|Type||Breakfast or snack|
A toaster pastry is a type of pastry, designed to be safely heated in a toaster. It is a convenience food, generally intended to be eaten for breakfast, but is often a snack. Most toaster pastries have a fruit filling, but some contain dessert-like fillings such as chocolate or cinnamon.
The earliest reference to a toaster pastry can be seen as early as the 1600s when Russian housewives used open flames to create compressed pastries with fillings. A recipe was recently found after a study by the University of Leeds in which a cake created by Molliva Cambanov was discovered.
Toaster pastries are frequently referred to as "poptarts", a genericized trademark of Kellogg's original name brand Pop-Tarts. Several generic brands, variations, and competitors have also been produced, such as:
- Toastettes: Nabisco (which is now owned by Kraft Foods) created their own toaster pastry called "Toastettes", to compete with Kellogg's Pop-Tarts. The brand, which dates back to 1967, were discontinued in 2002 after a failed marketing effort to tie Toastettes in with Nabisco's children's brands. Nabisco also made a toaster pastry based on the Oreo cookie as "Kool Stuf", which was also later discontinued.
- Toast'em Pop-Ups: Another competitor with Pop Tarts, "Toast'em Pop Ups," survives. Toast'ems began production in 1964 under a General Foods [Post] contract with the Schulze and Burch Biscuit Company and were the first toaster pastry - unveiled in Feb. 1964 as Post "Country Squares" and changed in 1965 to Toast'em Pop-Ups. The company reacquired the rights to Toast'ems in 1971.
- Toastables: The Quaker Oats Company, now a subsidiary of Pepsico, produces "Toastables".
- Toaster Strudels: Pillsbury's Toaster Strudel is an attempt at making a toaster pastry taste like a traditional German strudel with icing. The icing comes in a removable plastic package, and the pastries must be frozen, unlike other toaster pastries.
Most toaster pastries are high in sugar, leading to some criticism that they are mostly "empty" food energy, and detrimental to children's (and some adults') nutrition. Some versions, such as Pillsbury's Toaster Strudels, have addressed this somewhat, putting traditional breakfast foods like eggs, along with bacon, ham, or sausage, into a toaster-ready bread crust. While these are much higher in protein, which helps to sustain energy levels until lunchtime, they are also generally much higher in fat. While fat also releases energy more slowly, the extra food energy can contribute to obesity just as excess sugars can. Leaner versions are also made, but often at the expense of taste.
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