Pop-Tarts' Tajín Challenge Is Ridiculous

Pop-Tarts wants us to give savory, spicy breakfast pastries a shot. So we did.

If food TikTok is good for anything, it's alerting consumers to out-of-the-box flavor combinations. Some make for exciting new treats while others just completely miss the mark, and unfortunately, Pop-Tarts' recent collaboration with Tajín is in the latter group.

"Pop-Tarts always has a pulse on what's piquing flavor-fan's interest," a representative for Pop-Tarts told The Takeout via email. "And it's no secret Tajín is one of the hottest ingredients taking the Internet by storm...Naturally, Pop-Tarts couldn't resist joining the spiciest conversation on social media and collaborating to create our latest Crazy Good innovation – the Pop-Tarts x Tajín kit."

To capitalize on trending interest in both brands, Pop-Tarts distributed a promotional kit that includes a small bottle of Tajín, a bottle of Tajín Fruity Chamoy hot sauce, and three flavors of Pop-Tarts: Wild Berry, Strawberry, and a new Peach Cobbler flavor. Although the kits are only available for purchase via Pop-Tarts' Instagram store until October 27, if you truly wanted to experiment with these combinations or other Pop-Tart flavors, you could just purchase all the items separately at the grocery store.

What is chamoy?

Chamoy is a condiment usually composed of a combination of apricots, plums, and mangoes. This sauce has a salty and sweet flavor, which comes from the dried chilis and/or chili powder and lime juice included with the fruits. To make chamoy, the fruit of choice is brined or salt-cured until all the liquid is drained from the fruit. The liquid part then forms the base of the sauce.

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Tajín and chamoy are a match made in heaven, commonly used together to rim glasses and flavor fruity desserts like a mangonada. Pop-Tarts seems to be banking on the fact that consumers will consider chamoy a fitting complement to its fruit-filled toaster pastries.

Pop-Tarts and Tajín: How does it taste?

For the sake of transparency, I have to say I went into this expecting to dislike the flavor combination. I'm not a fan of fruit filling in my desserts, nor am I partial to Pop-Tart's fruity flavors. (Give me a Brown Sugar Cinnamon any day.) However, I am a fan of both Tajíin and chamoy, especially together, so I gave this brand collaboration a fair shot. Here's how the flavors ranked:

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  • 3rd Place - Frosted Wild Berry: I may have been heavy-handed with the chamoy on this Pop-Tart, but nonetheless, the Wild Berry had little to no identifiable flavor once topped with chamoy and Tajín. The frosted surface of the Pop-Tart did not do this experiment any favors, as it created a weird, stubborn barrier between the pastry and the sauce. Across the board, the unfrosted Pop-Tarts probably would have been a better canvas for these strong flavors, so they wouldn't be clashing with the ultra-sweet icing.
  • 2nd Place - Strawberry: Strawberry mixed with chamoy and Tajín was just all right. Although I didn't have the immediate negative response to it as I did with the Wild Berry combo (maybe I was used to the competing flavors by then), I still wouldn't eat it again or recommend it to a friend. The savory tang of the chamoy was fighting against the sweet strawberry filling and winning. Plus, the Tajín seemed to make matters worse by only intensifying the saltiness, which did not go well with the sprinkle-speckled frosting of the Pop-Tart.
  • 1st Place – Peach Cobbler: Perhaps my chamoy-drizzling and Tajín-sprinkling skills were perfected by this point, because there was a better balance here. The Peach Cobbler flavor was a big surprise. I anticipated that it would be sickly sweet and just add noise underneath the chamoy, but somehow the peach was strong enough to taste but not so much that it was fighting the savory flavors. The Tajín performed beautifully (as it usually does) by providing a light spice and sour tang, tying everything together.
  • I once said that people should put Tajín on just about everything, and I was right. What I did not say was that people should put chamoy on everything, and I was also right about that. Chamoy has a time and a place, and these breakfast pastries aren't it. What Pop-Tarts could have (and should have) done is to replace the sprinkles of the Strawberry Pop-Tart with a sprinkling of Tajín, baked right into the icing. The chamoy was just too overpowering and distracted from the Pop-Tart, which makes the experience rather useless. Contrary to both brands' desire to set the internet ablaze with the next big collab, these flavors did not complement each other. But at least now we're talking about them—and all we really want to say is that Peach Cobbler Pop-Tarts are worth seeking out on their own.

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