Being hyper-excited when a shiny foil package of Pop-Tarts somehow finds its way into your possession isn’t something most adults make a point to admit–even if it is essentially the real adult-life equivalent of finding a golden [but silver] ticket to an enchanting place where eating copious amounts of sugar and demonstrating childlike innocence is applauded. But whatever, we get it, enjoying something highly processed and void of nutrients on any level feels dirty, and as people who claim to genuinely revel in cooking and eating… we’re supposed to be “above it.”
That said, we’re not.
If we are hardcore against anything here at MyRecipes, it’s food shaming. And if getting to try the newest flavor of Pop-Tart via the shattered pastry pieces left on the table after your kid found something better to do brings some unique joy to your morning–we’re not here to condemn it, we’re here to celebrate the fact that your child indirectly made you breakfast and that it made you happy. Plus, our staff collectively realized this week that we have yet to outgrow our enthusiasm for iconic children’s breakfast food items… and we figured there’s no way we’re alone in that. So I took the initiative to fall down an obsessive internet hole to bring you absolutely everything you could ever care to know about Pop-Tarts. Embrace your closet food love and enjoy.
1. The history of the Pop-Tart
Let’s take it back to the beginning, back to 1963, when our favorite toaster pastry existed before Kellogg’s dominated the prepared breakfast market. Originally, Post introduced the idea based on the recent innovation of foil-packaged, non-refrigerated, dog food. Yep, dog food. This mental light bulb led Post to develop “Country Squares,” the first generation shelf-stable, fruit-filled pastry. Soon after the premature product announcement dropped, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts competitively hit the market and were flying off of the shelves. Moms everywhere rejoiced at this new “healthy” and convenient solution to getting their kiddos fed and out the door with ease. After two weeks on the market, Pop-Tarts completely sold out. Thus, a foundation was laid for a revolution in the packaged breakfast food industry.
2. Index of flavors (then and now)
Back in the day, the inventory was simple; 4 [unfrosted] flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, Apple-Currant Jelly, and Brown Sugar-Cinnamon. Through the years, we’ve seen that selection grow to more than two dozen flavors (categorized for your reference below). Let’s break it down further with this taste of each.
Classics | Unfrosted:
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon
- Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter
- Whole Grain Brown sugar cinnamon
- Gone Nutty! PB&J Strawberry
- Wildlicious Wild! Berry
- Wildlicious Wild! Cherry
- Blue Raspberry
- Confetti Cupcake
- Cookies & Creme
- Hot Fudge Sundae
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate Chip
- Gone Nutty! Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Printed Fun Sugar Cookie
- Printed Fun Gingerbread
New | Limited Time:
- Cinnamon Roll
- Red Velvet
- Maple Bacon
- Chocolate Strawberry
- Spring Frosted Strawberry
3. The 50 year debate – To toast or not to toast?
This remains a heated topic (no pun intended, but really). Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the first official Pop-Tart mascot, Milton, was an adorable animated toaster… which would imply–along with the “pop” in the name–that the proper way to prepare a Pop-Tart is by heating it to warm gooey perfection in a toaster. An while many believe it’s an abomination to consume an un-toasted tart, others swear by eating them cold, straight out the wrapper. I say, you do you. And if you engage in a debate on the matter–let it be civil and intelligent. Like this one:
P.S. @julia_kate22, the answer is No.
4. What’s in a Name?
Sure, Pop-Tart is an iconic household name now, but did you know that our beloved grab-and-go, dessert-for-breakfast was once known as a “Fruit Scone?” Thankfully, Andy Warhol’s Pop-Art came along and a [much appreciated] name change was imposed.
5. Celeb Pop-Tart Love
We were both young when I first saw you. I close my eyes and the flashback starts…
Lyrics actually written about Pop-Tarts? Maybe. Taylor Swift notes that one of her go-to comfort foods is none other than a classic low-fat strawberry frosted Pop-Tart. And she’s in good company; Kellogg’s has revealed that Frosted Strawberry is their number one selling Pop-Tart flavor followed by Frosted Brown Sugar-Cinnamon in close second.
Jessica Simpson admits that, in true southern fashion, she prefers her breakfast tart covered in melted butter. If you haven’t tried it, grab a pack (unfrosted) and go forth–be born again. It’s akin to a flaky, buttered biscuit with sweet notes of jelly inside.
6. If after all of this, you do feel like “rising above” the box…
Make your own frosted tarts at home, like these.
7. Or watch us do it.
Join Robby Melvin in the Time Inc. Food Studios to see our take on the Pop-Tart. In terms of flavors, we’re really into homemade Nutella-bacon and Fresh Strawberry right now.