The festival: a landmark of summertime reinforcing the laws of physics with every flash-flinging ride you wind past, and, while all the balloon animals and fluffy teddy bears make it seem like a locale reserved for docile featherweights, don’t be fooled: festivals are not for the thin-skinned.
Indeed, danger lurks behind every fried goodie and clinkity-clink coaster that threatens to hurl your body straight over the Kansas plains. That is part of what makes the festival so exciting: the subliminal notion that you could die at any moment.
Yes, dear venturers, the festival is a place where only the bold dare step, and these Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts are no different. These treats are not for the faint of heart. If you cower at the Kellogg, find yourself trembling at the thought of being sucked into a sugary shadow, then shoo! Be off with ye, oh crybabies! Oh sippers of chamomile tea! May you live a long and boring life.
Now that I have narrowed you down to the brave lunatics before me, quick! To the toaster!
Ah, yes, the toaster. The very appliance inspiring that 1987 champion of childhood animation, The Brave Little Toaster. It was there that I came to understand the value of endurance and grasped the reality that the car crusher in the junkyard is really alive, has googly eyes, and wants to eat my kitchen tools. Most importantly, I learned that small appliances can do amazing feats, and, while my toaster may not be able to fling itself over a mountain, it can sure transform a Pop-Tart, so I am going to toast this bugger on medium-low.
While we await our toaster pastry’s toasted goodness, let us observe a moment of silence to reflect on the values taught to us by The Brave Little Toaster.
(…I hope you are being silent right now, brave venturer…)
Okay! Moment of reflection complete!
And thus, here we have the magic of the toasted I-Scream Pop-Tart in all its rectangle glory.
Inside the crust rests the vanilla filling, which is ample in quantity. While it is meant to mimic the likes of vanilla ice cream, it maintains more of a gooey marshmallow consistency and holds a taste similar to that of Betty Crocker vanilla icing, which makes it hard to not smile when consuming. This flavor would threaten to overwhelm my taste buds if it were not for the milk-chocolatey icing, which adds a nice splash of cocoa flavor that both juxtaposes (word of the day) and balances the vanilla.
The pastry crust is crunchy and cracker-like without a distinguishing taste, acting more like a textural canvas to contrast the oozy vanilla filling. My first thought was that it would have been nice to shake up the crust and perhaps made it thin and crisp like a waffle cone, yet that would then pose the question: is it still be a Pop-Tart without the signature thick crust? Or does it morph into a completely different beast? A pastry with a new identity? I don’t know, but I could foresee such a conundrum causing an existential crisis amongst the community of toaster pastries. Thank you, Pop-Tarts, for tactfully avoiding such a catastrophe of pastry identity by keeping the crust the same.
And there are sprinkles! Rainbow sprinkles! The sprinkles are arranged on the frosting with all the logic of a tourist’s map, which would explain why so many tourists get lost every year (a growing problem in many cities). While it may not work for tourists’ maps, the random sprinkling of rainbow happiness adds a bit of visual joy, and I discovered that they don’t burn when you put them in the toaster, a question I’d never wondered, but am relieved to find out.
Like all Pop-Tarts of yore, it is quite sweet and would be better suited for the evening snack than the hearty breakfast. The list of ingredients is a lengthy one, predominantly of the sugar variety. I was a bit disheartened to discover that Pop-Tarts are still mingling around with the hydrogenated oil crowd, but hey, nothing’s perfect, and they do pack a walloping eight vitamins and minerals in there somewhere.
If there’s one final lesson to glean from The Brave Little Toaster, it’s that friendship is magic. Since there are two to a Pop-Tart package, these toaster pastries inspire sharing and will grant you friends beyond the realm Little Toaster’s town could’ve ever imagined, so rip open that aluminum package and share with a pal, or, since these are “I-Scream” Pop-Tarts, haul out the pint of Ben and Jerry’s and smoosh them into an ice cream sandwich.
In the midst of the lights and flashes and winky-dink rides, festivals celebrate the spirit of straightforward innovation, and these Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Pop-Tarts embody that very spirit. While they’re admittedly not revolutionary to the Pop-Tart world, they dare to be simple, a risk perhaps more valiant than going with the wispy trends of high-end vanilla beans and exclusive Verona chocolates. In the midst of an ever-expanding food empire, Pop-Tarts remain humble and they honor that identity here in the form of a chocolate-vanilla square, and that, in and of itself, is worthy of celebration. So break out the toasters, brave venturers, and celebrate.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Limited Edition Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 14.1 ounces/8 pastries
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Lots of chocolate icing. Variety of textures. Sprinkles. Humility. Eight vitamins and minerals. The hope of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream sandwich. The Brave Little Toaster.. Friendship is magic.
Cons: Hydrogenated oils. Vanilla frosting filling in the guise of ice cream. The threat of overwhelming vanilla flavor. Toaster pastry existential crisis. Nightmares of evil junkyard car crushers.