November 17th, 2012


Twinkie Wankery

Even if Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and Hostess Cupcakes were going to go away, I doubt I'd be able to miss them. I'm pretty sure that parts of those I ate in the 1950s are still lodged somewhere in my body; perhaps in my arteries, appendix, or intestinal bayous that they caused to form. They won't go away from the markets, of course, but perhaps briefly, nor will any of the other Hostess brands with wide name recognition.

The Bainish investment firms that control the company consider those names and products assets to be resold when the company is dismantled. Some other food (or "food") producing corporation will buy them up and bring back the products unchanged. They might even be produced in the same plants and delivered in the same trucks, once the company's pesky unionized labor force has been gotten rid of.

Even if Twinkies were going away forever, I wouldn't be inclined to sadness. Though I ate more than a few of the infamous baked confections in my misspent youth, my preference for clogging arteries and inducing diabetic coma was always an item called the Boston Cream Pie (later just Boston Pie) made by the Dolly Madison bakery. The Dolly Madison Boston Cream Pie was a flat, spongy cake of similar flavor and texture to the Twinkie, half of it being an oblong shape and the other half the shape of a classical Roman arch.

The oblong portion was covered with a thick layer of airy, white frosting, and the arch-shaped upper portion was then folded over the oblong portion (there's a photo of a package temporarily displayed on this web page.) The frosting, too, was of similar flavor and texture to the filling of a Twinkie, but far more abundant. From the ages of about six to twelve, I thought the Dolly Madison Cream Pie the most delicious baked product ever pulled from an oven and plastered with sugary bliss. As a rule, I would settle for Twinkies only when my neighborhood store had sold out of the Boston Pie.

At some point in its history, the Dolly Madison bakery was taken over by Interstate Brands, the same corporation that also took over Hostess. Once both companies were under the same corporate control the Boston Pie was dropped from the line and only the inferior, but apparently more popular (or perhaps only cheaper to make) Twinkie was marketed. Even though this took place long after I had outgrown my love of the sickeningly sweet products of corporate baking, I have ever since reviled the Twinkie as the product that led to the eradication of a cherished childhood treat, the loss of which will forever preclude any chance for reliving my memories of it. Perhaps that is for the best, though, as things we enjoy in memory are often, if revisited later in life, much less enjoyable than we recall them having been.

In any case, farewell for now, Twinkies. I know you'll be back, like indigestion or gas or constipation. Some things just can't be gotten rid of once and for all by anything other than one's own demise. A Twinkie may not really last thirty years on the shelf, but marketing will make sure that more and more Twinkies will continue to appear on shelves as long as there are kids and money to be parted.