Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Twinkie's Last Stand: Are the Treats of Years Gone By Still Good?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 5:52 AM

The last of our Twinkies (amid the apples Id like you to believe are our usual snacks).
  • The last of our Twinkies (amid the apples I'd like you to believe are our usual snacks).
I landed on a great post at First We Feast by way of Twitter. I’m not familiar with the blog, but I’m a fan after reading "20 Things Everyone Thinks About the Food World (But Nobody Will Say)". Though these folks clearly love their critters (check out their profile of Allan Benton), I think we can bond over our mutual love of Portlandia food skits.

The whole list is magnificent, though some points resonate with me more than others (I like authentic Mexican as much as Tex Mex; I rarely get recognized as a foodblogger and even more rarely receive a free meal). The topic that really made me think, “Oh, hell yeah,” though was "Nostalgia Props Up a Lot of Really, Really Bad Food." Because, as the image indicates, I bought Twinkies recently when I got word that their demise (though possibly just temporary) was imminent. I high-tailed it to the Hostess Thrift Store and bought one of the very last boxes of Twinkies (and — I admit — a six-month supply of Wonder bread). The husband and I opened the box and indulged last week, because, well, what better way to send off 2012 than with Twinkies? Yes, the wildest part of our New Year’s Eve plan was to eat an extinct species of processed food. Anyhoo.

So after putting the toddler to bed, we opened up our box of Twinkes and began to celebrate. Except after just one bite, I didn’t feel very celebratory. That Twinkie was terrible! I remember them being a real treat as a kid, but all I could taste was a faint, fake Twinkie-esque flavor that was overwhelmed by the taste of chemicals. My husband and I both agreed that it was not the Twinkie of our youth (though he continued to eat them). But why? Was there a change in the Twinkie recipe? Or had our taste buds matured beyond Twinkies? Certainly, the last time I had a Twinkie was at a time in my life that I would not have voluntarily eaten Brussels sprouts or tofu, but I can’t help but think that that there was something different. Some time in the last 20 or 25 years, something was changed about the Twinkie, right?

Though the question is now moot. Because not only can I no longer easily buy Twinkies, I have no desire to do so. But it makes me wonder if Little Debbie Fudge Rounds are no longer good as well. Suzy Qs? Banana Flips? I can attest that Krispy Kreme donuts are still good. In case you were wondering.

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