28 December, 2010

McDonald's New Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

I'll be honest:  Oatmeal is not my favorite food.  When I was a kid and my mother used to make oatmeal for breakfast, it had the magic power to turn my stomach on the second spoonful.

These days, oatmeal seems to have developed other magic powers, like doing good stuff to one's cholesterol levels and having lots of fiber so you can live the American dream of having bowels that move with clockwork regularity. 

I don't really care about those things, though.  As I've gotten older, I've found that I can actually enjoy oatmeal now and then, especially if it's not served in a thick, sticky, overcooked lump with milk poured over it the way my mother used to do it. 

Anyway, McDondald's sent me a few coupons for their new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal and asked me to give it a try.  I agreed because although McDonald's is making this product an all-day offering, I associate oatmeal with breakfast and McDonald's breakfasts are pretty much universally awesome.  I thought that maybe some of that awesomeness would rub off on the oatmeal, even though I wasn't very optomistic.

So, Sunday morning, my wife Maryanne and I each sat down to a serving of Fruit & Maple Oatmeal courtesy of Mickey D's.  Each cup contained a generous portion of lightly sweetened oatmeal with a touch of maple flavor, topped with brown raisins, golden raisins, diced red and green apples, and dried cranberries.  There was a generous amount of fruit - enough that we didn't need to ration it out as we ate to insure that there would be some in every bite - and the sweetness was very mild and not at all cloying.  There was just enough maple flavor to be noticeable without being overwhelming, so the overall flavor profile was exceptionally good.

I'm not sure if McDonald's is using a "cooked" oatmeal or an "instant," but in this case it didn't matter because it didn't taste like instant.  The cereal was hearty with big grains and reminded me of good steel-cut oats.  It had that familiar oatmeal texture without being lumpy or gluey.  And it was extraordinarily satisfying: the portion size was just right.

Maryanne, who is a big fan of oatmeal to begin with, loved it.  I expected that.  What I didn't expect was that I liked it too.  I went into this thinking "Eww, oatmeal" but came away with the impression that McDonald's potentially has a winning product here.  I'm not sure how many cups of oatmeal they're going to sell during traditional lunch and supper times, but at breakfast I can see this stuff being a big hit.

So here's something I never thought would happen:  I'm actually going to give a thumbs-up to oatmeal - specifically, McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.  If you're out for a fast-food breakfast but not really up for a McMuffin (more words I never thought would flow through my pen) this might be just what you're looking for.  I'd buy it again (just don't tell my mom.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up!!! Sounds good, i am not usually a fan of oatmeal either.

Andrew said...

I used to eat oatmeal every day for dinner....
It's nice and cheap, which is always a consideration for me.

You've got me interested in this new oatmeal from McDonald's. I'll try it.

EatinistBitch said...

not sure if maybe they just make it differently where you are..but i wasn't that impressed with it. the fruit mixture was def abundant and tasty, but the oatmeal itself...eh. not terrible at all, but nothing to write home about.