I’m not going to lie. Being a 23-year-old dude does come with a certain amount of biological advantages. Chief among these, of course, is a metabolism fast enough it outrace the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run and still have time for a bathroom stop. Twelve parsecs? Please. I burn through Twinkies in ten.
Having said metabolism affords me quite a few liberties when wandering through Walmart. Endcaps and register lanes offering 99-cent fruit pies and bagged chips are child’s play for my appetite, which instead often leads me to entire family-size bags of potato chips and cookies. Now, I realize these little jaunts into junk food bliss will eventually take their toll on me, and in an effort to stave off the advent of full man-boobage development and male pattern baldness, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least peek into what any future “diet” might entail.
There are, of course, many options. The Paleo Diet and Atkins Diet are especially attractive to my inner sense of wannabe-machismo, but who am I kidding, I could never give up on the worthless carbs of packaged snacks. That brings up the intriguing option of Fiber One, if only for the shameful premise that eating 7,000 percent of my daily RDA in fake fiber wouldn’t endear me to my co-workers. With these options crossed off the list, I rounded the cereal aisle at Walmart thinking that my experiment in semi-healthy eating wasn’t going to happen. That’s when they hit me. Or rather, I hit them, thanks to dodging an aisle clearing drag race of old people in electric scooters. That’s right friends, Special K.
I have no idea what the “K” stands for in Special K (potassium?), and after more than a decade of eschewing their products, I still have no idea what makes them so special. But when finding myself suddenly facing the new Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps, I decided to take a little trip into the future and see if the coming years of man-boobage can be staved off with a little help from what looked to be a Pop-Tart in disguise.
I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is I’m probably going to get man-boobs no matter what. The good news is that the new Special K Pastry Crisps will help me slow that ineluctable fate one portion controlled wrapper at a time.
The Chocolatey Delight crisps taste somewhere between a chocolate fudge Pop-Tart and a Keebler Fudge Stripe cookie. There’s a pronounced shortbread crisp which lacks the heavy and dull wheat snack bread like crusts of a Pop-Tart, while a lickable portion of chocolatey “icing” provides added sweetness and pronounced cocoa flavor. Is it chocolate? I don’t know for sure, but it’s chocolatey, and hey, we’re not eating for man boobs, remember?
In any case, there’s enough of the sweet glycerin-based filling to keep each bite interesting and moist, and despite the relatively small size, I find myself preferring the crumbly morsels and sweet “crisp” to any ambiguously flavored chocolate Pop-Tart I’ve had in the past. My only complaint is that each wrapper contains two very small pastries. We’re talking slightly larger than a baseball card here and less than a half ounce each, so probably no more than a few man-chomps for a crisp.
The Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavor isn’t as good, although the smell alone makes it worth buying. It’s that intensely rich, buttery cinnamon sugar spread smell that wafts through malls across these here United States thanks to the Cinnabon franchise. A light drizzle of sweet icing won’t fool even the most diet-food inoculated eaters into thinking it could actually pass for cream cheese icing, but it adds a nice touch to the otherwise crispy pastry.
The taste is standard as far as brown sugar cinnamon goes, with a little extra emphasis on the cinnamon. Nothing life-changing, but at 100 calories per two pastries, one can’t set his sights that high. Again, my only complaint is the size, and in this case, the amount of cinnamon-sugar “goo.” The paste actually has a nice consistency, but it’s tough to appreciate when a scant teaspoon or so fills the shell.
I’m not going to lie. Buying a pack of Special K Pastry Crisps isn’t the most masculine thing I’ve done in the past week. But I can live with that. Just as a I can live with a slow metabolism when I get older, provided Special K continue to disguise Pop-Tarts in the guise of 100-calorie pack Pastry Crisps. Until then though, it’s full steam ahead down the cookie aisle, provided the scooter drag races don’t take me out first.
(Nutrition Facts – 2 crisps – 100 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams to trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)
Item: Special K Pastry Crisps (Chocolatey Delight and Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
Size: 5 pack
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chocolatey Delight)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
Pros: Filling tastes just as good as a Pop-Tart. Chocolatey Delight reminds me of a Keebler cookie. No lame edges. No hydrogenated oils. Icing drizzle provides extra sweetness. Smells great. No toaster required. Portion control. Avoiding man boobs.
Cons: Small, very small. Not real chocolate. Needs more gooey filling. Icing could use more pronounced flavor. Avoiding death by electric scooter at Walmart. A future with a slow metabolism.