In honor of the 50th entry in this esteemed list, we add a cultural icon nonpareil: Pop Tarts.
I know what every Pop Tarts lover thinks of first: nutrition. Oh, yes, this little pastry is loaded with it. The frosted strawberry flavor has 203 calories and 5 grams of fat (per pastry, and can you just eat one?). And get this: it has ten percent of your RDA of iron. Now that’s what I call a nutritional powerhouse. No wonder 4 out of 5 certified nutritionists prefer Pop Tarts (to Bob Evans caramel banana pecan stacked and stuffed hotcakes).
Pop Tarts, a Kellog’s product, have been around since the early 60s. While they were obviously created to be warmed in a toaster, lots of people prefer to eat them right out of the foil pouch. “How do you take your Pop Tarts?” they’re asked. “Straight,” they reply.
They’re available now in dozens of flavors. Tired of chocolate frosted? How about Chocolate Banana Split. Or Frosted Strawberry Milkshake. Or Hot Fudge Sundae. (Why do I suddenly have the urge to go to an ice cream shop?)
I don’t know why, but there’s just something about Pop Tarts that makes you want to be silly. All I know is that as good as French pastries are, it took an American company to make a pastry thin enough to fit in a toaster. And to include this warning: “Due to possible risk of fire, never leave your toasting appliance or microwave unattended.”