Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts: A Comprehensive Review

If you’re not having fun within the system, it’s just a system. And that’s boring. This is why I don’t hesitate to skirt tasks at work in favor of actual fun. This fun comes in many forms and if I were to write about all of them, it too would be insanely boring. Really the things we consider fun in the office are only interesting in the context of the office itself where the alternative is mind-numbing interaction with a computer. Alas, this one is interesting because it involves food, a common cultural thread that runs through every part of the world. More specifically, it involves junk food. And we young Americans love junk food. We are, after all, the kids who grew up eating cereals made of cookies, Reese’s, marshmallows and Oreos. Fascinated by the colorful garbage that comes off of assembly lines in both ironic and legitimate ways, you can only imagine what it was like when I and a few co-workers of mine stumbled upon these:

We had to try them, of course, but that wasn’t enough for me. No, I needed something more. Intense records were kept and opinions were polled. Each taste tester graded several aspects of the pastry and submitted them for review. The categories included were: Visual Appeal Crust Taste Filling Taste Frosting Taste Overall Taste Sustainability (Can you see yourself eating several of them?) Versatility (Can you think of other interesting culinary uses for the pastry in question?) Grading was done on the 2-8 scale, a scientific scale in which 5 represents the average and each integer away from 5 represents a standard deviation away from the mean. In short, it looks like this:

8- This is Earth Shatteringly good and tasting it is like having sex

 7- I’m going to buy these things next time I’m at the grocery store even if I need to push an old lady over to get to them

6- These are delectable

5- Average

4- This is edible but I’m not gonna have another one

3- I’m making the “Ewwwww Face” as I chew

2- So bad you had to spit it out

The results are in. Below are the grades for each category along with comments from some of the tasters. Their names have been removed to protect their anonymity.

Visual Appeal

Average: 5.2

High: 7

Low: 4

Comments- “It has sprinkles. They’re pretty. How can you not like the way it looks? What has sprinkles and tastes bad?”

 Crust Taste

Average: 4.6

High: 5

Low: 4

“It tastes like every other plain crust on everything else. It’s not bad but I feel like an opportunity was missed here.” 

“Crust was bland.” 

Filling Taste

Average: 4.4

High: 5

Low: 4

“Pumpkin Flavor very limited.” 

“Too Sweet.” 

“Lacked the earthiness of actual pumpkin pie and was sweeter than I anticipated. Aromatics were one note: Nutmeg.” 

“I would have liked if there were more filling.” 

Frosting Taste 

Average: 5

High: 6

Low: 4

“It’s standard Pop-Tart frosting so it’s good. You need to eat it with the frosting side down to maximize frosting taste.” 


 Average: 5

High: 6

Low: 4


Average: 3.8

High: 5

Low: 2

“I’d like to try it after dipping it in coffee.” 


Average: 4.8

High: 5

 Low: 4


“Edible but not a top-tier Pop-Tart.” 

“Overall an average Pop-Tart but will not replace Belvita Breakfast Biscuits as go-to breakfast related snack.” 

 We also asked our panel to decide if the pop tart would be better warm. Most responses were affirmative in this regard although one panelist stated that he/she would never think that warming the Pop-tart could make any of them better and claimed warm tarts to be, “Gross.” We cannot, in good conscience, recommend Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts to anyone who is looking for an exceptional product. They are a middling, mediocre offering far beneath the standards set forth by the Kellogs forefathers.

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