Nostalgia in every bite
In my day, there wasn’t a kid who didn’t love Pop Tarts, those toaster pastries that provided a hot, quickie breakfast in a mere minute. (Straight from the toaster, they were so hot, in fact, that they had to be wrapped in a napkin to be able to hold in the hand, and each bite needed a few seconds to cool between the teeth before chewing, lest you burn your tongue.)
Pop Tarts came in every flavor imaginable, and I was envious of the kids who ate the chocolate and cinnamon varieties in the morning. My mom’s rule was we had to eat a fruit flavor for breakfast; the others were only for snacks. Looking back today, it probably didn’t make a heck of a lot of difference which one we consumed. What with all the frostings and deliciously sweet fillings, there probably wasn’t a tremendous difference in nutritional value — or lack thereof.
The vending machine in our newsroom often carries Pop Tarts, and those of us of a certain age sometimes stop to check what flavors are available. We can’t understand why younger staffers don’t find the pastries appealing.
At my house, I’ve occasionally offered my daughter a Pop Tart from the boxes her father buys. Her response has always been: “Yuck.”
Why have I kept trying with her? Because I’ve wanted to live vicariously. My gluten sensitivity has not allowed me to indulge an absolute yearning for a Pop Tart.
But here’s why hope should always spring eternal: I FOUND A GLUTEN-FREE POP TART!
It happened nearly a year ago, when I spocked boxes of Glutino Gluten Free Toaster Pastry on a shelf at Whole Foods Market. I must admit my excitement was tempered by a bit of caution — some gluten-free products are just plain disastrous.
But this one was fabulous. Not because it was an exact replica of what I recall from childhood; rather, the fillings, made with real fruit, aren’t overbearingly sweet for an adult palate. Coupled with a good gluten-free pastry, they are tasty and delicious. Flavors include strawberry, frosted blueberry, frosted strawberry, and my favorite, apple cinnamon.
And the icing on the proverbial cake? My daughter likes them, too. It makes indulging in a nostalgic food a little bit more of a heartwarming experience.
Whole Foods Market sells a box of five for $5.99, but I’ve got ‘em on regular order at Amazon.com, for roughly the same price.