Before anyone starts let me just say, ‘yes I still think a Pop Tart is one of my five a day.’
Now I’m no dietician, which as we all know is a qualification unlike, nutritionist, but the sugar content, e-number value and questionable fruit contribution does make me think that the humble Pop Tart is in fact, the Taylor Swift of morning breakfast choices. It’s unnecessary, takes zero accountability for failed boyfriend choices and is annoyingly unforgettable.
Before the days of 15 minute HIT sessions followed by a spirulina shake and instagrammed selfies of six packs and heaven forbid, overnight oats, our breakfast was a simple choice; cereal or toast. Things drastically changed for us Xennials (people born between 1977 and 1984), we could combine the two into a molten hot river of fruit masochism usually reserved for the once yearly treat of McDonald’s apple pie. Once yearly because the inner lining of your mouth needed to regenerate after taking the first bite.
We weren’t chained to the idea that our breakfast need only be a choice of those that could cook, or had the time to, to those that wanted to literally splash and dash with a cornflake stuck to their jumper or tie for the day. The pop tart was the space race for a generation that contended with the idea that something called the home computer would be our future yet we were still being taught how to change a typewriter ribbon.
This is no faux nostalgia, it’s not even nostalgia when you talk about a pop tart, that’s a harder sell than making me watch “celebs go dating” for its cultural value to the world. Roland Barthes doth protest at such a morbidly stupid notion.
Breakfast is the time of the day when we rarely share our food and that’s a big thing for us non-food-sharers. We will happily make extra, pour extra, toast extra, but share? What is this, a sing-a-long on Sesame Street? No thanks.
It’s a good thing that we’ve become better versed in the kitchen. That we understand the difference with proteins and carbs and sugar and all such stuff. It’s good that we’ve learnt to appreciate delicate pastry’s and how to make ‘the perfect scrambled eggs.’ We understand the difference between a sourdough and a baguette, trust me, that was a fear that many held in the 90s, and, we can make decent coffee at home by simply inserting a pod and letting the machine do the rest.
All of this is good, it’s better than good but where does it leave the pop tart? The magic invention that was oh so nearly called fruit-scone? It shudders in the behemoth that is the clean eating brigade, it sobs at the thought of another avocado being “smashed” into a single serving of artisan bread, and it looks on when a child chooses a captain crunch and doesn’t say a thing.
It is breakfast democracy in action, and the pop tart is like the Green Party; there are fans but they will never govern…