Earlier this week, it was announced that for the second time in the last 10 years, the snack cake kingdom of Hostess was filing for bankruptcy protection. Best known as the makers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, Hostess is dealing with the sad reality that times, they are a-changin’. Parents these days don’t want to send their kids to school with a baked snack cake as a treat anymore. Lunch is all about healthy snacks now, and with that the legacy of the golden brown snack cake filled with pure sugar joy is taking one step closer to its end.
You may have come here to to praise Twinkies, but I came here to bury them. For they are the most overrated snack food of this or any generation.
As a child of the 80s and 90s, I’m all too familiar with the parental convenience of the Lunchables and snack cake brown bag. But for the sake of revisionist coolness history, let’s pretend I had a Thundercats lunchbox. Hot damn, I always wanted one of those.
I was fortunate, though, because my mom had a rule – snack cakes only on Fridays. But some of my friends got them every day, and I vividly remember the New York Stock Exchange type atmosphere in my cafeterias, as kids went crazy trying to trade their snack cakes among each other. And if snack cakes were a type of lunch room currency, the Twinkie was probably the nickel, with apple sauce being the penny, and hoo boy did I have a lot of pennies.
All of this sudden Twinkie love and the farcical cries of “Save Twinkie the Kid!” are the results of memories clouded by convenient pop culture nostalgia. Because unless you’re Peter Griffin in a nuclear wasteland or Sgt. Al Powell’s pregnant wife, you don’t really give a crap about Twinkies. To most people they’re just novelties in the snack cake world, in the same way that people say Coke when they’re talking about soda.
We’re overhyping this remembrance of Twinkies, and it’s not fair now like it wasn’t fair back then – by the way, you should totally picture me shaking my fist on a giant stage at this point. The real victims here are the other snack cakes and treats that were always overshadowed by the convenient reputation of the Twinkie. If I had to make a Top 10 list of the best snack foods, Twinkies wouldn’t even crack it. I don’t even think they’d crack my Top 20, because they’re not even the best Hostess snack cake.
Ding Dongs, Zingers, Suzy Q’s, Sno Balls are all > Twinkies.
As for the competition, I mean, if you’re going to shove sugar down your pie hole, then Lil Debbie and Drake’s are the proverbial BOMB compared to Hostess. Have you ever had a Drake’s Coffee Cake? “Seinfeld” wasn’t lying.
So I’m going to open up this latest installment of the UPROXX discussion to our fine commenters and nostalgic foodies to help us determine which of all the delicious snack cakes is the true king. Perhaps it is the Twinkie. But I know the true snack cake king is…
Star Crunch, FTW. Prove me wrong, people. I dare you.
(Thundercats lunchbox via Flickr.)