R.I.P. Twinkies

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Michael Stern
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2012/11/16 08:40:55 (permalink)

R.I.P. Twinkies

Apparently, the bankruptcy of Hostess Brands means the end of Twinkies. Here is the story of this American icon from The Lexicon of Real American Food:
 
            The world's most famous snack cake was named after a shoe. In 1930, during the Great Depression, Jimmy Dewar, manager of Chicago's Continental Bakery, was looking for a way to use the company's "Little Short Cake Finger" pans year around instead of only during strawberry season. On a trip to St. Louis, Mr. Dewar saw a billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes. No one remembers if the gigantic shoes were depicted filled with feet or empty, but the vision inspired Mr. Dewar. "I came up with the idea of injecting the little cakes with a filling," he recalled; and he named his invention Twinkies. Once the recipe was perfected, Mr. Dewar ate three a day for half a century. "I have twelve great-grandchildren, all of them eating Twinkies," he boasted in 1981, shortly before he died at the age of 88.
 
            The original filling was banana crème, but during the 1940s that was replaced by vanilla. Twinkies were the favorite petit four of 1950s TV marionette Howdy Doody, as well as of Doodyville cowhand Twinkie the Kid. Archie Bunker demanded them in his lunch box on All in the Family. Twinkies became so significant a part of American life that they took the blame for driving former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White insane. After he murdered Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978, White's lawyers successfully used what jurisprudence now knows as The Twinkie Defense to convince a jury that their client was suffering "diminished mental capacity" because he ate a diet of Twinkies and candy bars. White got off on a lesser charge and subsequently committed suicide. "Nobody knows what's going on inside of me," he said, neither blaming nor exonerating Twinkies for his condition.
 
         Deep-fried Twinkie on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair:
 

 
#1

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    Root-Beer Man
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 09:21:41 (permalink)
    While I'm not a huge fan of Twinkies, I am a fan of their cupcakes. Sorry to see them go because a few people couldn't compromise.
    #2
    Mosca
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 09:56:00 (permalink)
    From what I understand, the recipes will get sold, and someone else will make them.

    I don't think any of us were present during negotiations, so none of us have much relevant to say about why this happened.
    #3
    Twinwillow
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 10:07:13 (permalink)
    I'm more concerned with the employees losing their jobs!
    #4
    HollyDolly
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 10:50:55 (permalink)
    Twinwillow,I feel the same way.This is not the time to go on strike, and because of the stupidity of its union leaders,all these people are now out of work. If I ran the union, I would have tried to work with the company,and would only call for a strike if it just had to be.However, I doubt if I was union leader would do this.I would want my members to keep whatever job they have,espceially with the economy,and the holidays here.Union leaders now adays don't really care about the average worker,or they wouldn't have been so dumb,and cost those people their jobs.
    I personally prefer the cupcakes and the snowballs.The half round cakes with the marshmallow frosting and sprinkled with coconut. Twinkies as a kid were good back in the 1960s.But as an adult, the few I have eaten ,the cakes just didn't taste the same to me.
    #5
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 11:02:37 (permalink)
    The assets, including the brands, will be sold to other companies, and many of the iconic products will return, at least the ones that still make business sense. Many employees will be rehired when that happens. 
    #6
    Mosca
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 11:46:54 (permalink)
    It was me, Michael. It isn't that I'm afraid to be political, it's that it is obviously going to spin out of control, quickly.
     
    Hostess has been mismanaged for years, and the company and the union actually came to terms before the announcement to shutter the doors. Most analysts believe that the company is using the recent trouble as an excuse to liquidate, making the union a convenient scapegoat. It's worth noting that management cut wages and benefits 30%, while giving themselves raises.
     
    Now, do we really want to have this discussion here on Roadfood? Because I can do it. Or, we can discuss the relative merits of no more Twinkies. I haven't had a Twinkie in years, myself.
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 11:57:14 (permalink)
    Mosca, I'm surprised that you flagged the post. But that's OK. In fact, I've never had a Twinkie. But I've been eating Devil Dogs since I left the ark when things dried out. When Hostess took over Drake's Cakes I cringed, and the company never distributed Drakes stuff here in Ohio, so I've had to get my Devil Dogs imported from Connecticut.
     
    The closest I can come to a Devil Dog here is something called Zingers, and I stopped at the Wonder outlet near me this morning to lay in a supply before they're all gone. The woman working there said she's supposed to keep working till all the product is gone and then, "When I found this job I was looking for work, so, what the heck ... ."
    #8
    ann peeples
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 12:01:57 (permalink)
    Bob loves their cupcakes....oh well. My cousin worked for Hostess until his retirement..the workers didnt get paid that much, and to agree to a pay cut was ridiculous....it wasnt their fault the company went under.
    #9
    Mosca
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 12:50:19 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    Mosca, I'm surprised that you flagged the post. But that's OK.

     
    NP. I know people have strong opinions on this stuff, but really no one knows the particulars for this specific situation other than those making the decisions. It's sad. 
     
    In fact, I've never had a Twinkie. But I've been eating Devil Dogs since I left the ark when things dried out. When Hostess took over Drake's Cakes I cringed, and the company never distributed Drakes stuff here in Ohio, so I've had to get my Devil Dogs imported from Connecticut.

    The closest I can come to a Devil Dog here is something called Zingers, and I stopped at the Wonder outlet near me this morning to lay in a supply before they're all gone. The woman working there said she's supposed to keep working till all the product is gone and then, "When I found this job I was looking for work, so, what the heck ... ."

     
    I'm partial to Ho-Hos, myself.
     
    We get Little Debbie products up here. I bought Ho-Hos and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, and I prefer the Ho-Hos. But Swiss Cake Rolls are decent enough.
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 13:32:00 (permalink)
    I see Little Debbie stuff in the stores, but I've never had any. I'm not really much for sweets, but I do love Devil Dogs.
    #11
    catosaurus
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 14:00:26 (permalink)
    I never liked Twinkies and I won't miss them.  I'm sorry for the Hostess employees, though.
    #12
    phlmaestro
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 14:06:05 (permalink)
    I also have loved Devil Dogs since I was a kid. I once tried the Little Debbie version of them (I think they're called Devil Creams or something like that), and to say they were nowhere near as good as the Drakes Devil Dogs would be an understatement. I think I had one and couldn't bring myself to eat the rest of them.
     
    I've stayed away from Little Debbie since then.
    #13
    Hepcat
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 16:11:24 (permalink)
    Very sad. Hostess was an American institution that actually made products I really liked. I've always made a point of picking up two or three packages of Hostess Sno Balls and a few Hostess Fruit Pies whenever I was in the States.
     

     

    #14
    jajarino68
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 16:27:28 (permalink)
    Rasberry Zingers and Ding Dongs are my favorite. But I liked when the ding dongs were wrapped in aluminum foil.
    #15
    catosaurus
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 16:33:32 (permalink)
    The aluminum foil wrappers for Ding Dongs were my cat's favorite toy (balled up and thrown).  The foil was thin, flexible, compressed into a 3/4-inch ball, and made a satisfying "crunch" sound when she'd chomp down on it.
    #16
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 17:46:27 (permalink)
    I just had a horrible thought. No more Wonder Bread? Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies twelve ways. Or was it the way I once blew it reading a commercial while working in radio: "Wonder Bread helps build twelve bodies strong ways"?
     
    But really, no Wonder Bread? How can you make a toasted cheese sandwich without it? How can you make a tuna salad sandwich without it. How can I enjoy pot roast gravy on bread without Wonder Bread?
     
    Dear God! Thanksgiving is coming up. No more sandwiches of turkey, stuffing and carnberry sauce between slices of mayonnaise-spread Wonder Bread?
    #17
    mr chips
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 17:52:31 (permalink)
    I was a big fan of hostess fruit pies  which i bought from automat machines while in college. I'm sorry for the loss of jobs and some iconic products. I was also sorry when Montgomery ward's went out of business. I hope twinkles will come back. I'm not so sure about wonder bread..
    #18
    Twinwillow
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 18:11:11 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I see Little Debbie stuff in the stores, but I've never had any. I'm not really much for sweets, but I do love Devil Dogs.

     
    I grew up with Drake's products. They were my favorite brand. The Devil Dogs were my favorite of all their products and my after school "go to" with a glass of cold milk.
    #19
    Davydd
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 18:30:28 (permalink)
    Wonder Bread. Trim the crust off. Roll it in a ball with that grimy shiny sheen from your dirty hands and plop it in your mouth. That's why we never developed food allergies when we were kids.
    #20
    Tdybr27
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/16 20:23:22 (permalink)
    Don't worry. Some Chinese company will buy the recipes and ship over Twonkies, He-He's, Zongers, Winder Bread, etc
    #21
    ann peeples
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 06:27:19 (permalink)
    Wow, Mr. Hoffman, I forgot that Hostess made Wonder bread.....Bob is not a happy camper. Maybe I should go scoop up as many loaves as I can.....
    #22
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 07:33:18 (permalink)
    ann peeples

    Wow, Mr. Hoffman, I forgot that Hostess made Wonder bread.....Bob is not a happy camper. Maybe I should go scoop up as many loaves as I can.....


    Yes, scoop up those loaves with the opaque wrappers! 
     
    "Wonder Bread" has so many chemicals and preservatives in it that it never goes stale. 
     
    That's the Wonder of it!
     

    #23
    Russ Jackson
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 09:00:52 (permalink)
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    lleechef
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 10:43:44 (permalink)
    I never ate a Hostess or Wonder product in my life until I moved to Ohio where MH stocks their white and rye bread.  I will not miss them.
    #25
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 10:48:04 (permalink)
    That's Beefsteak rye, and you know you love it for your hunting trip salami and cheese sandwiches.
    #26
    Poverty Pete
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 10:57:37 (permalink)
    lleechef

    I never ate a Hostess or Wonder product in my life until I moved to Ohio where MH stocks their white and rye bread.  I will not miss them.

    When I was but a small boy,  Wonder Bread was an advertiser  on my mother's TV  show. Even then, I thought the reason they called it "Wonder"  was because you always wondered if it was really bread.
    #27
    lleechef
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 11:05:36 (permalink)
    PP
    I grew up on my mother's homemade bread.  I never heard of "Wonder"!
    #28
    ann peeples
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 11:27:01 (permalink)
    Beef Steak rye....now I am really sad.......
    #29
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:R.I.P. Twinkies 2012/11/17 11:56:29 (permalink)
    Ann, I don't know whether they make the Beefsteak rye. They sell a lot of things in their outlet stores that they don't make.
    EDIT: I just checked. Beefsteak Rye is a Hostess product. I shall truly miss that.
    post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2012/11/17 12:43:21
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