The Golden-Brown Age of Toast
A 6000-year history

Nothing MoreThan Fillings:
1. The true story of Pop Tarts;
2. Toaster Pastry Facts

Mutant Spawns of Pop Tarts
Strange and failed toaster foods

Hot Slots
Recipes for your toaster

Plugged-in Toasters
Links to other toaster-related sites

Best Thing since Sliced Bread
Eggos; Lenders' Bagels; Thomas' English Muffins

"I wish they'd get the trial done,
and hand round the refreshments!"

"That's the judge,
because of his great wig."

"Silence in the court!"

"Herald, read the accusation!"

View the scene of the crime
(based on the original drawing
by Sir John Tenniel,
from Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll)

 Nothing More Than Fillings
 The True story of the Pop Tarts

Pop Tarts are more than mere convenience food, they have become pure pop culture: an easy laugh for comedians like David Letterman and Paula Poundstone, a cultural and general milestone for the rest of us.

Inspired by The Last Supper by S. Dali

They were rolled out in Cleveland, Ohio on September 14, 1964 with a stern admonition to retailers to put them in the Baked Goods, Cookie or even the Cake Mix section of their stores...but that they were forbidden to put them anywhere near their cereal section.

“IN NO WAY SHOULD THIS PRODUCT BE SOLD AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR CEREAL,” shouted the company’s detailed instructions to store managers, capitalized and underlined for emphasis.

Inspired by La reine de joie
by Toulouse- Lautrec.

The funny thing is that Kellogg's did not invent the toaster pastry. That was arch-rival Post. It’s just that Kellogg's was the first to do it right and so stole the market away from Post. Sit down, have a Pop Tart, we’ll tell you the story.

After World War II, Post had a research team working to come up with new non-cereal products. Their first successful product was Tang, the powdered orange juice substitute that became a big success when the astronauts drank it in space. Their next product was Gaines Burgers, a semi-moist dog food that didn’t spoil quickly on the shelf. Using the same technology, they came up with a fruit-filled pastry that could be stored for months without refrigeration. On February 16, 1964, Post unveiled their new toaster pastry to the press, and the food industry went into an uproar.

Post, however, made two fatal mistakes. They had announced too early , before they fully done working on the product. This gave their arch-rivals at Kellogg's time to come up with their own toaster pastry. Furthermore, Post named their product "Country Squares," at a time when people were laughing at rural bumpkins on TV and "square" was slang for completely unhip, uninformed. "Country Squares" didn’t sound wholesome and homegrown as it does in our time; it sounded like moronic and nerdy like Floyd the Barber, Barney Phyffe and Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show.

Inspired by Still Life with Soup Tureen by P. Cezanne

Kellogg's rushed their pastry to the market in a scant six months, and its name was a double pun on the hippest thing happening at the time: Pop Art, which Andy Warhol had made a household word with his giant soup cans and Brillo boxes. Pop Tarts took the market by storm, advertised by an animated toaster named Milton; the company literally could not keep shelves stocked. The first Pop Tarts came out in four flavors: strawberry, blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon and apple currant. The first three are still with us.

Through the years, the company developed innovations of its own including no-melt frosting and sprinkles that wouldn’t dislodge in the toaster. Not that there haven’t been some missteps along the way: Who still remembers Danish Go Rounds and Pop Tarts Crunch cereal, not to mention such wish-we-could forget flavors as Chocolate Peppermint, Frosted Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Chocolate and Cherry Chip? Still despite all that, heavy competition from other brands, and the fact that they don’t microwave well at all, Pop Tarts still control about half of the toaster-pastry market.

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