Why Are Pop-Tarts?

William F. Aicher
4 min readMar 5, 2022
Photo by Isabella and Zsa Fischer on Unsplash

Okay, so as promised in that last article — you know, the one where I said I was going to try randomly writing about whatever and see what happens — I’m going ahead and writing on a random topic.

Problem was, I hit a stupid kind of writers’ block right off the bat. I know I said I’d probably write about socks first, but I couldn’t do that because as my wife pointed out to me, I already wrote about a “first” topic, and that topic was the article where I talked about writing about whatever. So I couldn’t make socks my first topic, as a first topic already existed … and I also couldn’t bring myself to demote it to #2 as that just felt cheap.

So I did what I do, and reached out to my Twitter community for ideas. On top of that, I decided I’d livestream the typing of this thing on Twitch. Who knows if anyone will watch. That’s an entirely different topic, and also one I claimed I didn’t care about in the last post. But obviously, I lied.

Anyway, someone recommended I write about Pop-Tarts. So, here we are.

I think the biggest question I have about pop-tarts is why they are even called what they are. But when I think about it now, it’s pretty obvious. They’re little pastries, kind of like “tarts,” that you put into a toaster and then when they’re done cooking, they “pop” out of the toaster.

So a discourse on the naming conventions of these things wouldn’t really do much good. It just wouldn’t be interesting.

But what is interesting is just how long these things have been around for. I mean, they’re not really good, are they? I never remember myself eating a pop-tart and thinking to myself, “man, these are great. I should order some more.” I don’t know that I’ve heard anyone else ever do the same. My kids will eat them, sure. And sometimes they’ll prefer them over cereal. But they also don’t beg me to get more.

I think that the real reason they’ve continued to be so popular is in the ease of cooking them. You end up with something warm, with a sweet, gooey center, that takes little to no time to make. You just open the box, take a package out, rip it open, and throw them in the toaster.

Then a few minutes later, you have breakfast.

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William F. Aicher

Author of “philosophical” thrillers, sci-fi, horror, and sometimes the plain old bizarre. Buy my books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FyLbCT