In looking back to my childhood, I can kinda see why everyone called me “weird”. Exhibit #259: Whereas most kids would eat chocolate of any kind, I never liked chocolate toaster tarts, of any variety. So while most kids would jump at the chance to eat chocolate for breakfast, I was always more than content with the “standard” strawberry variety, never really wandering outside of that flavor until my later years.
And, on kind of a random side note, isn’t it a little bit crazy how things we do as a kid can shape the routines we make as an adult? There are so many things I refused to eat as a child that I still harbor the same resentment towards, some thirty years later. And my current perception of these products are often shaped entirely by the random, sporadic memories I have of trying them as a child. For example, I used to love raisins, until I ate them with a cheddar-filled hot dog…trying to force both down at the same time so that I wouldn’t disappoint my babysitter turned me off both of those products ever since. And while it was the first time I’d ever tried a cheddar-filled dog, I actually liked raisins up until that point.
Alright, enough trips down memory lane for now: let’s focus on these rectangular pastries sitting here before us, shall we?
First off, there’s that trademarked packaging again! I think I’ve said before that all the major store brands (at least around me) have the same packaging design and font across the board no matter which store you purchase them from, and here’s the proof: this one looks just like Meijer’s wrapper. Again, this leads me to believe that all the stores have the same manufacturer, and that very well could be the national brand!
What’s this white shit all over the top? I’m not really sure, but it’s completely unnecessary, considering all it does is fall all over the place. It’s like getting those greeting cards made of glitter, where the only purpose it serves is to make a mess once you open it. Come on guys, we don’t need sprinkles on everything.
The chocolate tastes way better than I remember it. Really, this whole toaster pastry does. The outside of the pastry is soft and inviting, while the two types of chocolate—the hard icing and the soft filling—both compliment each other pretty well. The brown pastry does well to give the illusion of chocolate, and maybe there’s a slight hint in there, but overall it’s just a straightforward pastry that acts as a carrier for the toppings and filling. And that’s really all you should expect of it, so no hard feelings there.
The main downsides are the aforementioned random white crusties that fall all over the place, as well as the main complaint I have about all toaster pastries in general: that pesky outer edge, which I always dreaded reaching as a kid and still have un-fond memories of as an adult. Anyone who’s had one knows what I’m talking about: the entire edge has absolutely no icing and no filling whatsoever, making it a dry wasteland of boring pastry that can be roughly equivocated to “church communion wafer”. There’s a strategy to eating these, and it entails ensuring that you don’t get stuck with a corner…a double-helping of dryness that derives no possible enjoyment for the consumer.
Other than that, this is a solid duplicate of the national brand, and for a pretty solid price, too: an 8 ct. package retails for just $1.25, making it a pretty solid deal, especially as far as Kroger is concerned, and putting it about on par with Aldi’s 12-ct. boxes, which retail for $1.65.
Overall: 6.5/10. These are way better than I remember them being as a kid. The chocolate filling isn’t nearly as bitter as I thought I remembered them being, and the soft pastry has some inviting texture. There are some random white crusties on the top that serve no purpose besides making a mess, as well as the standard sides that have neither filling nor icing—a problematic staple of toaster pastries for years—but the value is solid at $1.25 per 8 ct. There are still a few other flavors I’d strongly prefer over this one, but this is a pretty good deal for fans of this particular flavor. It didn’t win me over enough to make a spot in my normal rotation, but it broke away my preconceived notions about chocolate toaster tarts being gross, so that has to count for something!