Thanksgiving in January … for breakfast

20 01 2011

I was all set to go out searching today for the perfect food to blog about. Turns out I didn’t have to.

I was rummaging through the pantry in search of dinner when I came across a jumbo box of Pop-Tarts labeled “pumpkin pie.” Apparently my mom bought them earlier today for my sister, who begged and pleaded and gave her puppy-dog eyes.


So I didn’t even have to go shopping this time around — which makes it seem like I’m lazy or a recluse. Both are probably true.

It almost feels like a cop-out, since I love both pumpkin pie and Pop-Tarts, but hey, I started classes this week — it’s a wonder I’m taking the time away from my hated bio homework to blog at all.

Plus, pumpkin pie and Pop-Tarts, while they make for a great alliteration, don’t necessarily sound like the most delicious combination out there. Nor the most obvious combination — I mean, who eats pumpkin pie for breakfast?  Besides me, I mean.

Kellogg’s does a lot of strange things with their toaster pastries (e.g. flavoring them like strawberry milkshakes), but usually their efforts turn out well (e.g. strawberry-milkshake Pop-Tarts).

But “frosted pumpkin pie” is just a little strange.

Time to give it a try. I ripped open the foil package — which has always frustrated me because they put two pastries inside each package, like they automatically expect you to be a pig and eat both. And if you don’t eat both, you’re forced to find a little baggie to save the second one in, since now you’ve destroyed its packaging to get to the first one. I feel like Pop-Tarts need an announcement on the front of the boxes: “Individually wrapped … sort of.”

I pulled out one pastry (and found a little baggie for the other) and bit into it. Another pet peeve about Pop-Tarts (even though I love them anyway): The crusty edges are always so dry. They need to make crustless Pop-Tarts, like that crustless bread my mom always refused to buy me when I was a kid no matter how much I complained.

Once I found the actual filling, I was able to get a better idea of what the Pop-Tart was supposed to taste like. Well … sort of able to. For as strong as pumpkin-flavored things usually are, this was surprisingly weak. I could definitely taste the spices, but the pumpkin flavor was almost entirely in the aftertaste.

I don’t know why, but that made me kind of sad. Maybe it’s because I’m the kind of person who heaps extra frosting on my cake and prefers my Oreos double-stuffed. But whatever the case, the minuscule amount of filling in the PopTart was really disappointing. Especially because it was supposed to taste like pie. I like pie.

I finished the pastry — which I don’t always do with everything I try, so that’s an indication that it was at least OK. And that’s exactly what it was: not great, but good enough.

I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more filling in these, but maybe that’s just me being picky. If you’re a pumpkin liker and not a pumpkin lover, I’m sure these will work great for you. But if you eat pie for breakfast and you’re expecting these to be a perfect substitute, you should probably just stick to pie.


Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [Vitamin B1], riboflavin [Vitamin B2], folic acid), corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, soybean and palm oil (with TBHQ for freshness), dextrose, sugar, cracker meal, contains 2 percent or less of wheat starch, nonfat milk, salt, pumpkin, maltodextrin, cornstarch, corn cereal, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), molasses, yellow corn flour, eggs, gelatin, cinnamon, vanilla extract, modified cornstarch, nutmeg, ginger, caramel color, sunflower lecithin, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, cloves, Vitamin A palmate, niacinamide, reduced iron, Yellow #6, pyridoxine, hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Yellow #5, thiamin hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Red #40, folic acid and Blue #1.
Price: $3.42 at Wal-Mart (16 in box)
Pumpkin pie … ish. Portable pie, in a way — if you’re a morning-pie person and you hate the fact that you always spill your pie all over yourself on your way to work, these are a good idea.
Cons: Doesn’t really taste like pie. So don’t expect a lot.

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