Stay gold, Twinkie the Kid. Stay gold.
January 12th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
Share this on:

“Nooo! Not my beloved Twinkies!”

Upon recent news of Hostess Brands filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the internet rose up with a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth. That’s to be expected, but honestly, how many of the bereft can recall the last time they actually sank said dentition into a store-bought, cream-filled snack cake?

I can. It was 2008, and my colleague Rachel and I were photographing cross-sections of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Tastykakes, Ring Dings and other classic commercially-baked goods for a feature. We knew we’d have no problem pawning off the still-wrapped extras to the hungry hordes who’d been eyeing our work all afternoon, but it seemed like a transgression against our childhoods just to toss the others into the trash uneaten.

Rachel and I quickly divvied up the halves – every permutation of chocolate and cream (that’d be your Ho-Hos, Yankee Doodles, Suzy Qs, et cetera) for her, and for me, Twinkies, Jelly Krimpets and, most bliss-inducing of all, Raspberry Zingers.

There was a point during my high school career where the spongy, coconut-swaddled cake seemed a viable substitute for lunch, dinner, or a romantic or social life of any kind. Paired with a Hawaiian Punch from the vending machine under the bleachers, it was the ne plus ultra of sugar-cranked teenage cuisine, and I’m fairly certain that if I’d had it tested at the time, my blood type would have registered as Red #40.

But I grew up and away from home and developed other culinary quirks like “occasionally eating vegetables” and “being too broke to afford food that isn’t ramen noodles” and “wanting to live through my twenties.” The upshot was that a goodly amount of time passed between my last Zinger binge and that moment in 2008 when all the snack cakes in all the land were laid out before me.

In the nearly two decades I’d spent Zinger-free, the memory of their sweet, creamy appeal doubled, quadrupled, octupled in intensity. So far as I could recall, the moist crisp of coconut, light tang of highly-processed raspberry jam and plush sponge bonded at an atomic level to form a mutant molecule of irresistible deliciousness.

Even if the old urges once again overtook me, I had to know. I had to try - for science. So with eyes screwed shut and head tilted back, my trembling hand bore the familiar confection toward my mouth. I opened wide, sunk in my teeth and...it was fine. Just fine. The initial shock of sweetness was pleasant for a second, but quickly faded and I wasn’t compelled to finish even the half in my hand. Same with the Twinkie. Into the garbage they went.

I found myself relieved and dismayed in equal measure. The former, because an 18-year-old body can bounce back from the ravages of fat and sugar-smacked snacks much more easily than one twice its age, and the latter because it aches a bit to see that something you once loved has lost its luster.

In the same way that digging up current pictures of your high school crush on Facebook or seeing your former teen idols cast as parents on sitcoms casts a slight pall on the glow of youth's remembered pleasures, so does the spoiling of a food you'd once loved.

So if you're feeling tempted, in light of the current market conditions, to sample a golden, creamy snack cake for the first time since childhood - perhaps reconsider. Hold on to that sweet memory, find a new food to love, and just let Twinkie the Kid ride off into the sunset.

More on the Twinkies crisis



soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. 2012

    Twinkies were to nourish (sort of) the surviving humans holding out after the nuclear apocalypse. General Petraeus was to lead the human resistance against the machines. Clever Skynet.

    November 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • mlg4035

      Briliant post!

      November 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  2. Twink

    How sad. Imagine generations growing up, missing their Wonder years.

    November 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Skitz Kitty

    OH NO!! What will they serve at the carnival fry zone now?? Only the fried Oreos? Now the terrorists have really won!

    November 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Aja

    So sad. All because some Union decided to having a staring contest and they lost. Now, 18,000 people will be without work because of it. Sometimes you have to compromise.

    November 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  5. JOregon

    What are the stoned folks going to munch on now?

    November 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Bingo

      Nothn' but cracker jacks.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Jose

    I have never eaten a twinkie per se........once on an adolescent dare, I uh, um.....rectally inserted one into....well, um....my....

    November 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  7. Ramanoodle

    The company makes junk food. It was only a question of time given the national mood toward improving public health. I hate to see anyone lose a job, but most people don't feed this stuff to their kids anymore.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  8. Rick

    Actually, it's the King Dons I'll miss. Twinkies can go on into the trash heap of history.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  9. bclone

    First tighty righties lost the election, now this! This just isn't their month. Hopefully the mayonnaise companies don't go bust!

    November 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  10. Dana

    Never had one. Never seen anyone eat one. I have a kid and she does not like Twinkies. None of her friends aside one (she says) ever eats them. So... we'll survive without twinkies. They must be some 50ies relic...

    November 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Robert

      You need to try the deep fried twinkies on Freemont street in las vegas!

      November 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • conrad

      Landy Linda – a brand I discovered here in NYC makes approximately the same products, but they are actually really good. Their chocolate cupcakes (which look just like the hostess cupcake) is really delicious ... soft, moist, the cream filling is nice. I give one to out-of-town visitors for fun when they visit and theyoften end up asking me to send them more.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  11. DH

    Thank you you selfish greedy union b*stards! Sad thing is, with all that your beloved prez is screwing up, we hear about the twinkies! I hope that those sorry union jerks have fun looking for a job in this economy. Good luck finding one that pays half of what you WOULD have received if you greedy jerks worked WITH the company instead of FOR your own greedy interests. HAHAHAHA......a-holes.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • space2000

      are they lowering the wage at your job after having workered there for years?

      November 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • DH

        And that comment is EXACTLY my point!!! The company is in BANKRUPTCY dummy! Going on strike to keep what you currently have instead of working with the company is what led to this. Either work WITH the company or work somewhere else. I can't wait to hear more stories like this where greedy unions run companies into the ground. Maybe we can finally get rid of these thugs.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  12. Josh

    Just remember to "thank" any/all members of the Bakers Union, whenever you see them. Best if they are with their kids at the time.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • sjajr

      If you are constipated I am sure you will find some way to blame it on the president. Time to put your big boy oants on. Your not 12 anymore.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Jerry

    One more reason to thank Obamalooney's economy. Slowly but surely HE and his cronies (unions included) are accomplishing what HE said out to do. One, maybe more, businesses(s) at a time.

    Thank Mr. Commander-in-??????!!!!!! America id grateful to you!

    November 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Dana

      Hey @Jerry. Bankruptcy does not happen in a couple of years. Thank Bush, not Obama.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • Jerry

        Hey Dana, whatever inspires you to continue to "Bend Forward'". (No Vaseline this time around, though.) The fact is that you fail to realize that hundreds of workers will be laid off at the worst time of the year; the holiday season.

        Also, would you please tell me who unconditionally supports and owes big time to the unions?!

        November 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
        • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

          LOL. Bend Forward. That's pretty funny, I must admit.

          Also, I thought all you guys had moved to Canada, or at least threatened to. Which, by the way, has a government mandated national health system and about a 50% tax rate.

          Republicans emotions and sudden loss of thought make me smile.

          November 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • apstar

      This is doing the country a favor: these disgusting, unhealthy "foods" are responsibly in part for the obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and many other conditions in the population. Companies that cannot adapt to the needs and demands of the time are destined to go under; how many buggy whip and cracker barrel manufacturers are still out there? Typical comment out of left field blaming Pres. Obama when Bush racked the national debt up to $12 billion before Obama even took office for his first term. Sore loser.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • Oops. No.

        Trillion, not billion; 10 trillion, not 12 trillion; and even of that 10, Bush only added ~4.5T. So, if things keep the way they're going, Obama will have increased the debt at three times the rate of Bush by the time all is said and done.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • Andy

        I would love to use your numbers for the amount of debt Bush ran up though they are wrong. 12 billion compared to Obama's 6 trillion would be a great number to use. More realistic numbers though are that bush ran up something like 4 trillion over 8 years compared to Obama's 6 trillion over 4 years. Giving the way Obama likes to spend we could easily be looking at him running up the national debt 12 trillion over his 8 years. I think I would still rather take Bushes 4 trillion over what Obama is spending though I would rather see the debt going down not up.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  14. Sweet William

    The unions did it once again. They just can't help themselves. And the media won't cover what really happened to an iconic company. Only a union could bring it down.

    November 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
1 2
Pinterest
 
| Part of
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,048 other followers