Posting content on Labor Day is instant internet death, but I can’t shake the feeling that there are exactly three of you dying to read 800 words about Toaster Strudel, now and now specifically. I won’t let you down!
So, let’s give a warm welcome to Pumpkin Pie Toaster Strudel! It’s a new flavor from Pillsbury, and just one of 2014’s billion new “Halloween foods” that pay tribute to pumpkins. (Seriously, it’s a huge year for pumpkins. Regular pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, pumpkin EVERYTHING. Nobody knows what the 2014 Halloween season will ultimately be remembered for, but judging by what we’ve seen so far, it’s gotta be the pumpkin invasion.)
I only notice Toaster Strudel when it gets wacky for the holidays, and in fact, the last time I purchased a box was around this time last year, when Pillsbury came out with that Caramel Apple flavor. I’ll beat this horse until its blue in the muzzle, but this is exactly why I love Halloween so much. For two full months, the mundane is made miraculous. All I did was buy Toaster Strudel, and here I am, feeling like I’m recounting the tale of some wild party.
If you’re a regular reader, you know that me and pumpkins are not the best of friends. I enjoy looking at them, and I enjoy carving lazy monster faces into them, but I’ve never been into eating them. You’ll think I’m lying, but I’ve never had a single slice of pumpkin pie. Don’t make me use the word “anathema,” because I’ll sound like a dick.
Since I couldn’t review these without tasting them, I made an exception. Now I see what I’ve been missing! I used to think that anything with the word “pumpkin” in the title would taste like what I’ve always assumed raw pumpkin innards to taste like. Little did I know that processed and sweetened pumpkin becomes some wholly different non-fruit that romances the palate like an edible gigolo. In briefer terms… shit is GOOD.
As I’ve never had pumpkin pie, I have no idea if this Toaster Strudel is on-point. To me, it just tastes like muted applesauce, mixed with sugar and trapped in a Roy Rogers crust. The icing’s flavor is unidentified on the box, but I imagine its meant to mimic the dollop of whipped cream that no pumpkin pie slice should be without.
See? Even the Pillsbury Doughboy’s adorably tiny pie has the dollop. He knows.
I assume that everyone knows the score with Toaster Strudel, but for the sake of a segue, I’ll tell you anyway. Aside from the frozen pastries, you get a set of icing packets. After you’re done with the boring toaster part, you’re free to decorate.
Creating art with Toaster Strudel icing isn’t easy. By my count, I was only successful at it once. All other times, the icing spat out into bloated, nearly indecipherable versions of whatever I was trying to draw. Doesn’t matter if I was aiming for a “heart” or a “smiley face.” Everything just came out like a bumpy circle. It was like I was obsessed with the mumps.
That sad fact did little to dissuade me from trying again, because isn’t drawing dumb things with icing the whole point of Toaster Strudel? Yeah, it’s steamy and delicious, but I can think of a hundred steamier and more delicious things. It’s just that Toaster Strudel is the only one that lets me treat food like crayons.
Here’s what I came up with…
“Generic Monster Face”
Most monsters are out to eat us. This was me, turning the tables.
This was supposed to be a carved pumpkin, but the jack-o’-lantern features were immediately enveloped by the surrounding goo. I’m disappointed in myself for wasting so much strudel space, but at least it let me fit a giant plastic ant in the photo with no issues at all.
“Please visit my website, Dinosaur Pracula!”
My pathetic attempt to create a spider. It wouldn’t have mattered if the icing cooperated, since no spider has six legs. Perhaps that’s why the cockroach looks so proud. He thinks it’s him.
When I stack them like that, they gain the qualities of a Decepticon gestalt. I see a robot with giant nipples. Or maybe this was the wrong day to see what all of the Vin Mariani fuss was about.
Pillsbury’s Pumpkin Pie Toaster Strudel looks good, smells good, tastes good, and inspires me to draw bugs and monsters. Tack on the extra appeal of it being a special holiday edition, and this is an easy A+. Recommended for me and for you.