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Tastykake – WTF?

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Dear Tastybakers,

What have you done with our beloved Tasty-Klair Pie?????

I used to look forward to consuming the delicious 21 grams of fat, washed down with an ice cold glass of whole milk.

At first, I thought it was some sort of a one-time manufacturing deficiency at your new high-tech bakery at the Naval Ship Yard… I was comfortable sleeping at night knowing I must have gotten into a bad batch, and all would be well the next time I stopped into the local Wawa on my way home from somewhere.

… and then it happened again. … and yet I still made excuses.

It turns out, that was a case of denial.

You have changed one of the greatest baked products in the history of Philadelphia to a sad, crumbly shell of what it once was.

… and I’m absolutely certain the problem was caused by the change in baking locations.

I have no idea how the old pies were baked. Probably in some huge multi-pie muffin-style pan…. I’m thinking maybe 12 or 16 per tray… an employee lovingly squirting the eclair filling into them, and further down the line another placing the tops on. After a short ride through a Hunting Park oven, they’d pop out on the other side, where after a brief cool down, another long-time employee (no doubt in a hairnet) would paint the chocolate icing on top. Another moment or two later, someone else would cover them in a wax-paper and gently place them into the box…. where during shipment the plastic would stick to the chocolate (or is it vice-versa?) At least this is how my slightly demented Tasty-Klair fantasy goes.

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As opposed to now, where some soulless machine assembles these “recipes” in their new-fangled tin trays in a dispassionate emotionless way, not caring that the product doesn’t hardly resemble the packaging, and not being aware of the generations of fans, who care for this product with all of their soul. Not knowing what “Nobody bakes a cake” even means, or the joy that the jingle brought to our hearts.

I’ve included some pictures for reference.

To the right, is the Tasty-Klair and it’s box. Note how the pie has a stripe of chocolate down the middle. It’s sad. Look at the box. It has chocolate from coast to coast. Literally 66% of the chocolate promised to me on the box is absent. I noticed that. Don’t think for a second that the rest of the Delaware Valley didn’t either. It’s embarrassing… that kind of short-changing makes Oompa-Loompas cry.
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Evidence B.

The tray. I think that’s the cause of all of the all problems. Why? Because it’s a fundamental change in the baking process. I suspect the ‘Klairs after they are baked run single file underneath a chocolate striping machine, very conservatively applying a stripe down the middle. The old pies probably glided past a Tasty Baking expert who applied the icing to the top.

I regret not taking a picture of the current Tasty-Klair with a bite or two taken off of it, so you could see down the end of it. It’s a lame trapezoid. Flat on top, tray shaped on the bottom. Compare that to the top most picture, one I shamelessly stole from Amazon… which depicts the old Tastyklair.

The one I loved. It was hexagonal! Tray shaped on the bottom, to be sure, but it had a very definitive hump on top… and it was full of eclair filling. Not Tasty-Klair 2.0. There was the same filling, but it doesn’t seem like nearly enough, and it wasn’t full to the brim.

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My other Tastybaking fan friends, including co-blogger Lisa Mossie, contend that the product line changed with the removal of trans-fats. Maybe that’s true. The crust isn’t as tough or sturdy like I remember. I still enjoy the other products, in particular the buttercream iced Chocolate Cupcakes “with the stripe.” But damn… why’d you have to go and change the Tasty-Klair?

I ask again, Tastybakers, What’s the Tray For?

It’s a shame, though no surprise, when I read that your revenues are down lately. I can absolutely see why. You’ve lost sight of your core competency and fell pray to business school buzz-words.

I’ve got a limited-time-only “Black and White” Tastykake pie waiting for tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

February 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm
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