Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Pumpkin Pie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, my all-time favorite flavor of the wonderful little pockets of goodness, usually don't start showing up in stores until sometime in October.  However, everything pumpkin is hitting stores already, and the Pop-Tarts were no exception.  And even though I was surprised to find them, I was more surprised to find the new Pumpkin Pie Toaster Strudel flavor.

This was no coincidence.  I knew what needed to be done.  A no-holds-barred Thunderdome fight to the finish.  Two breakfast pastries enter, one breakfast pastry leaves.  

Which one will be the ultimate champion of the breakfast world?

First, let's look at the convenience level of the two.

Here are both of our competitors fresh out of their respective packaging.  

And here is strike one against the Toaster Strudel: You can not take them out of the box and start shoving them directly into your face.  They are frozen, and need to be cooked.  The Pop-Tarts, however, and be consumed immediately.  This makes them the better choice for people running out the door on their way to work or school.

Let's take a look at both of them after being cooked.

You may notice I used the exact same picture for the Pop-Tarts.  This is because, unless you put them in the toaster for 10 minutes, they are going to look the same.

That Toaster Strudel is looking much better.  In fact, it looks downright delectable.  I would like to mention that it burned my fingers a bit when I took it out of the toaster.  That might have something to do with the next part we are going to look at: messiness.  As you can see in the above image of the Toaster Strudel, there are a couple of flakes broken off.  That isn't really a problem, but what is under the pastry is.

Yes, that is some of the grease that you get from these things.  That is after I had it on a paper towel to cool a bit.  These things will coat your fingers if you aren't careful.  In contrast to this, here is what the Pop-Tarts leave behind.

That is a huge difference.

The other difference in regards to the messiness factor is the filling.

As you can see, the scrumptious filling in the Pop-Tarts is thick, and it isn't going anywhere.

The delectable filling for the Toaster Strudel is much more gooey and running out all over the place.  This presents another problem for the Toaster Strudel, because if you aren't careful enough while eating these, it will end up on your work shirt.  Right Russ?

All of these issues aside, the biggest factor here is the flavor.  This is where both competitors excel.  They each have a unique taste, but they both taste like pumpkin pie.  Think about going to your family Thanksgiving, and the pumpkin pie your grandma made.  It is almost heavenly.  Then you have to go to your spouse's family gathering later in the day.  Her grandma also made a pumpkin pie.  It tastes different, but it is still very delish.  And at the end of the day, you are still going to prefer one over the other, just like with these two pastries.

While I greatly enjoy this new flavor from Toaster Strudel, I still prefer the Pop-Tarts.

Between the taste, the low mess, and the fact that you can just tear them open and stuff your gob, the Pop-Tarts are the clear winner.

I would still urge you to try both of them.  The one you prefer might surprise you.

You know what, I want to try something.  I am going to put one on top of the other, and see what I get.

Yeah, that wasn't very good.  Don't do that.