The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Popping into culture

Today is a monumental day in history for students. No major battles were won, no landmark legislation was passed, but the course of history was changed 35 years ago today when Kellogg's introduced Pop-Tarts to the public. But who was the brilliant chef that brought such a delicacy to the forefront of pop culture? No one at Kellogg's would say for sure.

"I think a production team came up with the concept and put it together," said Shannon, a Kellogg's consumer specialist. Shannon said the company does not permit employees to reveal their last names to the media.

June, also a consumer specialist, figures they "must've whipped up the recipe back in our kitchens!"

Unfortunately, no one person can be crowned with the glory of concocting the breakfast treat, but millions have enjoyed the unique pastry throughout its 35-year reign.

Uniquely easy in its preparation, Pop-Tarts originally stormed the shelves in three basic flavors: unfrosted strawberry, blueberry and brown sugar cinnamon. Some flavors - such as peanut butter and jelly and milk chocolate graham cracker - have come and gone, but all three original flavors remain in production today.

"Brown sugar cinnamon is the way to go!" first-year College student Elaine McCandless said.

"Brown sugar cinnamon would probably be my favorite, if I ate them," agreed Bobbie, another Kellogg's consumer specialist.

According to Kellogg's annual report, frosted strawberry is the best seller of the 22 Pop-Tart flavors, which range from cherry and grape to frosted s'mores and chocolate fudge.

Shannon was "not at liberty to expose" if there are new flavors to look forward to, but June did say there are new promotional Pop-Tarts - Snak-Stix, a toaster pastry that breaks apart into three easy-to-handle individual pieces.

"There's only one in each wrapper 'cause they're kind of fatty," June said. "They're perfect for little kids though."

Regular Pop-Tarts do have some nutritional value; they are stacked with carbohydrates (okay, mainly sugars) and contain a hint of protein. And yes, each tart contains 400 calories. But seriously, is that really why people eat them? It's the ease, the eat-'em-raw-out-of-the-wrapper and the grab-one-on-the-way-to-class quality that makes these snacks so desirable. All of which makes University students a prime market.

University Dining sells individual servings of Pop-Tarts all over Grounds - at Pavilion IX, the Castle, the Treehouse and the Marketplace in Cabell.

"They're a great snack to grab," said Jamie Capalbo, a first-year College student who was purchasing Pop-Tarts in the Pav. "But I wish they'd package them individually. You know if you open one wrapper, you'll end up eating both Pop-Tarts."

But today Pop-Tart consumers can celebrate by eating their way through both toaster pastries. Devour those graham cracker crusts with the real fruit filling. Savor one of America's most enduring breakfast treats, and join in the celebration of our nation's culture. Pop culture, that is.

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