I ate a lot of Pop-Tarts as a kid. A lot. No, they’re not that good for you. Yes, they taste great. You’ve got a tasty filling inside of a flaky pastry, and usually some frosting on top for good measure.
Plus, they’re easy. Just open up the foil packaging, and either heat them or just eat them at room temperature. For a kid, it doesn’t get faster and more simple than that.
Pop-Tarts date back to 1964, when they were first sold by Kellogg’s. When you think about it, they fit the time: the 60s were the heyday of easy-to-make foods like TV dinners and Campbell soup recipes. Pop Tarts are pretty close to a grab-and-go breakfast food, and they can double as a treat later in the day.
You can find Pop-Tarts at most grocery stores. You can also find grocery store generic equivalents, like the ones sold by Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Dollar stores sometimes sell their own, too, including Dollar General.
Clover Valley Toaster Pastries can be found in the food section of your local Dollar General. They’re a DG exclusive. At the time of this post, a pack of 6 costs $1 even. That comes out to about 17 cents a pastry. You can do a little better at Aldi, but all in all, this is a pretty good price, especially compared to the name brand.
Dollar General sells several flavors, including blueberry and s’mores. I went with two of my personal favorites, strawberry and fudge.
While you can eat them out of the package, you can also heat them, which I personally like. To heat, you can either toast them or microwave them. If you toast them, you’ll want to use a low or light setting and keep a close eye on them as they can burn easily if unattended. If you microwave them, you’ll want to cook them for no more than a few seconds and then check them to see if they’re warm enough.
Either way, be careful: the inside can be hot if you heat them long enough.
The pastries certainly look the part. They have that familiar outer layer, filling inside, and frosting on top.
And as for taste? I’m not sure they’re quite as good as the name brand, but they’re not bad. They’ve got that mix of pastry and sweet insides that makes a Pop-Tart work, and the texture is just about spot-on. In other words, they’re a good enough stand-in that I’d be okay eating these over the real thing in most cases.
Nutritionally, these are … well, they’re not good for you. They’re loaded with carbs, and they have plenty of fat and sodium to boot. They’ve actually got more vitamins and minerals than you might expect, but for a pastry that’s not all that filling, there’s more bad here than good. I would eat them in moderation.
Also, there are several allergen warnings on the boxes. Each contains milk, soy, and wheat, and may contain peanuts, almonds, cashews, coconut, and eggs.
Dollar General Toaster Pastries are a decent impersonation of a Pop-Tart. The flavor is close, and the texture is very close. They’re not the cheapest out there, but they’re cheap, so if you’re in need of toaster pastries and you have a nearby Dollar General, these might fit the bill.