Snack Review: New! Pop Tarts Ice Creme Sandwich
The more I think about it the more I’m convinced that Pop Tarts represent the ultimate manifestation of the proverbial “impulsive buy”. I mean really. We all have these early 1990s flashbacks of kicking back to the tune of One Saturday Morning with a gooey, way-to-sugary Pop Tart stuffed in our face, and it leads us to just “have” to buy the latest and greatest flavor that Kellogg’s turns out in the line of the most popular toaster pastry brand ever.
Wait, I’m the only one?
I’m not trying to excuse my latest impulsive grocery store purchase of the new Pop Tarts Ice Creme Sandwich flavor, but it does give you some perspective from where I was coming from when I slapped down a cool $1.66 for the box of eight pastries and said “take me back to simpler days and Recess reruns” to the cashier at the store. Plus, given the recent debate of Serious Eats with regards to toasting Pop Tarts (yes, always, for me) I figured this was as timely a purchase as any.
First, the description. This is the fourth flavor in the new “Ice Cream Shoppe” line of Pop-Tarts, and promises “25% less sugar” than the usual run-of-the-mill toaster pastry (11 grams of sugar per pastry in these bad boys). The propaganda campaign is based on the following:
A creamy, white, ice cream-flavored filling in a dark chocolate crust, topped with white frosting and chocolate sprinkles for a fun ice cream-like treat.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sure does, except for the fact that if I’m in the mood for an ice cream sandwich, why don’t I just buy an ice cream sandwich? Besides, how can something that gets heated in a toaster or microwave actually taste like a frozen treat? Like I said, this was an impulsive buy…
Still, I was ready to get my toasted ice cream sandwich on, and jammed one of these bad boys in the toaster. Like all Pop-Tarts, it had a thin body covered with a kind of artificial icing that seems suspended in time, kinda like Han Solo in Shadows of the Empire. Typically I’ll microwave these suckers to get the full effect of the filling bursting through the frosting cover, but for review purposes I followed the directions to a tee and put it in the toaster on the lowest setting for one cycle.
After cooling briefly I dug in. The first bite, like many first bites, was rather underwhelming. It was more crust than filling, and not even a good tasting crust. More like a low-fat, partially soggy chocolate graham cracker taste than a rich and bittersweet dark chocolate cookie. The interior filling was pleasant enough. A creamy and marshmallowy frosting, it tasted strongly of vanilla and had much more sweetness than the chocolate pastry. But it wasn’t enough. In fact, the thinness of the Pop-Tart only allowed for so much filling, and the filling itself didn’t even stretch to the edges inside the Pop-Tart.
After eating these Pop-Tarts it has come to my attention that it tastes almost ridiculously like the S’mores flavor. Actually, now that I think of it, every Pop-Tart that uses some combination of chocolate and vanilla tastes like the S’mores flavor. Did it taste like an ice cream sandwich? Not really. I think the vanilla flavor was more pronounced and, texturally, a bit ‘creamier’ than the filling of other Pop-Tarts, but it still struck me as the standard vanilla cream filled toaster pastry filling — which means more artificial ‘mallow taste than rich cream. The crust was average, and in no way tasted of “dark chocolate.” The sprinkles and icing on top contributed little, if anything, to each bite, while the thin nature of the pastry itself didn’t seem to contain as much filling as they did when I was nine or ten years old. The single pastry wasn’t filling at all for the 190 calories, and I think I’d prefer a stale glazed donut at Dunkin’ Donuts if given the whole “Eat This, Not That” scenario. Oh well. At least I can still watch Recess on YouTube…
still going to eat two in all of five seconds? Spelling “Shop” incorrectly. Spelling “Cream” incorrectly.
Check ‘Em Out: http://www.poptarts.com/
Pros: Good on the go grubbing at a respectable price. Lowest sugar option for Pop-Tart enthusiasts and stoner munchie fans. Good vanilla marshmallow flavor on the inside. Gooey, sweet filling. Memories of Disney's One Saturday Morning.
Cons: Small, thin, and not very filling. More crust than filling. Lack of flavor in crust. Tastes almost exactly like the S'mores flavor. What's the point in eating a lower sugar toaster pastry if your still going to eat two in all of five seconds? Spelling "Shop" incorrectly. Spelling "Cream" incorrectly.
Price: 1.66 (on sale at Weis)
Overall GrubGrade: 5.50 (mediocre)
More Info: Check 'Em Out: http://www.poptarts.com/