Food Junk food

Review: Twinkies

Twinkies
A box of Canadian Twinkies.

You thought they were dead? Pfft. You can’t kill the Twinkie!

Millions – well, maybe thousands – of Canadians were relieved when they learned the impending demise of American food giant Hostess wouldn’t affect their Twinkie fix. Turns out the brand is owned by Saputo in Canada, so we can keep cramming snack cakes into our mouths in much the same way we always have.

All of this got me thinking. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually eaten a Twinkie, even though I’ve eaten more donuts than I can count (like any true patriot), and watched episodes of La Petite Vie while unwrapping the occasional Vachon Jos Louis cake. It was time I remedied this, just in case they pulled the plug in Canada, too.

Twinkies
Eight Twinkies, before the eating began.

The Pitch: From the box: “Golden cakes with creamy filling.” “Hostess Twinkies, the original … soft and creamy!” “Brightens up a birthday! Livens up a lunchbox!”

The Look: A cardboard box with a huge “Twinkies” logo that you couldn’t miss from 50 feet away. Inside the box are individually plastic-wrapped cakes. Each cake looks like … a Twinkie. Yeah, they’re that ubiquitous. A long, plump cylinder of golden yellow cake.

The Taste: Like “vanilla” cake that’s been sitting in the fridge for several days. It doesn’t taste either stale or fresh. It’s … eternal? I don’t know. Very sweet. Oily enough that I had to wash my hands with soap before touching my camera again after I broke a Twinkie in half. There’s certainly a chemical taste to it. The texture is soft, and the “creamy” filling adds to the tender texture. The filling is very sweet, and it tastes like the processed whipped icing used to frost the cheapest of grocery store cakes. On the plus side, the portion size is just right, and the experience was less nasty than I thought it would be. Still, they’re totally not my cup of tea.

Twinkies
Cross-section of a Twinkie.

RATINGS AND DETAILS

Cost: $3.99 for 8 cakes at Calgary Co-op.

Value for cash money: At $0.50 per cake, not bad.

Availability: Canada! (I had trouble finding them when the Canadian media started reprinting all the U.S. “Twinkies are DOOMED!” stories before figuring out that no, in Canada, they’re not doomed at all.)

Nutrition?: Per Twinkie (38 grams): 150 calories, 6 grams of fat, 120 mg of sodium, 0 grams of fibre, 1 gram of protein.

The verdict: I’m glad I finally tried them, even though I wouldn’t buy them again. Nostalgia must play a huge part in Twinkies’ appeal.

 

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