In the storied annals of unhealthy snacking, I'd say few food-like products have been better named than Pop-Tarts. Too bad those kiddie faves aren't better made. I mention this because a recent traipse through the supermarket aisles with a pal brought us to a display of boxes containing "toaster pastries" that claimed to be packed with fiber. Upon pausing to peruse said boxes, said pal nudged me a good one and proclaimed, "I smell a Taste Test --and a breakfast of champions."

In the storied annals of unhealthy snacking, I'd say few food-like products have been better named than Pop-Tarts. Too bad those kiddie faves aren't better made. I mention this because a recent traipse through the supermarket aisles with a pal brought us to a display of boxes containing "toaster pastries" that claimed to be packed with fiber. Upon pausing to peruse said boxes, said pal nudged me a good one and proclaimed, "I smell a Taste Test --and a breakfast of champions." --G.A. Benton

What I tried: Blueberry-flavored Pop-Tarts ($2.19/box of eight) and Fiber One Toaster Pastries ($2.49/box of six)

Have your pastry and eat your fiber too: I'm very familiar with Fiber One in the guise of cereal. See, I like to sprinkle its sweet little crunchy sticks onto yogurt, ice cream and all other manner of smooth snacking or breakfasting treats. They add a fine bit of crispy texture plus an enormous amount of super-healthy and gut-filling dietary fiber -- in fact, 14 grams of it per mere half-cup (that's over half your recommended daily allowance).

Ergo, I blithely grabbed the box of Fiber One Blueberry Toaster Pastries pointed out by my pal and then sought to find the Pop-Tarts -- which we smiled to discover must still be quite popular as they're offered (in the cereal aisle, for crying out loud) in all kinds of flavors. I suppose some things never change.

The bait & switch bitch: Imagine my letdown when I got home and placed the boxes side by side only to read that, with the important exception of fiber, they were basically identical -- even in terms of calories. Chompwise, Fiber One's darker, chewier and heartier crust was no better than Pop-Tart's snappier, more accessible crust. Plus, the Pops had about twice as much of the gooey, jammy blueberry filling. Otherwise, there were no glaring differences. Here's a shorthand comparison:

Pop-Tarts

200 calories

18 g sugar

2 g protein

Fiber One Toaster Pastries

190 calories

15 g sugar

4 g protein

5 g fiber

Shiny Mylar wrapper (both)

Rock-hard "frosting" (both)

High-fructose corn syrup (both)

Festive sprinkles (Pop Tarts)

Good source of seven vitamins & minerals (Pop Tarts)

20% RDA of fiber (Fiber One)

We Tried It! Spot a new supermarket specialty you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com