REVIEW: Pop-Tarts Cereal

Pop Tarts Cereal

Breakfast may widely be considered the most important meal of the day, but I’ve always found it difficult to muster an appetite for much before noon. As a kid, this bothered my mother to no end, and she was always trying to find something, anything, that I would be willing to eat before sending me off on the school bus.

After offering me granola bars, yogurt, and every other remotely wholesome breakfast food known to mom-kind, she found I was always happy to eat a couple of warm Pop-Tarts, no matter how early it was.

Although Kellogg’s new Pop-Tart cereals may have arrived too late to expand my morning meal repertoire, they offer two bowl-bound alternatives to the popular foil-wrapped toaster pastries, and promise, according to the boxes, to pack delicious filling into every bite.

Strawberry

Pop Tarts Strawberry Cereal

With a strong strawberry aroma and thin glaze of icing encasing each piece, I had my hopes set pretty high on this flavor. Unfortunately, just like the kids who opened presents on Christmas Day to find packages of socks and underwear, my expectations were quickly dashed.

Although the cereal smells like the toaster tart it was modeled after, it tastes much blander. Most of what I noticed at first was the “crust” of each square, which seemed very similar to the pastry dough of a strawberry Pop-Tart. While I’ll give Kellogg’s props for consistency, it makes for a very bland and unexciting cereal.

Pop Tarts Strawberry Cereal Innards

The much-touted “delicious filling” also turned out to be a much ado about nothing. The cereal pieces have so little of it in them that they appear visibly hollow when you bite one in half. Worse yet, the little amount of filling is hardly delicious, and gives the cereal a strange sort of off-putting chewiness, especially after it’s been soaking in milk for a few minutes.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 17 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 16 grams of total sugars, 16 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon

In comparison to the strawberry version’s strong first impression, I could tell there was something off about this flavor as soon as I opened the bag. Rather than reminding me of the toaster pastry of my youth, this cereal instead had an unusually strong artificial maple scent, and the squares themselves appeared plain and unappetizing.

Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cereal

My dismay regarding this cereal’s look and smell was entirely justified, too, since it tastes nothing like the Pop-Tart it was named for. Like with the strawberry version, all of the cereal squares were in desperate need of both more filling and more flavor, and the dusting of frosting on each piece was quickly lost in my bowl of milk.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 17 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of total sugars, 15 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein..

Other Things:

  • Three cups of Pop-Tarts cereal have roughly as many calories as a foil package of standard Pop-Tarts, so both of these are good examples of the common trade-off between quantity and quality.
  • Both boxes make a big deal about how having sprinkles supposedly makes eating a bowl of cereal more fun, but the sprinkles here so small you almost need a magnifying glass to see them.

SPOTTED: Mission Queso Jalapeno, Salsa Verde, and Chile Limon Tortilla Chips

Mission Queso Jalapeno Tortilla Chips

Mission Salsa Verde Tortilla Chips

Mission Chile Limon Tortilla Chips

Welcome to the world of flavored tortilla chips, Mission! I look forward to trying nacho cheese and zesty ranch versions. (Spotted by @ReneBarba89 at WinCo.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo, where you spotted it, and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

Also, if you want to send in photos and are wondering if we’ve already covered something or if the product is old, don’t worry about it. Let us worry about it.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star

Carl s Jr Beyond Famous Star

I realize it may not look like much, but the Carl’s Jr. Beyond Famous Star is probably the fast food burger of the year.

Yes, it may be only January, but God bless Carl’s Jr. for unleashing this wonderfully unknowing beef-substitute on their many meat-weary fans and, even more so, those just looking for something not only a bit healthier, but deliciously different in the new year.

Beyond Meat has been making a bit of a wave lately in fast food, making different partnerships with places like Del Taco — if you can find them — to live out its wholly utopian dream of replacing meat with a fully plant-based foodstuff. If its faux-beef patties taste this good — better even than the real thing, if you ask me — don’t ever wake me up. Allow me to forever slumber in this world.

The basic skeleton of the Carl’s Jr. burger is all here: the buns, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, secret sauce, and so on, with the option of cheese or no cheese to make it a bit more tangibly vegan. And while the smell is different than a usual slab of burger beef on the grill — think of it more like a wafting scent of Sunday morning on the busy farm, if you will — the Beyond Meat taste is quite like anything I know I’ve had, at the very least inside a Carl’s Jr.

Carl s Jr Beyond Famous Star Patty

You may expect something like this Beyond Meat to be remarkably dry, but it is actually the perfect balance between perfectly juicy and properly flambéed, the signature Carl’s Jr. mess running down the front of your shirt. Is it actually grilled? Who knows? But, like so many other things in this world, does it really matter when it tastes this good?

You’d really think that more fast food joints would offer the Beyond Meat as an option — or at least bring it to my town, won’t you Del Taco? — easing the usual vegetarian-phobics, at the very least, into a solvable Meatless Monday solution, like Paul McCartney and PETA routinely says.

I gotta say, this burger worked for me.

However, while the calorie count is not as terrible as the chain’s standard burger, the sodium is well over 1500 milligrams, giving people trying to cut that back a small pause for concern. Still, if you’re only eating one a week — that seems about fair, eh? — you should probably be fine. Just don’t substitute these for an everyday meal, usually on your lunch break, especially when detrimentally paired with fries and a Coke.

I’m thoroughly surprised with Carl’s Jr. latest endeavor for the vegetarian community — and the wannabe one — applauding its decision to go above and, yes, Beyond, with this latest call to a most tasty form of positively edible action. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $6.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 710 calories, 40 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 1550 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein.

SPOTTED – 1/16/2019

Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Kellogg s Unicorn Fruity Snacks

Kellogg’s Unicorn Fruity Snacks

(Spotted by Sarah M at Meijer.)

Kind Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars

Kind Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Walmart.)

Kind Honey Almond Butter Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars

Kind Honey Almond Butter Nut Butter Filled Snack Bars

(Spotted by Sarah R at Target.)

Safeway Organics Lightly Sweetened Iced Tea

Safeway Organics Lightly Sweetened Iced Tea

Safeway Organics Lemonade Iced Tea

Safeway Organics Lemonade Iced Tea

Safeway Organics Unsweetened Iced Tea

Safeway Organics Unsweetened Iced Tea

(Spotted by Sarah R at Safeway.)

Dylan s Candy Bar Chasing Candy Rainbows and Rise N Shine Candy Combos

Dylan’s Candy Bar Chasing Candy Rainbows and Rise N’ Shine Candy Combos

Dylan s Candy Bar Cherry Cola Delight Candy Combo

Dylan’s Candy Bar Cherry Cola Delight Candy Combo

(Spotted by Sylvia at CVS.)

Smashmallow Toasted Vanilla Marshmallows

Smashmallow Toasted Vanilla Marshmallows

(Spotted by Sarah R at Target.)

If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo, where you spotted it, and the hashtag #spotted. If you’ve tried the product, share your thoughts about it in the comments.

Also, if you want to send in photos and are wondering if we’ve already covered something or if the product is old, don’t worry about it. Let us worry about it.

SPOTTED: Hostess Bakery Petites Limited Edition Strawberry Champagne Cake Delights

Hostess Bakery Petities Limited Edition Strawberry Champagne Cake Deilghts

Instead of using rose petals to direct your lover to the bedroom on Valentine’s Day, use these. Well, unless you have pets. Or a roach or ant problem. Or haven’t mopped your floors since you moved in. (Spotted by Brian W at Quality Foods.)

Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. Or reply to us (@theimpulsivebuy) on Twitter with the photo, where you spotted it, and the hashtag #spotted. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.

Also, if you want to send in photos and are wondering if we’ve already covered something or if the product is old, don’t worry about it. Let us worry about it.

REVIEW: Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites

Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites

What are Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites?

They’re basically Mini Chips Ahoy coated in fudge and shoved into a resealable bag that makes it easy to store the cookies, but also makes it easy to get to the cookies.

How are they?

I’m fine with Chips Ahoy and the fudge used, but these are not so wonderful that I’ll eat them all up, making the resealable bag unnecessary.

Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites Coating

The coating tastes like whatever Nabisco uses for its other fudge-dipped snacks, like the seasonal, I-don’t-know-why-these-keep-coming-back-every-year Limited Edition Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers. The chocolatey exterior is what makes these a little more appealing than regular Chips Ahoy, and I did enjoy the snack as a whole. But, the familiar cookie flavor doesn’t come through until most of the chocolate melts away. Also, with the fudge, it’s hard to distinguish between the chocolate chips in the cookies and the coating.

Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites Cookies

But, the coating is also why I don’t want to eat a whole lot of them. It’s not the best tasting stuff because it’s a little waxy and cheap tasting. For the first several pieces, I don’t mind it, but the waxiness and lower middle tier flavor build up on my tongue to the point where it gets to me and I don’t have the urge to shovel more into my mouth. I need to give my taste buds a break before I can eat more. Thank goodness it comes in a resealable bag.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Saying “Thins Bites” is weird. Also, the Oreo version works better because the Oreo is instantly recognizable, while the Chips Ahoy-ness doesn’t come around until most of the fudge melts away. Did I mention it comes in a resealable bag?

Conclusion:

Chips Ahoy Fudge Dipped Thins Bites are okay. Unless you have some issue with Chips Ahoy cookies or the fudge used, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 6 oz. pouch
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (10 cookies) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.