What was/is your favorite Pop-Tart flavor and how did you eat it? Or were you one of those fancy-pants types that grew up eating toaster strudel? Tell me your breakfast biography and let's get to know each other through tasty breakfast foods! ETA: Definitely tell about any Pop-Tart fires! Were you able to get foot-high flames like this guy?
One of my favorite features of the Serious Eats blogs is the "Taste-It" column where the staff evaluate every flavor of some commercial food (Oreos, mustard, frozen puff pastry, Cheez-Its, nugget dipping sauces, etc). Last week, they tasted every Pop Tart flavor. In the comments I discovered the weird and glorious diversity of people's taste buds and that some people buttered their Pop-Tarts (and doughnuts!) My favorite of the reader comments: Untoasted Pop-Tarts = Poverty.
Growing up, we only had Pop-Tarts occasionally, usually on Saturday. Never when we had cereal. Since he went to work later than Mom, my Dad fixed breakfast which sometimes was eggs, sausage/bacon and toast and sometimes cereal "because we have to get going this morning." My Dad did not grow up with breakfast cereals and was fascinated by them. He was always bringing home some new weird flavor and would be comically disappointed if we didn't like it (we were a Cocoa Puffs/Captain Crunch crew).
But on Saturday, Dad worked early and Mom got everyone up early to clean, so we got to have Pop-Tarts with coffee milk because she wanted us out of the kitchen. By the time we were in middle school, us kids were fending on our own for breakfast, so we'd have leftovers from dinner, cereal or Pop-Tarts. Sunday, we had full breakfast AND a pastry. Sometimes Mom made homemade pecan rolls or Dad would go downtown for fresh donuts. but as Mom and Dad started working more, we could have "exotic" stuff bought from the supermarket. Pecan swirls because they were my Dad's favorite. Mom liked Entenmann's cheese danish (blech), my siblings preferred Entenmann's raspberry twist, but my favorite were Pepperidge Farm Turnovers because it was having pie for breakfast. (Fun fact:Entenmann's is now owned by Bimbo Foods.) I realized that in the past month, I have twice bought blueberry turnovers from different bakers and have been disappointed that they are more like homemade Pop-Tarts than turnovers—although still tasty.
Clearly when we are little, what we ate for breakfast really depended on my parents' work schedule. Looking up the dates of these products, I realized that our childhood years coincided with the introduction of these foods on a national scale. I'm assuming that the success of these foods depended somewhat on the expansion of the female labor force; that is, the movement of a lot more white, married women into labor outside the home.
So tell me your breakfast story. Were you allowed to have commercial breakfast foods? Where they special occasion foods or a regular thing? I realized that in my blathering I never made clear that toasted strawberry Pop-Tart is the best Pop-Tart.
Also, does anyone else eat leftover dinner for breakfast? Several people have now told me they find that "disconcerting," "weird" or even "disgusting."'
ETA: ihatepickingnames just pointed out that I am, as usual, tardy to the party and that the SE article already caused a Battle Royale a few days ago: