spiritual successor to Raisin Squares? Not exactly.
The fruit doesn't taste as good as my nostalgic memories of discontinued cereal brands, and it certainly doesn't taste like blueberries and strawberries (and, for some reason, they're frosted, which doesn't help at all).
But they aren't bad, and the texture is very close to Raisin Squares, although it's a little bit soggier.


According to my sources, they (Kellogg's) do still make Raisin Squares, just not in the United States. Canadians, for instance, supposedly eat Raisin Squares whenever they feel like it. There's a Kellogg's plant up there that cranks the stuff out.
Now here's the strange bit: Raisin Squares are still made in the United States. There's a plant in Lancaster, PA that still produces the cereal, but only when the Canadian plant is down for cleaning or whatever other reasons. The tragedy is that all of those boxes of Raisin Squares get shipped right out of the country so they can be enjoyed by Canadian digestive tracks while Americans are stuck with those terrible powders (which are actually very popular).

I've also heard that Raisin Squares (and the other fruit-filled Mini-Wheats like Strawberry Squares) were discontinued partly for their lack of popularity, but also because they were the toughest cereal to clean up when a line was run through the plant. Powders are easier to deal with than Smucker's jam.


As I write this, I'm choking on a tiny piece of Raisin Bran Crunch. It's like cereal-flavored glass and, so far, no amount of milk has softened the little bastard. Raisin Squares never treated me like this. Raisin Squares respected me.

18 comments:

  1. That commercial is vaguely familiar to me, and I remember the style being nothing unusual, as opposed to the 80s cheese-wreck it is today, but in my memory it came later than 1984. Maybe it was one of those commercials that got repeated for years.

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  2. I'm an American expat and am missing Raisin Squares or even just basic Shredded Wheat! I figured France just sucked when it came to cereal choices. But I just learned that Raisin Squares no longer even exist in the US :( What a sad day...

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  3. I have written Kellogg's several times to ask them to start producing/distributing here in the U.S. and have had no response. (Sob.)

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  4. The successor to Raisin Squares is Mini-Wheats Raisin, a non-frosted Mini-Wheats variety that replaced Raisin Squares in 1999. That was discontinued in the early 2000s.

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  5. Mini-Wheats Raisin?? I'd never even heard of these guys!

    Your last sentence broke my heart.

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    Replies
    1. Well, that was what I remember very well back in 1999. Just look it up on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-wheats#History

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  6. On the other hand, anyone remember Fruit Wheats? You know those commercials for that Nabisco cereal (a variant of Shredded Wheat, now made by Post) that had that jingle "New Fruit Wheats, the 'in' cereal" and were available in these fillings: strawberry, apple, and raisin?

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    Replies
    1. I never had the pleasure. How'd they compare to Kellogg's?

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    2. Nabisco Fruit Wheats was that cereal that had that "The 'in' cereal" jingle, and if you watched the short-lived TV series "The Charmings" (look up this show and "The Nanny" on Wikipedia and you'll see Sternin & Fraser Ink in both shows) on ABC you would have remembered this cereal and the commercial. Tawk with me...

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  7. Raisin Squares (and its successor Mini-Wheats Raisin), Fruit Wheats, and Frosted Mini-Wheats Touch of Fruit in the middle were those Shredded Wheats that had the fruit inside.

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  8. I feel that I am one of the biggest Raisin Squares fans. I ate as many as I could get my hands on and favored them dry as a sweet, chewy snack. I did however find worms in mine many times over...all varieties. But as a loyalist...would boycott them for a time until my craving became intolerable and even go so far as to keep them in the fridge...hopefully to discourage the hatching of my creepy cereal "pals". I wrote Kelloggs and got FREE coupons many times for my experience but I never gave up on the Squares trio!! Man I miss them. I do make it to Canada once a year and will check into getting some and importing them back for my own stash.

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    Replies
    1. AAAH! What?! Worms?! You ate Worm Squares?!

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  9. I'm trying the fruit in the middle version.. I had forgotten about Raisin Squares until I took a bite of my cereal. I had to google it at once to see if they were still being made. My boyfriend is Canadian and his family is all in Canada.. I think I'll be requesting a parcel..

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  10. "I Feel Pretty" is now a Pampers and Aquafina song.

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  11. East Coast vs. West Coast brand names:
    *Mayonnaise: East Coast - Hellmann's, West Coast - Best Foods
    *Ice Cream: East Coast - Edy's, West Coast - Dreyer's
    *Fast Food: East Coast - Hardee's/Red Burrito, West Coast - Carl's Jr/Green Burrito
    *Local TV Stations: East Coast - Call letters start with W, West Coast - Call letters start with K

    Where do you live, Justin? East Coast or West Coast? If you say either, you'll find out what you'll get from the coast you live.

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  12. Now Kelly Ripa is a Jif and Colgate spokesperson.

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  13. But keep up your 80s nostalgia with Kellogg's Raisin Squares and Nabisco Fruit Wheats, Justin!

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  14. I miss raisin squares too and now I can't find the touch of fruit with raisins either. I love Raisin Bran but would like some variety.

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