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The Hot Pockets brand logo used from 2001 to 2008.
A typical serving suggestion for Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers usually containing a combination of cheese, meat, and vegetables. Hot Pockets are currently produced by Nestlé internationally.

There are over twenty varieties of Hot Pockets, including both breakfast and lunch/dinner varieties. Nestlé also offers Lean Pockets, Hot Pockets Croissant Crust (formerly called Croissant Pockets), Pot Pie Express, Hot Pocket Pizza Minis (originally called Hot Pockets Pizza-Snacks), Hot Pockets Subs, Hot Pockets Calzones, Hot Pockets Panini, and Hot Pockets Breakfast items which include the meat, egg and cheese varieties, and the Fruit Pastries.

Hot Pockets were invented by Paul Merage and David Merage in the 1970s. They founded the company Chef America Inc. and began producing Hot Pockets for profit in 1983. In 2002, the Merages sold Chef America to Nestlé for $2.6 billion. Initially only available in the United Statesmarker, they are now sold by Nestlé in Francemarker, Germanymarker, Spainmarker and the United Kingdommarker under the Maggi brand. Quote from Nestlé 2005 Full Year Financials: "In Europe, the roll-out of Hot Pockets, small microwaveable frozen meals, is gaining momentum in France, Germany, Spain and the UK." In Canadamarker, Nestlé distributes some Hot Pockets products as part of the Stouffer's Bistro or Lean Cuisine lines, although the Hot Pockets brand itself is absent from product packaging.

Hot Pockets, which come frozen, are often known for being packaged with a crisping sleeve. The material within the sleeve converts microwave energy into heat in order to crisp the crust, which is usually penetrated by microwaves. The sleeves, branded "Qwik Crisp" (like most crisping papers) and now under pen name "Crisp & Carry!", are common in most Hot Pockets varieties. Recent Hot Pockets Subs brands have refrained from using such crispers, as some sandwiches are said to be soft-baked. On the back they say Crisp and Crunch.

Hot Pockets came under fire recently for using cheese that contained meat. The courts found in favor of the food maker citing that "Hot Pockets does not claim to offer a vegetarian solution, and as such including meat in the spinach and cheese pocket is perfectly legal."

Recently, Hot Pockets began introducing whole grain crusts, following a trend of many convenience product purveyors offering lower carbohydrate choices.

For a long time, along with the jingle, it had used the slogan "The hot meal in a pocket" and "When you want a hot meal without a big deal".

A Hot Pocket
A Hot Pocket on a Hot Pocket

Usage in media

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a routine dedicated to Hot Pockets, in which he talks extensively about their white trash ethos, the fact that their centers are either frozen or "boiling lava hot", their alleged tendency to give the eater diarrhea, the contents of Hot Pockets (from "nasty meat" to more Hot Pockets), the introduction of the Breakfast Hot Pockets ("Finally you can have a Hot Pocket for breakfast, a Hot Pocket for lunch, and be dead by dinner. Dead Pocket!"), and the product's jingle, which he sings often in an odd falsetto voice.

Larry the Cable Guy has a similar routine in which he discusses the product's alleged fecal-related side effects. One other comedic reference to note can be heard on Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now in which Ellen states, "I blame the microwave for most of our problems. Anything that gets that hot without fire, that's from the devil. You don't believe me? You put a Hot Pocket in there for three or four minutes, pop that thing in your mouth, if that's not hell, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know what is."

G4tv aired a parody commercial for the food on their "Attack of the Show" program. The YouTube video criticizes the white trash leanings of the stereotypical Hot Pockets consumer by featuring a NASCAR fan abusing his pregnant wife when confronted about an empty box of Hot Pockets in the freezer.

The character Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me mentions Hot Pockets twice throughout the film. He first mentions them while offering Mini-Me something to eat, and in a later scene recommends Hot Pockets to Frau Farbissina during an awkward post-intercourse incident.

In the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft in which the boys dedicate most of their time to the MMORPG game World of Warcraft, they keep a microwave oven close to their gaming places to constantly eat Hot Pockets.

In American Dad Roger gives ex-President of the USA George W. Bush a 'Dolly Pocket', named after Dolly Parton, which was "A hot pocket stuffed with rhinestones".

It was also featured in an episode of Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This?.

See also



External links

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