The Trouble with Twinkies

I may be permanently scarred by my culinary exposure during the early 1970s.  I had a mom who purchased carob chips and made her own bread.  These days, I can really appreciate the benefits of all those organic fruits and veggies and animal proteins that were never mistreated or force-fed a hormone cocktail.  But back then, I just wanted to be normal and get sandwiches made out of bread guaranteed to make me as wonderful as the next Geranimal-wearing kid.

My food wish-list was short:  Apple Jacks, Twinkies, OREOs, Wonderbread, and a tv-dinner.  I watched tv, so I knew there was this yummy world out there not made available to myself via my healthy-food-loving, peace-sign throwing mother.  But I knew better than to really complain – she’d just make me stir the rennet into another vat of whole milk if I did.  So I would just stare longingly at my classmates’ lunches over the crusts of my whole wheat, buck wheat, “that’ll keep you regular” wheat bread sandwiches.  At least she didn’t send me head cheese after that one vomiting session.

So, imagine my amazement the time my mother succumbed to my pleading and picked up a box of Twinkies.  Unwrapping that sweet little fat-filled sugar-bomb cake was like Christmas, birthdays, and Flag day all rolled in one.  I probably drooled a bit in anticipation.  As you can imagine, this girl was in pig-heaven.  You would thought I’d never had granulated sugar before.  And to be fair, I’d never had it quite like that before.

I was busily licking every bit off the wrapper when my mom reached over and took one.  Thinking back, I’m pretty sure her hand was shaking just as badly as the time she asked me to get rid of all her cigarettes and I took her request a bit too seriously.  I smiled like a fellow drug-addict as she took a bite.  And then promptly decided my mother was insane.

“Yuck.  These taste nothing like they did when I was a kid” and she threw the rest away.

Fast forward many years.  My oldest sees a Shrek festooned box of Twinkies at the store and begs for them.  Much begging from me ensues as I try to dissuade him.  Finally, I capitulate and buy the dang things knowing full well that if the child won’t eat a fresh from the oven, chocolate chip cookie, a Twinkie is not going to be on his list of tastiness.

“Yuck.  That’s disgusting!”

Thankfully, they are well preserved, so 5 months later I just tossed the rest of the box’s contents  in the Halloween bucket with the rest of the candy and got rid of them.  But not after eating one myself.  And you know what I thought?

“Yuck.  These taste nothing like they did when I was a kid.”

So, do me a favor and go eat one of the dang things.  In fact, it could be a Twinkie, Ho-Ho, Zinger, Snow-ball, ‘Bama Pecan Pie,  whatever.  Take a bite and see if the primary taste isn’t something way more like the plastic wrapper that covered it than any tasty goodness you were hoping to savor.

You see, the trouble with Twinkies is that the anticipation far out-shines the consumption; this is especially true if you’ve been cutting back on your dietary intake of preservatives in favor of things like whole-wheat, buck-wheat, “that’ll keep you regular” real food.

6 thoughts on “The Trouble with Twinkies

  1. My favorites were Suzie-Q’s! Big chocolate cake sandwiches with vanilla icing inside. I ate plenty of them in my childhood to make me never want another again, along with all it’s sickenly sweet siblings & cousins.

    • I have to admit to a sweet-tooth. And a certain problem with warm home-made chocolate chip cookies. I can have a pan of brownies in my house until they become bricks, but the call of a warm (hell, even cold and stale will do it – who am I kidding) will drive me into a binge faster than you can say “Yee-ha!” I know they are my Achilles’ heel, but oh how I love them. Apparently, I lack the ability to learn as well as control… 🙂

  2. During a particularly weird/dysfunctional time in my life at the end of my college years, my boyfriend at the time (now husband) and I sneaked away for a weekend and holed up in a cheap hotel room eating pizza and gorging ourselves on the most enormous box of Twinkies you can possibly imagine. I still remember those Twinkies, and I know no Twinkie I could ever eat today would compare to the sinful, decadent luxuriousness of THOSE Twinkies!

    Love the blog!


    • When you say enormous, are we talking Costco enormous? Yowza lady, you live on the edge. 🙂 I do believe that a bit of gorging is quite called for when we are holed up with our hunky-men. Feel free to extrapolate as desired. 😉

  3. OMG – I had a package of chocolate Zingers for dessert every day with my friend Eve in 8th grade. Seriously. Every. Single. Day. I dreamed about them at night and they were the one and only reason I got up in the morning. (As if there can be any other reason to want to keep living when you’re 13!) Love this post took me straight back to my sugar-filled childhood. (Did I mention I had brownies for breakfast today? No? Huh. Must have slipped my sugar-filled adult mind…)

    • I once went through a stage of eating a Schwan’s Scooter-Crunch Ice cream bar daily. Then my mom noted the effect it was having upon my backside. May have started the diet phenomenon but I have a hard time remembering that far back. 🙂

      Oh, and brownies for breakfast? Yes! Beats FiberOne any day. (You can decide for yourself what I likely had this morning….)

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