After searching for months, I was finally able to try Eco-Planet’s and Glutino‘s toaster pastries. I chose frosted brown sugar & cinnamon (they also offer strawberry and blueberry) from Eco-Planet and strawberry from Glutino (their other flavor is apple cinnamon). Before I tell you what I think, let me tell you what I liked about Pop Tarts.
- You can eat them out of the box or toast them
- The fruit filling was tasty but not too sweet
- The pastry was just crumbly enough and, actually, extremely tasty untoasted
- I have great memories of sneaking off with a box of strawberry Pop Tarts and my cousin K.C. when I was little and eating the outer edge off of all of mine
The Eco-Planet box of says, “While Eco-Planet Frosted Pastries are fully baked and ready-to-eat right from the pouch, if you prefer them warmed . . . ” (instructions follow). I’m not clear who they believe will be able to eat these things straight from the pouch, but unless you have very strong and/or razor-sharp teeth, it’s not the average customer. These things are like biting into rubber. Even the frosting on top is impenetrable. I tried breaking a corner off one: no-go. When I got a chance to toast them (toaster oven), I followed the instructions, nothing changed. Heated them up again. They got soft (if you use the word loosely) enough to bite into, but I still found them very rubbery. The brown sugar filling left an unpleasant after taste in my mouth, and the frosting was more like paint (basically, powdered sugar, water, and several ingredients no one needs to be eating (ex: esters of fatty acids). My teeth hurt from eating these and the unpleasant taste won’t go away, even after a fair bit of water. On a scale of 1 – 5 stars, I give these zero.
They are certified gluten free, free of the top 8 allergens, Kosher, vegan, and produced in a dedicated (gluten/top 8 allergens) free. There is also no casein, potato, sesame, glutamates, sulfites, or GMOs in this product. (Unfortunately, there’s also not much texture or flavor.)
Glutino toaster pastries resemble traditional Pop Tarts more accurately, even coming in a foil pouch. They look like the Pop Tarts I grew up with, the texture is comparable as is the filling (though perhaps less sweet — but not having had Pop Tarts in years, I couldn’t say for certain). The pastry does taste very salty, however, and the sodium content for one pastry is a hefty 330mg.
They are alright untoasted, but not as appealing as Pop Tarts were. I think the salt content is mostly to blame for this.
For heating, my box says heat on high for 3 seconds. Glutino must have a super microwave, because even on high, 3 seconds doesn’t do anything! So I tried 15, which left me with a flaming hot pastry, but one which smelled pretty darn good! Smells aren’t everything, however, as anyone who has sampled any gluten free food knows well. I ate about half the pastry before giving up. Although the filling became tastier (still not great) when heated, it couldn’t mask the saltiness of the pastry, and, oddly, the pastry developed a stale taste upon being heated, despite that it wasn’t there before and the expiration date is 22 November 2013.
Stars? 2-3, but no more.
If you’re desperate for something akin to Pop Tarts, I’d recommend Glutino over Eco-Planet, but if you can figure out how to make your own instead, you might want to do that instead of spending money on either of these. (And if you develop something tasty, let me know — I’d love to try your recipe!)
Update 9 October 2020: EcoPlanet appears to have gone out of business. Glutino is still in business, but I do not see Pop Tarts/Toaster Pastries on their website at this time.