In honor of Pop-Tarts' 50th birthday, a discontinued flavor is making its way back to grocery store shelves: Chocolate Vanilla Crème ($1.99). The toaster pastry features a chocolatey crust, a vanilla crème filling, frosting, and sugary chocolate "sprinkles".
As Pop-Tarts go, this flavor has potential. The flavor combination is classic and hard to argue with it, but ultimately, both of the title components under-deliver on flavor.
The chocolate pastry might look like it contains a decent amount of cocoa powder, but flavor-wise, it's much too dull and muted to really satisfy. The vanilla filling is also a let-down. It's practically indistinguishable from the plain, white frosting on top, unless you heat it up (at which point, it softens up a bit), but even warmed, it doesn't taste (or even smell) remotely like vanilla.
A quick scan of the ingredients label confirmed what I had already guessed: the pastries contain 2% or less cocoa and vanilla extract by weight. The main ingredients are flour, four different varieties of sugar, soybean and palm oil, and cracker meal. In terms of overall flavor, they taste like a soft, dusty graham cracker filled with vanilla frosting.
If a chocolate-vanilla combo still intrigues you, I'd go for the hot fudge sundae instead. It has the same chocolate pastry and vanilla filling, but is topped with vanilla frosting, multicolored sprinkles, and a chocolate drizzle.
I wish a different discontinued flavor had been brought back to celebrate the toaster pastry's 50th birthday, like Frosted Concord Grape, Strawberry Cheese Danish, or Peanut Butter & Jelly.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax
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