What's Up With Eggo?

20081115box.jpg

20081115boxes.jpgRemember these guys?

Of course you do. There may well be a box stuffed in the back of your freezer—even if it’s been there since 1994. Back in my freezer-breakfast days, Eggo made one thing: waffles. And they looked just like this. (Except for the Guitar Hero ad.)

But these days, the supermarket Eggo section is stocked with unfamiliar specimens. Eggo Toaster Cinnamon Rolls? French Toaster Sticks? Bake Shop Swirlz? Mini Muffin Tops?

The waffles are just one box among many. As much as Eggo evolves, though, some things never change: Everything is compact and toaster-ready, and everything comes in a cheery yellow box.

So how do these newfangled Eggos stack up?

Cinnamon Roll Minis

20081115roll1.jpgFour to a waffle-sized sheet, these “cinnamon rolls” were puffy bits of yellow Eggo dough, stamped into a spiral, with tiny dabs of cinnamon filling and icing inside. The distinctive Eggo taste completely overwhelmed these little guys. The unbalanced ratio of filling-to-dough meant that, unless you really sought out the filling, you’d think you were just eating an awkwardly shaped classic Eggo.

Bake Shop Cinnamon Swirlz

20081115cutroll.jpgThese were my favorite of the bunch. Basically one big roll instead of four tiny ones, they had much more filling—a layer of tasty cinnamon goo and a layer of thin white frosting. It hardly tastes like a real cinnamon bun, but for a grab-and-go freezer breakfast, it’s sweet and tasty.

French Toaster Sticks

20081115french.jpgI love French Toast. And there is something moderately clever about toaster-ready French Toast. But these things just left me full of questions: Why is it divided into sticks? Wouldn’t your hands get sticky? And why doesn’t it taste at all like French Toast—even artificially? (Remember that French Toast Crunch cereal? I don’t know how, but it tasted like French Toast. It can be done.)

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffin Tops

20081115muffin.jpg“Best Part of the Muffin!” said the box. I won’t argue there. But these little muffin tops, also four to a toaster sheet, disappointed. The best part about muffin tops is that they get sweet and crusty as they firm up, a nice foil to the cakey interior. But the Eggo rendition was too puffy to be a proper muffin top—the texture was more like a muffin middle. Again, these were essentially reshaped bits of Eggo, but too round to cover with syrup and almost unbearably doughy.

Conclusion? If you like Eggo waffles, you may well like any of these—the yellow-dough taste is exactly the same, and some have cinnamon or chocolate chips to boot. But in my opinion, Eggo dough lends itself better to the waffle, whose nooks and crannies get crispy in the toaster and make a nice little home for syrup. These puffier guys are too round to get properly crispy. And the syrup slides right off.

Have you tried any of these Eggo creations? What do you think?

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