QUICK REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts

Kellogg’s Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts taste better than actual Crush Orange soda. There, I said it. Send your assassins after me, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.

In order to make that comparison, I had to buy a Crush Orange soda, which, like rock climbing and doing the Dab, is something I’ve never done before. Oh, I’ve consumed several bottles and cans over the years when it was the only choice in the cooler towards the end of a cookout. But I’ve never spent a dime on one until now.

Crush Orange tastes like generic orange tablet candy. Yes, those probably aren’t the most flattering words to describe it. I’m mean, it’s a serviceable beverage and I won’t hesitate to drink one if the only other options are bottled water and that swill known as Mist Twst.

These Pop-Tarts also have a generic orange candy flavor. But it doesn’t taste like the tablet candy you get from the junk trick-or-treat houses in your neighborhood. The filling also has a mild sourness that complements the sweet citrus flavor. Sadly, there isn’t any fruit in the filling. Instead, the flavor and sourness appears to come from orange oil and malic acid. Mmm, malic acid.

Kellogg's Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts 2

I was worried about having hot soda flavor in my mouth due to my less than positive experience with hot Dr Pepper as a teenager, but these Pop-Tarts were great toasted, chilled, or straight out of the foil wrapper. Also, the crust and frosting didn’t dampen the filling’s flavor, which is what I experienced with the Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts.

Overall, I enjoyed Frosted Crush Orange Pop-Tarts. They have a nice sweet and tart flavor, the orange and white icing remind me of BB-8, and they, along with the root beer ones, make me look forward to other soda-inspired flavors. Maybe Dr Pepper and/or 7Up Pop-Tarts?

Disclosure: I received a free sample of these Pop-Tarts from Kellogg’s. Receiving the sample did not influence the review.

Purchased Price: FREE from Pop-Tarts
Size: 8-pack
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pastry) 200 calories 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts

I really expected to love these Kellogg’s Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts, write a review that just said “G.O.A.T.,” drop a mic, light my keyboard on fire, do a touchdown dance, buy a new keyboard to write a Buzzfeed article with the title “Pop-Tarts You Have To Pop Into Your Toaster and Then Pop Into Your Mouth Right Now”, light the new keyboard on fire, flip a baseball bat, salute, and then walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head.

But after trying them at room temperature, toasted, chilled, frozen, and with a goat on a boat, I have to say these new soda-inspired Pop-Tarts aren’t the Greatest of All Time.

But they are good.

I think my expectations were too high (ya think) because of all the great root beer float-flavored snacks that have made their way onto shelves over the past few years. There’s been the Nabisco Ice Cream Creations Root Beer Float Chips Ahoy Cookies (awesome), Betty Crocker’s A&W Root Beer Float Cookie Mix (awesome), and Limited Edition Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies (good).

What I loved about the Chips Ahoy and Betty Crocker cookies was how the root beer flavor stood out. But what prevented the Root Beer Float Oreo Cookies from reaching the pantheon the other cookies did was how the Golden Oreo wafers muted the creme’s flavor. Unfortunately, that’s similar to what’s going on with these Pop-Tarts.

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts 2

I thought not having the “float” part in the toaster pastry would’ve made the root beer flavor stand out even more, but, sadly, the crust and frosting are the pillows that smother the root beer filling’s flavor. The crust, although dark in color which makes it appear it might be flavored, tastes like regular Pop-Tarts crust. The same can be said about frosting’s flavor. As for the brown, red, and orange crunchlets (yes, that’s what they’re officially called), they’re just decoration.

Kellogg's Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts 3

The filling has the sugar and spices one would taste in A&W Root Beer, and it’s good, but, again, I do wish it was stronger. I thought toasting would help, but it doesn’t. I thought that was strange because with most Pop-Tarts the flavor hits my taste buds harder when toasted.

There’s no optimum way to eat them. I enjoyed them equally at room temperature, toasted, chilled, and frozen. Also, it may have just my imagination but I might’ve felt a little bit of fizzing.

Of all the big root beer brands — Barq’s, Mug, and A&W — A&W is my favorite. I can’t specifically explain why I like it, but drinking unlimited A&W Root Beer from a tap at an A&W Restaurant is one of favorite food-related memories. Tasting these Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts probably won’t break into my list of favorite food memories. They also don’t make me want to walk away with two thumbs up raised above my head. But I’ll give them one thumbs up.

Disclosure: I received this sample for free from the Kellogg Company. Being free didn’t affect this review in any way. If it did, the whole review probably would’ve been just “G.O.A.T.”

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE from Kellogg
Size: 8 pack
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Great idea. One thumbs up. Filling tastes like root beer. Fizzing? Enjoyable at room temperature, toasted, chilled, or frozen.
Cons: Not G.O.A.T. Crust and frosting hinder the root beer flavor. I wish root beer flavor was stronger. No Dr Pepper Pop-Tarts, yet.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts

If I told a younger you that “bacon overkill” would become a thing, you’d probably cry and scream “Stranger Danger” because some old weirdo was talking to you about breakfast meats. Still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re getting too much bacon.

Too much bacon?! Surely, I jest.

Don’t get me wrong, bacon is amazing. But when did we all become the dog from the Beggin’ Strips commercials? Why does it seem like Big Bacon is trying to take over our lives?

I guess its bacon’s world and we’re all just living in it.

Mini rant aside, I was excited to try Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts. I knew I had to have them the second I saw them because I’m part of the problem.

After opening the pouch I was met with a welcome pancake smell. Each pastry has the standard white frosting with brown flecks that I assume are bacon flavored. I’ll get back to that in a moment. The filling itself has a nice maple scent and an appropriate light brown coloring.

I’m normally an “eat ’em right out of the pouch” kinda guy, but for the sake of this review, I did my due diligence and tried them toasted and untoasted. I opted against the “heat in the microwave for 3 seconds” option.

I set my rarely used toaster to medium heat and waited for what felt like an hour. A watched toaster never toasts.

The flavor was faint with the maple far outweighing the “bacon.” I’d go as far to say the toasted crust and (vanilla?) frosting were the most prominent flavors. There’s just not enough of a filling to crust ratio to really get a ton of the maple bacon flavor. That’s a universal Pop-Tart problem for me.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts 2

I scraped a few of the brown flecks off the icing, and while they did have a salty flavor to them, they didn’t scream “bacon.” I’m really only assuming they were the bacon element. I even cut one of the Pop-Tarts open and scraped the filling out with a knife so I could taste it. No bacon, it just was salty.

While I don’t know how it would have worked, I definitely think these would have benefitted from having little pieces of real bacon instead of being “artificially flavored.”

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts 3

The maple taste is the one that stands out, but even that should have been more powerful. It didn’t taste like I just ate a pancake with a big glob of maple syrup, it tasted like I ate one 20 minutes prior. They seem to have kept the maple intensity low so that the artificial phantom bacon could burst through, but it doesn’t.

I wish they swung for the fences more with this flavor. It could have been truly memorable. I definitely preferred them untoasted because there was a better balance, but, again, there wasn’t enough bacon flavor. Normally I’d tell you a wacky product like this is worth a try simply for the novelty of it, but I don’t think you even need to bother.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 210 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Maple Bacon Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Decent Maple flavor. Not terrible untoasted, Ambitious idea. Beggin’ Strips Dog.
Cons: Gimmicky. No actual bacon. Mild bacon taste at best. Stranger Dangers. Pop-Tart microwave instructions.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts

January.

The month of Gore-Tex.

The 31 sun-deprived days of fleece, down comforters, knee-length socks, and long underwear pulled up so high, not even Grandpa Joe could compete with your mid-weight, merino-wool-studded rump.

So it goes that, when in my apartment, I turn on as many other easy-to-use electronic devices to generate heat, and, because I can’t leave the door of my microwave open (radiation or something), I find as many excuses as possible to use my toaster (Toast! Bagels! Waffles! Uh…more toast? Yes! More toast!). It was in this state of mind that I picked up these toaster pastries.

And they suit my toaster just fine.

After toasting on medium, the crust is crisp and crackling, breaking with a respectable few crumbs post-toast. Nipping at a corner edge, the chocolate crust seems weaker than usual, tasting more of stale graham crackers and burnt charcoal than chocolate. Fortunately, the frosting, with its milk-chocolatey, candy-like crunch, does its best to pick up the pace a little, and… hey! Sprinkles!

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts Chocolatey Strawberry sprinkles!!

Sprinkles have the unique ability to make me feel I can do anything. Truly. Nothing makes me want to go out and self-engineer a robotic crane without an engineering degree more than sprinkles.

But back to the taste. The inside jam is gooey, if a bit thin to my unrealistic, excess-demanding American brain. The strawberry flavor is pronounced, sugary and a bit flowery. It may be a little flat or sweet for those who like non-hypoglycemic-inducing jams, but, if taste is any indication, the pastries are delighted to have their hyper-sweet, summery strawberry bellies. Can you blame them? Strawberry bellies are the bomb.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts A moderately chocolatey duo

You know that scene in Back to the Future II where Doc dumps banana peels and beer into the DeLorean’s Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor before it rockets away? That’s what Pop-Tarts does. They take an amalgam of ingredients (some of which other companies might consider “trash”), combine those ingredients together, and voila. Something respectable, sometimes even downright brilliant, is born.

For me, these weren’t downright brilliant, but respectable? You bet. Sure, the crust may have tasted a little like burnt crackers and maybe the chocolate was weak, but they’ve got a decent amount of gooey strawberry filling, they provide a warm vehicle for an especially frigid January, and, friends, sprinkles.

Just. Sprinkles.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, <1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Candy chocolatey shell. Sprinkles. Gooey insides. Strawberry bellies. Reasons to use your toaster. May inspire spontaneous engineering feats. The DeLorean.
Cons: Low chocolate levels. Thin-ish filling. Crust tastes a bit of stale cracker meal. Insides may be too sweet for some. All those layers of wool socks. Not having an engineering degree when you need one.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry

It started out so innocently. Because doesn’t it always?

I want something simple, but get carried away. A search for a song and I buy the album. A hankering for a show leads to the no-sleep Netflix dive. A pondering of a Christmas party and suddenly I’m considering the 3-foot inflatable snowman and $549 deluxe Santa Suit. Who needs this? (Nobody)

And yet…

I NEED THIS!

So I shouldn’t have been surprised with my reaction to these Pop-Tarts. It’s only a box. A box of six tarts. Simple. Easy.

But then I peeled back the lid. And that’s where it all began.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry PBJ goo insides

The crust on these tarts is the pinnacle of Pop-Tarts: a crackly crumble with a slight sandy grit, the sugary peanut butter icing crackles underneath. The peanut butter insides are sweet with a hint of salt while the strawberry jelly serves as a sweet/tart counterpoint. While this inner layer’s a bit on the thin side, it all comes together with the crust to showcase a balance of icing, sugar, salt, crust, crunch, and goo. Three bites in and I felt better about my broken heater, the work I had left, and the universe at large.

But it didn’t stop there.

The opportunities for Pop-Tart creations now became a new avenue through which I could channel obsessive creativity. I was thinking of the Pop-Tarts at the Post Office, contemplating how to get the best ratio of inner goo-to-crust while standing in line at the grocery, and getting wound up about the setting of my toaster in places that did not offer the appliance I needed.

“No more!” I told myself. But it didn’t work (never does). Like the kinky pop song that gets stuck in one’s head, the only way to quell absurd, delightful obsessions is to pursue them without restraint. I knew what I had to do.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry I ate all the PBJs

If I were a different, better person, I would tell you that I shared the rest of the Pop-Tarts with my office mates, how we parceled them between the three of us, toasted them in our toaster oven, and consumed them with generic Kirkland’s coffee, savoring their salty-sweetness.

But I didn’t share.

I ate them all. And I would do it again. Santa will, no doubt, be tempted to slip me onto the naughty list, but just wait till he sees his cookie plate. He’ll change his mind.

Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry PBJ Santa's cookie plate

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Pastry – 190 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, Less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty Frosted PB & J Strawberry
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 6 toaster pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Crackly crust. Salty-sweet. Goo. Icing with sprinkles. Excels both toasted and untoasted. Makes you feel good about the Universe. Good vehicle for convincing Santa you’ve been Nice via Cookie Plate.
Cons: Insides are a bit thin. Tempts you to not share. Kinky pop songs. $549 Santa suits.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocomallow Sundae Pop-Tarts

Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocomallow Sundae Pop-Tarts

Ah, now this is a bit more like it!

I was disappointed in my last exposure to one of Kellogg’s 50th anniversary Pop-Tarts flavors, the Milk Chocolate Graham variety. Without forcing you to go back and reread that hackery, my dismay mainly stemmed from it tasting dry due to the absence of frosting; plus feeling like something was lacking due to graham + chocolate but no marshmallow.

But then, that was a Flavor Flashback — this is not. The goal isn’t to revisit an old flavor that succumbed to grocery store natural selection, but to turbocharge a new product with 50th anniversary mojo. How powerful is that mojo? I’m not going to give them shit over arbitrarily creating the word “chocomallow” and not even including a hyphen. Question answered.

(Speaking of which, while I’ve never seen it as an actual flavor of ice cream, “chocomallow” seems to be Rocky Road minus the nuts. Which I’m pretty glad of, since it means I can bring this home without risking my younger daughter going into anaphylactic shock, but I just thought I’d clarify that. I’m assuming the alternate proposed name of “Nutless Rocky Road” tested poorly with focus groups.)

The box does a nice job of making its contents look pretty damn good. The blue and red contrast is eye-catching, and the “Hey, it sort of tastes like this!” ice cream scoop blends slightly in with the picture of the pastries, subconsciously associating the two in your mind.

I appreciate that the “50th Birthday” logo is up there in the corner, relatively subdued but still visible enough to be noticed, without having confetti and fireworks all over the background of the cover design. It reminds me of the business cards we all got a few years ago when the company I work for turned 50. We celebrated with a sweet company picnic instead of releasing half a dozen new versions of our product, but otherwise it’s pretty much identical.

Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocomallow Sundae Pop-Tarts Closeup

For what it’s worth, the tarts themselves look pretty visually appealing too, with chocolate sprinkles generously scattered in the top frosting. But you don’t care about any of that unless the taste is something to write home about. So, is it?

In a word, yes. In a few words: yeah, it’s pretty good. I don’t know if it’s “drive to Target if there’s nothing else you wanted to buy there” good, but it’s certainly worth a pick-up if you’re already there buying school supplies or Halloween candy because holy shit it is Fall ALREADY, you guys. What the eff?

The filling is marshmallow creme, the kind you’re already used to if you’ve had the S’mores variety. In fact, the pastry as a whole has a lot in common with S’mores (not a bad thing), but the frosting on top is a bit different, with sprinkles rather than the uniformity of S’mores.

The textures are pretty comparable, which again: not a negative. Assuming you don’t get distracted deleting emails and burn the ever-living crap out of it like the one I’m eating right now, it’s crispy but has just the right amount of give. The chocolate frosting on top tends to get slightly subsumed in the marshmallow flavor, but you’ll still be able to taste it. And as campers have known for generations, ‘mallow plus chocolate equals, well, the only reason to go camping.

Quantity-wise, there’s pretty generous amounts of filling. I found the frosting on top to be much more variable — some pastries had a lot, some only a moderate amount, and definitely not uniformly spread… many had frosting pooled on one side with the other side relatively bare. I know, I know, #FirstWorldProblems.

The bottom line is, there’s no real reason not to grab yourself a box while they’re available: they’re tasty, the price is definitely right ($2.50 for a box of twelve is like 1950s pricing), and they just opened another Target near you. Maybe knock off a couple of points for the high fat and sugar values and the fact that, at the end of the day, it’s still a pretty basic (though good!) flavor combo. But even so, if you find yourself in a Target in the near future, no reason not to give these a purchase.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein..)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Frosted Chocomallow Sundae Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 12-pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Twenty bits for twelve Pop-Tarts ain’t bad at all. Better than other birthday offerings. Striking box. Hard to go wrong with marshmallow creme and chocolate. Far from healthy for you, but could be a lot worse.
Cons: No really, it’s Autumn already, like how is that even possible? Taste is good but nothing drastically different from S’Mores, which we already had. Knock it off with the “7 Vitamins & Minerals” and other health brags — we already know it’s bad for us and we buy it anyway, just cut the shit.