Nostalgia Tastes Like a Hostess Twinkie

Hostess, the maker of sinful delights such as Twinkies, Ho Ho's and Wonder Bread, is shuttering it's factories and closing down production of it's bakery operations. If you're feeling a sudden urge to run out and buy a box of Hostess Cupcakes or Powder Sugar Donuts, blame it on childhood nostalgia.

When I was a kid I was thrilled beyond belief on the rare occasion when my mother would treat us to snack cakes of some sort or other. My mother was more the make-your-own-bread-out-of-wheat-you-ground-yourself variety. It must have been the scarcity of Hostess products that made them so delicious. It was like a taste of the forbidden fruit.

Personally my favorite were Hostess Cupcakes. You know the chocolate ones with the little swirly-q's on the top? I would peel the layer of icing off the top, break the cake in half and lick out the cream filling. Then eat the cake part. Finally the icing layer was the last to go. Only something rare and special deserved that level of detail in it's consumption.

Twinkies never had much of an allure for me. Suzy-Q's were too messy and didn't have the lovely waxy layer of icing on the top. Those Hostess Fruit Pies? What was the point?  On the rare occasion when I got a sugary treat I was not going to waste it on something made from fruit. (Never mind that I doubt those fruit pies were made from anything resembling an actual fruit). The powdered sugar donuts were tasty but once I read Flowers in the Attic I could never eat one without a twinge of fear that I was going to be poisoned. The Sno-Balls? Gross. Even the pink ones. Maybe especially the pink ones.

Those chocolately cupcakes of cream-filled whipped sugar cream were the clear winner.

The problem for Hostess ultimately was that word that sounded their death knell. The word was. Hostess cupcakes were my favorite snack cake. I used to really enjoy them.

Of course now that I'm an adult, I can't remember the last time I ate a Twinkie or a Hostess Cupcake. Wonder Bread is utterly appalling to me. It doesn't even taste like bread. The snack cake has no appeal for me. If I am going to indulge, it's going to be in something high quality. Or I bake brownies. (From a box -- don't be too impressed). When I want to slum it, I grab a cake pop from the mermaid at a certain well-known coffee chain.

My kids have never had Wonder Bread. I just asked my 7-year-old "Do you know what a Twinkie looks like?" She said "No. I've never even heard of it!" It's not that I don't allow them treats. My children get way more treats than I ever did. I don't pack a treat in their lunches every day and when I do, it's usually the kind without HFCS (recent excursion into the orgy of Halloween candy excluded).

Sorry, Hostess, I guess you and Freshness and Kids just don't go together anymore.

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    Christine Whitley

    Texas transplant with short hair, 2 kids, and lots of ideas about family life. No promises about following my own advice.

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