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Dorset cereals has long been associated with the very high end of breakfast. Boasting across its range and a variety of different grain and berries. It's the sort of cereal that you feel guilty for using when you visit a friend's house because of the perceived cost, but is it any good?
The 'Berries & Cherries' is completely removed from most people's view of a muesli based cereal. According to the packaging it contains 50% fruit and having eaten it I can well believe it. It contains large chunks of eight different types of berries (including Rasberrys, blackcurrants and Chilean flame raisins which I have never knowingly had before). While some of the berries are freeze-dried the majority are large succulent chunks and in such quantity as to ensure that every mouthful contains a gorgeous fruity hit.
The packaging is just as luxurious with a rustic, unbleached cardboard feel (not the glossy style you see in conventional cereals) with the 'Dorset cereals' logo in depressed, reflective silver type. Every inch of it reminds you that you are buying a premium product.
Even people who say they don't like muesli should at least give this cereal a try as it's really unlike anything else on the shelves. It is also versatile enough to be eaten with natural yoghurt or soymilk if you are a vegan.
Unfortunately the price does exclude it from being a every day choice and I have to make do with having it has the occasional treat. There are 85 grand boxes available which I have found great for stocking fillers.
In an attempt to improve my diet I have started eating cereal in the morning. In the past I have always chosen to skip breakfast, ignoring the one simple fact that it's the most important meal of the day. Now I don't eat first thing in the morning, but rather wait until I get to work so I have a little bit of an appetite when I eat my breakfast, and in an attempt to also inject more fruit and fibre into my diet I decided to give Dorset cereals a try, having seen other members of my family consume this particular brand of breakfast cereal.
==What is Dorset Cereal==
As the name suggests, Dorset cereal is in fact from Dorset in England. I only really know Dorset cereal for their muesli which is what I currently consume for breakfast, but I'm also aware that they have a selection of cereal bars, granola, porridge, and a new edition to the family, tasty flakes.
With 11 varieties of Muesli to choose from you really are spoilt for choice. The website states the following
"We Believe that life really is too short to settle for second best and that simple, honest pleasures are often the most rewarding. We take delicious things and add some more delicious things, then we mix them up a bit. We try lots of recipes; the ones everyone here likes, we make. Simple, but then the best things in life usually are"
Well that about sums it up then. They claim that their cereal is part of life's simple little pleasures, full of wholesome goodness, and tasty treats.
==The benefits of Muesli==
For over 1000 years this oatty, nutty, fruity cereal has been enjoyed by families across the globe. It is claimed to be one of the most healthy breakfast cereals for you as it generally contains plenty of fruit, fibre, protein and calcium - all of the elements required for a healthy diet. It has a long shelf life, lasting for several months at a time and it can be mixed with a variety of different products including fruit juice, yoghurt, fresh fruit or it can be enjoyed simply with any form of milk, or indeed a combination of these things to make for an even more satisfying breakfast.
I of course don't do anything fancy with my muesli, I just pour some into a bowl (careful with the protions), just a small amount as this stuff is incredibly filling, and pour on some milk and leave to soak in for a couple of minutes.
==Berries and Cherries Muesli==
As previously stated, Dorset Cereals have 11 different mueslis to choose from, but although there are 11 different kinds, I found that there were in fact only 4 to choose from in my local Tesco consisting of Really nutty muesli, Simply delicious Muesli, fruit nuts and seeds Muesli and finally Berries and Cherries Muesli - the choice for me was quite simple...although I like nuts, I didn't fancy having a bowlfull for breakfast and I was looking for something a little different to just standard muesli so that left me with fruit nuts and seeds or berries and cherries. Being a lover of fruit, more so than nuts I opted to try the berries and cherries.
===What you get===
For my pennies I got myself an 800g purple coloured box of the muesli which is described on the box as "a tangy mix of berries including raspberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, blueberries and cherries with chilean flame raisins, sultanas and cereals". Now this box claims to be packed with 50% of fruit so I was looking forward to trying this out for the first time - a nice fruity start to my day.
Pouring the muesli into a bowl I can immediately see that this is packed full with various raisins, sultanas and other berries, I would even go as far as to say that it looks like there is more fruit in the bowl than cereal and some of the fruits are giant. I only pour a small amount into a bowl because i know with past experience that muesli is incredibly filling, and i add some semi-skimmed milk and wait for it to soak in. I grab my spoon and dig in......my mouth is bursting with the juicy sweetness of the raisins and the sharpness of the cranberries, it's a good combination, and one that i find very satisfying, complimented by the rolled oats, it really is everything a muesli should be, and what's even better is i know it's good for me, and will help to keep my digestion in tip top shape.
As with anything I always try to look for a bargain and was pleased to find this muesli on offer in Tesco for a mere 2 for £5 versus the £3.49 for a single box, so I'm glad I took advantage of the offer and I got more for my money, and the fact that i enjoy this cereal makes it an even more satisfying purchase.
===Where to Buy===
You can buy Dorset cereal in most supermarkets and the price does vary from supermarket to supermarket. Being adverse to paying full price for anything I would always check out the bargains on offer before purchasing.
We get through stacks and stacks of breakfast cereal in my house. My two girls go through phases where they just want one variety and will eat it until they bored and then move on to the next and my husband can put away nearly half a bow in one bowl. I seem to spend a fortune on the stuff and therefore I don't often feel justified in buying myself the cereals I would love to try.
I normally order my shopping online and have it delivered, this has made me much stricter with my purchases and I no longer buy on impulse but every now and then I am not organised and have to venture into the store. It is on these occasions that my bank account really feels the pain.
On one such day I was strolling down the cereal aisle and just about to buy my normal cereal when my eyes strayed to the Dorset Cereals. Now I had tried on of the Dorest Cereal Museli's before at a friends hous and been really impressed with how it tasted but I had never actually bought any as it is a premium brand at a premium price. On this shopping trip however, a purple box caught my eye and the title Berries & Cherries had me reaching for the shelves.
I decided to treat myself as it did sound so heavenly but even though I was in a spoiling myself mood, the £3.49 price tag did make me gulp somewhat. I consoled myself that you do get quite a hefty box containing 800g of this delicious looking cereal.
Never have I been so excited to try a new cereal as the following morning. I tipped the cereal into a bowl and was thrilled to see an awful lot of tasty looking fruit. The cereal contained raspberries, cranberries, backcurrents blueberries and cherries along with some raisins and sultanas. I added my semi-skimmed and tucked in.
.....I am pleased to say that this cereal more than lived up to my expectations, tastewise it was amazing and stands head and shoulders above any other cereal I have tried. Every mouthful had a deicious taste of fruit and also tasted incredibly good for me. The Dorset cereals contain no junk so you can be confident that you are starting you day in a good way.
I love this stuff and while it is painfully expensive, I do think you are getting true quality here. It is certainly no an option for me on a weekly basis but I think every now and then I will treat myself to a box but will definatley hide it from my husband.
When my 77 year old dad asked me if I had tried Dorset Cereals I was amazed! Dad has lived his entire life on a bowl of cornflakes which he eats religiously with a dose of The Daily Telegraph! Day in day out this has been his breakfast for all of his life that is until he went to a hotel in the West Country and tried Dorset Cereals Berries and Cherries.
I am a lover of breakfast cereals and so is my husband and I had an exploding cereal cupboard mostly filled with different products I had bought to try. This was until I discovered Liz's Granola which I reviewed a few weeks ago. This has become my top favourite and had reduced the number of "let's try it cereals!" Anyway I had to take dad up on his offer and I purchased a box of Dorset Cereals Berries and Cherries.
I was immediately struck by the lovely purple card packaging and the part see through cellophane window patterned in the shape of leaves so you could see the delicious contents. These looked bursting with all manor of berries and dried fruit. In fact there is 50% fruit in there..
The cereal tasted out of this world! It is definitely at the top end of the cereal market in terms of quality. I had a bowl with Alpro Soya milk which I actually have grown to love in the last few months but you could have it with milk, yogurt, or even fruit juice. However you have it the liquid will turn a rich damson shade which looks really appetising! My only quibble is that although it suggests by the name that it is a berries and cherries cereal the main ingredients are actually raisins 16%, sultanas 16%, Chilean flame raisins 14%, and blackcurrant flavoured juice. The berries are actually less than 2%. It is my only quibble though because there is no dust in this box, it is literally crammed full of ingredients.
It is 2.2g fat per 100 grams, vegetarian, high in fibre, and low in fat and salt.
After eating this delicious cereal I thought I must go and check out their website
The website is a fun site very similar in design to Innocent Smoothies with lots of colourful images and is visually very easy on the eye!
I was amazed by the number of competitions they run so have a look- you can currently win a breakfast set, a gardening set, and lots of cereal if they like one of your photos you can send to them of life's simple pleasures!
They are also working with schools in Dorset to help them to grow healthy food.
In 2007 the Edible Playground Scheme worked with 4 Dorset schools to teach the children how to grow their own food, cook it and this was supplemented by visits to local producers. Dorset have been working to make this a national scheme so that more young children can experience this. Actually I find this has really touched me because as a small child my dad taught me so many flower and vegetable names which have stayed with me to this day. I know that so many children are growing up not knowing whether you would stand or crouch down to pick a strawberry, many only see them in a punnet. Promoting simple pleasures is really the ethic of the company. So by dad recommending this cereal I have actually found out about something I didn't know about that will hopefully help children to understand where their food comes from. People today are so much more time pressured and growing vegetables is something not many of us have time for, but the fact that these children are learning about it is a start and it should give them the knowledge if it's a path they want to tread in later years.
The company took this idea and built a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and they were awarded a gold in the courtyard garden section. Later they did a garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which was on a much larger scale than Chelsea-this one even had a wormery and a windmill! That won a gold too!
To buy the cereal costs £2.97 and it's the same price at all the major supermarkets when I checked this morning on www.mysupermarket.co.uk. You can also mail order it from them along with lots of other goodies but it's more expensive to buy it online.
So thanks to my dad not only for teaching me all about fruit and veg and flower growing but also for recommending this cereal. It's great and I might sample one of the many others in their range now!
Dorset cereals have always been a favourite of mine though always priced at the "premium" end of the market so I tend to look out for them when they are on some kind of special offer. Berries and cherries however is the exception and I will stock up on boxes of it whenever I can whatever the price. Dorset cereals are very generous with the fruit content (50%) and it really makes a difference to the taste. Some of the flakes have also been flavoured with blackcurrant juice which you can certainly taste. This is a cereal that is great to wake up to but works equally well as a healthy snack after work of the gym. The mixture of natural sugar in the fruit and complex sugars in the flakes keeps me from slumping mid-morning at work while the taste and texture makes eating it a pleasure rather than a chore.
The one problem I have with all Dorset cereals is to do with the packaging, the holes in the front let cereal through which can be very annoying in the mornings, it is a small complaint however and should by no means put anyone off buying this delicious cereal.
It's been a long time since I had muesli for breakfast but I had occasionally enjoyed Dorset Cereals' Fruity Porridge during the winter. Waitrose currently has their whole range of cereals and cereal bars at half price, so this seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. I picked up a box of the Berries and Cherries variety; it comes in a purple box with cut-out leaf shapes on the front that give you a peek at what you're getting in the inner cellophane packet.
The box indicates that the contents are fifty per cent fruit, but the name of this cereal is perhaps slightly misleading. The greater part of the fruit is actually made up of raisins, sultanas and chilean flame raisins. The dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, blackcurrants and raspberries are each present in very small amounts (between 0.5% and 1.5%). The cereals include barley flakes (some of which are flavoured with blackcurrant), oat flakes and wheat flakes (some of these are toasted and malted). Sugar is not listed as an individual ingredient, but it has been added to the blackcurrant flavouring as well as to the cranberries and raspberries. The fat and sodium contents are both low, and there are no preservatives.
The packet suggests that you should shake the contents before opening 'to get the best bits back to the top again', so I duly followed this instruction and then poured around 100 grams into a bowl. I was struck by the amount of fruit that I saw, which did indeed seem to be equal to the quantity of cereal flakes. There were plenty of raisins and sultanas, but I could also see more blackcurrants and blueberries than I had expected. The cranberries and cherries did seem to be thinner on the ground.
Dorset cereals says that you could eat this with yoghurt, fruit juice or milk, but I have always prefered skimmed milk as an accompaniment to muesli so I stuck to this. I poured on my usual amount and noticed as I stirred that the milk quickly turned a mauve colour because of the purple berries. I am not one to tolerate soggy cereals and was pleased to find that the flakes in this one remained firm after the milk was added, as you would expect with good muesli.
Did the taste live up to expectations? Yes, it certainly did. Blackcurrants are a favourite of mine, and I could certainly define their sharp taste alongside that of the raisins and the various cereal flakes. The fact that some of the barley flakes are flavoured with blackcurrant probably strengthened this flavour, but the toasted and malted wheat flakes also made for a delicious balance. I could not pick out the flavours of the cranberries, cherries or raspberries quite so easily, but they were not the main ingredients so this was hardly surprising. In all, I would say this is one of the best varieties of muesli I have tasted, and it was certainly very filling too.
Allergy advice on the box points out that the cereal contains gluten, wheat, barley and oats. It may also contain traces of nuts and sesame seeds. It is approved by the Vegetarian Society. Other varieties available include Super High Fibre and Really Nutty Muesli.
I will definitely be stocking up on more of this cereal while it is on offer at Waitrose. It is normally quite expensive, but it is easy to see why. It contains high quality, wholesome ingredients, including blackcurrants and blueberries which are both said to be superfoods. Our diet should include wholegrains, and these are present in the form of oats, wheat and barley. Dorset Cereals describe this as 'unadulterated breakfast pleasure', and I have to say I agree. If you enjoy fruity muesli and like the taste of blackcurrants, give this a try.
Berries and Cherries is a tangy mix of berries including raspberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, blueberries & cherries with chilean flame raisins, sultanas & cereals. Ingredients: Raisins (including chilean flame raisins)(30%) sultanas (16%), blackcurrant flavour barley flakes (barley, sugar, blackcurrant flavouring, fruit and vegetable concentrate (blackcurrant, black carrot), vegetable oil), oat flakes, wheat flakes, toasted and malted wheat flakes (wheat, malt), barley flakes, sweetened dried cranberries (1.5%) (sugar, cranberries, sunflower oil), sweetened dried blueberries (1%) (blueberries, sugar, vegetable oil), freeze dried cherries (0.5%), freeze dried blackcurrants (0.5%), freeze dried raspberries (0.5%).