Never has a golden sponge cake with creamy filling received so much attention as the crumbling of Hostess Brands, although the fact is it‚Äôs not actually about the Twinkies.
It‚Äôs about having a basis for comparison. Just try feeling superior eating a piece of spelt bread while knowing that the same rubbery loaf of Wonder white bread that once sat inconspicuously in the back of the refrigerator for an entire winter and still managed to maintain enough elasticity to roll into a ball tight enough to bounce off the kitchen floor in the spring will never make an appearance again ‚Äî it‚Äôll be awfully tough (the spelt bread and any credible semblance of condescension).
It‚Äôs about telling your kids how your seventh-grade classmates all used to buy Ring Dings for a quarter in the lunchroom and engage in regularly scheduled contests to see who could peel off the chocolate layer without piercing the cake, and having your own kids know what you‚Äôre talking about instead of looking at you like there‚Äôs a ring and a ding loose in your head, and if you were allowed to eat that then how come they‚Äôre not allowed to have a cookie for their morning snack ‚Äî and after lunch.
It‚Äôs about trying to unravel a Yodel without it breaking (hint: it‚Äôs not possible).
It‚Äôs about how the filling in a Hostess Apple Pie is as closely related to an actual apple as the watermelon flavor in a Starburst candy is related to anything with a thick green rind, and the Hostess Cherry Pie is as connected to something that once contained a pit just as the syrup in a can of peaches ever came from anything in the vicinity of the state of Georgia. Which is to say, not at all.
But back when a diet candy named Ayds proudly took up residence in legitimate pharmacies and men with more make-up than Tammy Faye Bakker and long, teased hair wearing tight leather pants were considered tough and sexy while singing songs like “Karma Chameleon,” it was something, anyway, when trying to reach five servings of fruit each day.
It‚Äôs about having your own brand of awesomeness ‚Äî¬†Donettes ‚Äî because being a regular donut wasn‚Äôt awesome enough for the revolutionaries at Hostess.
It‚Äôs about having tried Funny Bones just once and maybe only realizing right this very moment that it was possibly the world‚Äôs perfect food ‚Äî peanut butter cream cuddled up in devil‚Äôs food cake and covered in a chocolate-frosting-like paste. But you‚Äôll never be able to confirm it because, alas, they‚Äôre now only available on eBay for precious sums of money, or perhaps tucked into a corner of your small intestine from that time you split a package four ways during recess in 1982.
It‚Äôs about never, ever knowing what a pink Sno Ball tastes like, because who ever actually ate one? Even if it was nice for a minute to believe that legal marijuana in Colorado and a cream-filled chocolate cake covered with marshmallow frosting and coconut flakes could have enjoyed a moment in time at the same time.
It‚Äôs about acknowledging that Twinkies are too sacred to ever attempt to make them from scratch using any of the endless recipes that have recently been made available online. While you might not really mind taking it on as a hobby, it would be futile to try and literally recreate the Twinkie, because where can you actually buy sodium stearoyl lactylate and dextrin that doesn‚Äôt require top-level security clearance?
It doesn‚Äôt matter that you haven‚Äôt had a Twinkie in 20 years (even though it wasn‚Äôt on principle, you just kind of forgot about them, and then even when you remembered, you saw they also started carrying wasabi almonds at that gas station where you always stop to use the bathroom on the way home from the airport and those just seemed a little less wrong).
Because it‚Äôs really not about the Twinkies. At all.
As everyone knows, it‚Äôs all about the Hostess Cupcakes. Whether it‚Äôs the delicate white swirl dancing and weaving on top of the thick fudge topping or perfectly moist cake grinning neatly underneath while patiently hiding the perfectly creamy, if not suspiciously thick, filling, it was as close to heaven as you‚Äôll get while you‚Äôre still breathing.
R.I.P., Hostess. We‚Äôll all be saving some room for you on the other side. (Because you can stop taking CrossFit classes and Lipitor after you‚Äôre already dead, right?)
More at MeredithCarroll.com.