Monday, November 30, 2020

Millville Frosted Strawberry Toaster Tarts (Aldi)

These are good, especially for the price.


Well, after having another brand’s pop tarts a couple weeks ago, and realizing just how much I like the strawberry version, I was kind of excited when my son had me grab some during a recent shopping trip to Aldi. While I’ve had a couple different kinds of their pop tarts, I don’t think I’ve ever had the strawberry, so it was going to be an enlightening experience, to say the least! It was also a bittersweet one: My son refused to eat them because he meant to ask for toaster strudels, not pop tarts. So I’m stuck with the whole box either way.

The first thing I noticed, besides the fact that the “sprinkles” on top seem to be paler and duller than the national brand’s, comes in the form of the filling: it, too, is very pale, almost sickly looking. Whereas the main brands feature vibrantly red filling, this one is very pale, like a light pink. I’m sure this is due to Aldi removing all of the artificial colors from their products, but I have to confess that it isn’t very appetizing.

Thankfully, though, the taste is on par with other brands, featuring that same over-the-top fake strawberry flavor to go along with a rather boring pastry. It’s a rather strong, and sweet, flavor that clearly shows this is targeted toward kids. I happen to like it, although part of that might be nostalgia; I’d venture to guess that most fans of the original will like Aldi’s version as well.

As par for the course, the icing is sloppily thrown in, and only covers about 75% of the actual top. What’s the deal with that? You’d think they’d have it set up to be a perfect science, but there’s always a few bites you have to dread because there’s no icing in the corners, and that’s where the dry pastry is least inviting. This isn’t just Aldi’s brand, but across virtually all of them that I’ve had. They need some serious recalibrating of their machines.

The last piece to this puzzle is value: as usual, Aldi delivers pretty well in that regard. Each box contains 12 total pastries, and is offered for less than the national brand (and even some store brands’) 8 count boxes: in our case, it’s $1.49 per box. That’s more pop tarts than I really need, because I tend to get sick of these rather quickly, but you can’t argue with the price.

They're not outstanding in any way, but they're a good enough knockoff (complete with artificial colors removed!) that taste slightly better considering the value proposition. If you or your family enjoy the national brand, I would think this version would win most of them over, and for a buck or so less than the name brand. That's what one would call a "win-win"!

Overall: 7.5/10. These are pretty tasty imitators of the national brand toaster tart product, though they are muted in colors, probably due to Aldi’s removal of artificial coloring in most of its products. The strawberry flavor is fake, but is in strong abundance, and tastes much better than it looks. The same downsides to the national brand apply here – namely the icing barely covers up the top, and the pastry itself is pretty dry and boring – but for fans of the national brand, this is a good knockoff for a much better price.

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