Pop-Tarts are just friggin’ weird. They resemble a tart as much as I look like actor Tom Cruise, or even pre/post-drug fiend Tom Sizemore. The pastry is exactly two ninety degree angles that form an exact rectangle scarier than the black monolith in Kubrick’s classic. Instead of being filled with stars, Dave, it is filled with jam, calories, carbohydrates and sodium. The frosting is shiny like nail polish and is harder than fondant. So yes, this is not health food but its shape does scream convenience.
You won’t find Pop-Tarts in a bakery. When you give them to a child, you can’t help but make the “sorry face.” All the cool kids have the Toaster Strudels but Pop-Tarts have persevered through all of it. These ubiquitous things have remained a part of our existence and I am sure when the Sun starts expanding in its death, the waters on Earth have dried up, all mammals have become pieces of tasty jerky, those Pop-Tarts are still going to survive. I know so.
And as weird as they are, like Tom Sizemore and his old drug habit, I have a strong compulsion to buy any new flavor of Pop-Tarts I see. I just have to. I don’t care if I get mostly disappointed when I eat them. I just need to have them now. It’s the same exact feeling I get when I buy supermarket sushi or when I watch German art films.
I habitually stop by the Pop-Tarts section when I go to down the cereal aisle. To my delight, I saw a box of Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts. With a title like that, I was expecting this to rival the KY Jelly Fire and Ice. I could blame The Impulsive Buy and say I bought these because I am obligated to review them. In truth, I would have bought them anyway because I just need to.
From gumdrops to Sunkist, I love all things orange flavored. The fact there is an orange pictured amongst the fruits pictured on the box will probably be the closest thing I will ever get to a marmalade Pop-Tart. To be specific, there is a strawberry and cherry pictured as well. I’m assuming this is the fruit fusion which doesn’t seem that wild but it’s Pop-Tarts we’re talking about here.
Amusing to me, the only fruits listed in the ingredients are cherries and apples. Even more fascinating are the instructions on how to toast your goodies. I’m not sure what it says about its target audience. They even have a diagram to emphasize how to toast these things. More depressing is what does this say about me? I had to toast another because I burned my first pastry.
I normally eat these untoasted but I will review these Pop-Tarts in both the raw and the cooked form.
Unsheathing the treat out of its silver wrapper, it was a bit comical to me how vibrant the colors of the frosting were. It looked like someone slathered mustard on it and then zig zagged ketchup (in true 1950’s kitsch) all over the tart. This thing could double as Jem’s truly outrageous maxi-pad.
In the simplest form, without toasting, the crust is dry as expected. The frosting is the same vague sweet flavor that can be found on all Pop-Tarts with that unnatural sugar shell. The bite is surprisingly a bit tart and not overly sweet. I like it because it is not an abundance of immediate sugar that will numb your tongue.
The jam itself has a strong cherry flavor but I’m not sure if it overwhelmed the orange and strawberry. Not really a surprise since they aren’t listed in the ingredients. I ended up taking a couple more bites and only the tart cherry jam shines through. That is kind of disappointing but the fact that this (let’s face it, these things are really big cookies) is not as sweet as the other flavors is a plus.
Toasted, it smells like baked sugar but not in a welcoming bakery way. It’s just baked sugar. I hate that smell which is why I never toast them, but I’m also lazy. Texture wise, the frosting adds a nice crispness and the jam is even more intense. The taste is improved but not enough for me to bother toasting these things. I’m making a “lazy face” here.
Let’s be honest and come to an agreement that nobody really craves these things. There are better ways to spend 200 calories and the sodium is high enough to offset my blood pressure meds. I can’t tell you how many unfinished boxes of Pop-Tarts I have chucked out. I liked this one despite the repulsive color frosting but will probably not finish the box.
I would still make the “sorry face” if I had to give one to my little niece or any other kids looking for a snack. Yet, I (in a non-committal way) would eat these again as I made the “yeah, I know” face. So yeah reader, I know.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of Saturated fat, 2 grams if Polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 170 mg of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)
Item: Kellogg’s Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts
Size: 14.1 ounces/8 toaster pastries
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: The tart sweetness is a nice change. Easy to hold. Tom Sizemore in Heat. Tom Cruise in Collateral (Michael Mann is the man). Making faces. If you love cherry, you cannot go wrong. Toasting it has a nice texture. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Cons: No orange flavor. Easy to burn if you’re a dummy like me. Crust is dry but that’s to be expected. Wild frosting does nothing for the Pop-Tart. The color is a bit gross looking. Tom Sizemore in that sex video. Tom Cruise in MI:2. Loaded with sodium, unless you love sodium! 2010: The Year We Make Contact.