I eat a surprising number of Pop-Tarts in a professional capacity, including Pop-Tart nachos and coffee-flavored Pop-Tarts. I cheered on as my colleagues ate and ranked every Pop-Tarts flavor in a single afternoon and subsequently helped them through their sugar hangovers the next day. But despite my Pop-Tarts expertise, I've never put butter on a Pop-Tart. In fact, I had never even heard of such a practice until relatively recently, and I was kind of horrified by the idea. There's just something about putting butter on a toasted Pop-Tart that feels opulent, like adding truffle oil to caviar. Besides, does a Pop-Tart really need more grease and fat?
I'm not alone in my skepticism of the idea. In 2016, Buzzfeed conducted a poll asking if users put butter on their Pop-Tarts, and the answer was an overwhelming, “No, I am of sane and solid mind.”
It should come as little surprise, then, that the internet's obsession with putting butter on a Pop-Tart doesn't come from a chef or a food writer, but a cartoon. Specifically an episode of Family Guy. There's a whole song about Pop-Tarts and butter, sung by Peter Griffin, accompanied by the always Hawaiian shirt-clad Quagmire. It's a minute-long clip that the AV Club called, “deeply, deeply stupid in a way that Peter and Family Guy in general can make oddly endearing.”
The song is actually pretty catchy, in a demented Simon and Garfunkel kind of way, so can you blame me for getting it stuck in my head? The idea of putting butter on a Pop-Tart stuck with me, too, and with Peter's dulcet tones running on a loop through my brain, I knew it was finally time. I had to put butter on my Pop-Tart, at least once. How else would I know if putting butter on a Pop-Tart was “so frickin' good,” as Peter insists, unless I tried it myself?
I got a pack of strawberry Pop-Tarts from the bodega down the corner, popped them in the toaster, slathered the frosted side with salted butter, and took a bite.
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It turns out that putting butter on your Pop-Tart tastes pretty good—albeit just as greasy as I kind of imagined it would be.
I really don't know how else to describe the taste other than, well, butter on a Pop-Tart. The trick to making butter on a Pop-Tart taste good is to make sure the Pop-Tart is extra toasty. That way, the butter melts into the crust, making the whole thing taste more homemade somehow. I would also recommend using salted butter, because that salt actually amps up the sweetness of the strawberry jam.
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Ultimately, when you're eating butter on a Pop-Tart, you're eating butter on butter, so yes, it's really that good. However, I did feel dizzy after it was all said and done. And I really could have used a nap.