Over the weekend, I, together with my American host family, decided to review the new addition to the Pop-Tart family: Pop-Tarts Pretzel Chocolate. The brand, owned by Kellogg’s, recently introduced this flavor as well as the Pop-Tarts Pretzel Cinnamon Sugar.
I am a foreign exchange student and had never tried any Pop-Tart before this one. To be able to compare it to other PopTart-flavors, I asked for my host family’s opinion as well, as they have tried several other kinds of the toaster pastries.
First of all, the most obvious factor distinguishing the Pretzel kind from others, is the new packaging. I don’t think it makes a huge difference in awakening appetite, but, if anything, this packaging appears slightly more classy and less cheap and trashy than the original ones.
Once the cardboard box was opened, I was blinded by the sight of aluminium packaging, each holding two pastries. In contrast to the box, the individual packaging does not look classy at all; I felt like I was eating space food on doomsday because all other foods had been hoarded by a panicking population.
The second I opened the space foil, I was extremely disappointed. I could clearly see imperfections on my Pop-Tart. The swirling chocolate frosting on top was ruthlessly smushed and smeared; there was way fewer salt flakes than what appeared on the packaging, and there were strange dark green-like areas, looking like mold. After a thorough smell I decided it was probably safe to eat, but still not appetizing.
The back of the box provides clear, simple instructions on how to prepare the pastries. They tell you how to toast, microwave, and freeze the versatile Pop-Tarts. I personally tried them toasted, frosted and just as they were.
Let’s start with my experience consuming the breakfast food (?!) plain. As mentioned, I had already been disappointed by its looks and thus lowered my expectations. The second I took my first bite, my initial thought was “bland.” It was simply nothing special. The flavor was less prevalent than I had expected, neither the salt nor the chocolate really popped.
On their website regarding this specific Pop-Tart, Kellogg’s states, “It’s even more amazing toasted.” I do agree that the toasted pastry was indeed better than the plain one. A big part of this was the fact that the warmth made it more comforting in my mouth. The chocolate tasted much better than in the plain one, and I was actually impressed with the taste quality of the chocolate filling the square. However, I still can’t say it was amazing. It was still missing the saltiness needed to resemble a pretzel, as well as the consistency.
After 20 minutes in the freezer, as the instructions suggested, my frosty Pop-Tart was ready to get in ma belly. Even though it might be annoying to have to wait for your dessert (or breakfast?!), the wait time was totally worth it. I don’t know the chemistry of it, but somehow the frost made the Pop-Tart taste saltier, and thus a little more pretzelly. The chocolate still tasted as good, but made more room for the pretzel taste.
From best to worst, I rate the preparation methods: Frosted, toasted, plain.
In America, Pop-Tarts are apparently considered breakfast food and are found in the breakfast aisle in the grocery store. However, as a foreigner, I would never eat this as anything other than a dessert. As for sweet-tooth satisfaction, I must say the Pop-Tarts Pretzel Chocolate did a good job. Thanks to the chocolate, it’s surely sweet enough to quench my post-dinner cravings, but because of the salt, it’s not enough to make me feel sick.
You can easily use the Kellogg’s website to find out where to buy these Pop-Tarts. Examples of stores offering them are Target, Safeway, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and King Soopers. I personally purchased them at my local King Soopers, and found them easy to spot in the aisle, likely because they were “new.”
The price, at least when I got them, was $2.99 for eight pastries. Not considering the quality, you definitely get a high quantity for your money, especially compared to what I’m used to in Norway.
As mentioned earlier, I also had my American host family taste the Pop-Tarts to compare them to the other kinds that I have not yet tried. According to them, the Pretzel kind was not convincing. They would buy the Cinnamon Sugar, S’mores, or Chocolate kind any time before these. However, they did like the Pretzel kind more than the fruit flavors, such as the Strawberry one, because this didn’t taste as fake.
To conclude, I was slightly disappointed in my first ever Pop-Tart experience. I wish they would have added more salt, and changed the consistency (perhaps made it more thick and soft) to better resemble a soft pretzel. I also wish that the actual pastry would look more like the picture on the box, and not like it was decorated by a 5-year old. All in all, here are my ratings on a scale from 1 to 10:
Box packaging: 6.
Individual packaging: 1.
Appearance of pastry: 2.
Sweet-tooth satisfaction: 9.
Compared to other PopTarts: 4.
Total: 4/10. I will not buy it again.