Pop-Tarts: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

The go-to breakfast when we can’t even bring ourselves to pour some milk on a bowl of cereal, Pop-Tarts are here for you. If you’re anything like me, you’ve never given too much thought to the ins-and-outs of the product, but as it turns out these unassuming toaster pastries have lots of fascinating facets worth diving into! Today, come with us as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Pop-Tarts, while fending off all the insufferable fancy lads whining, “Toaster Strudels are better! Harrumph!” Get a life!  

When were Pop-Tarts invented?

Kellogg’s first released Pop-Tarts in Cleveland in 1964, starting with 10,000 cases of each of the four original Pop-Tarts flavors. As the story goes, they flew off the shelves at such an alarming rate, that Kellogg’s had to issue a statement in the paper essentially apologizing for not being prepared for the food’s popularity. After that initial kerfuffle, they streamlined production and rolled them out for wider distribution. 

What was the first Pop-Tart flavor?

Pop-Tarts debuted with four original flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, and Apple-Currant. This original foursome of flavors were all unfrosted, we’re sorry to say. The technology simply wasn’t there yet! 

How many flavors of Pop-Tarts are there now?

Currently, there are over 20 widely available flavors of Pop-Tarts, with more being invented all the time! (I’m assuming by NASA’s top scientists.) Some of the stranger flavors include A&W Root Beer, Watermelon, Pumpkin Pie, and Wildlicious Wild-Berry (which we have on good authority tastes like Trix cereal). 

Who invented Pop-Tarts?

Pop-Tarts were invented by Bill Post after the Kellogg’s company came to him with a vague idea for a handheld, toastable breakfast product. At first, Post called his invention “Toast’em Pop-ups.” Since that is not a fun, easy thing to say, they were changed to Pop-Tarts by 1965. 

Who makes Pop-Tarts now?

Pop-Tarts are manufactured by the almighty Kellogg’s corporation, who, let’s face it, have the breakfast market absolutely cornered!

How are Pop-Tarts made?

To make Pop-Tarts, you first make a dough with wheat, oil, water, salt, sugar, and “other ingredients,” according to Kellogg’s. Then you roll the dough out into flat sheets, spread some filling onto the dough, and sandwich it all with another flat sheet of dough. The sheet is cut into Pop-Tart sized rectangles, and the rectangles are baked. If you are making frosted or sprinkled Pop-Tarts, this is when you add those toppings. Then, the Pop-Tarts are packaged and sent out into the big wide world to be toasted, eaten cold, or broken up and used as a substitute for cereal.  

Do Pop-Tarts expire?

Unfortunately for anyone preparing a doomsday bunker out there, Pop-Tarts do indeed expire. When properly stored (in a bunker or kitchen cupboard), unopened Pop-Tarts will last 6-12 months past a “best by” date. However, I don’t know anyone who could resist knowing there’s Pop-Tarts in the vicinity and waiting a whole year to eat them. Lunacy! 

Is a Pop-Tart a ravioli?

Yup, we swear that’s a frequently asked question! It’s actually a hotly debated topic, along the lines of, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” or, “Is it okay that I, Joe Rumrill, just ate an entire bag of Smartfood popcorn for dinner instead of an actual meal?” Pop-Tarts have been accused of being in the ravioli family because of how they look and what they consist of (a filling inside a doughy shell). Anyway, the common consensus is: No, Pop-Tarts are not ravioli. First off, ravioli are a type of pasta, often filled with meat or cheese and cooked in boiling water. A Pop-Tart, meanwhile, is a handheld pastry, made with pastry dough, filled with a sweet filling. Pop-Tarts are not boiled. They are baked, fried, or deep-fried. Also, you can’t frost a ravioli, believe me, I’ve asked many a frustrated pasta chef!

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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