Cheer Du Jour

A little cheer to forget your troubles, and better yet, to toast with a glass of bubbles!

July 15 – Return of the Twinkies!

Box of Twinkies

English: Ding Dong

Twinkie

Twinkies are back! Not just back, but storming store shelves today. Hostess plans an initial roll-out of 50 MILLION creme-filled sponge cake wonders just for this week alone. The company has designated this “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” Some of you may have already scored a hit, as Wal-Mart stores had early access.

It was mid-November when the sweet hit the fan – radio stations broadcast the dire news that Hostess was shutting down operations. Like any rational adult, I made a mad dash to my local Hostess outlet store – just in time to see a crotchety, older man snatch the last box of ho-ho’s (I admit to thinking, for just a split second, that perhaps a Jerry-Seinfeld-marble-rye-snatch-and-run was in order. However, with a checkout line of 40+ people, the getaway was challenging…I mean, that of course such action was completely out of line. Following my momentary lapse of conscience, I admitted defeat – proceeding to check all retail establishments along the way home, searching for the elusive blue and white boxes. I searched the aisles, looking behind other brands’ snack cakes, in case someone had squirreled away a package of the good stuff. Not a single fruit pie was to be found. When I returned home, I spied all the postings on e-Bay. Twinkies were suddenly worth their weight in gold. Now, truth be told, I am more of a Ding Dong fan (oh, the chocolate enrobed ring of snack cake perfection), and the coconut-coated Snowballs, but I had become quite attached to the chocolate-filled Twinkie (slightly less calories than my beloved Ding Dongs). It was hard to believe that they were all gone, and I fielded more than a few calls from fellow mourners that day. We consoled each other with the belief that a brand as nostalgic as Twinkies couldn’t be gone forever. They were the stuff of legends, after all, the food that had a gazillion-year shelf life, and could stock yesterday’s bomb shelters and today’s go-bags to sweeten any apocalypse.

This past May, we made our annual trek to Hilton Head, SC. However, we wondered if our traditional stop at Street Meet was in jeopardy. This little gem turns out the most delicious dessert of a fried Twinkie ala mode. Although this definitely is not allowed in my diet (I know it is supposed to be a lifestyle change, but any deprivation of such calorie-laden delights must be a diet), I make an exception for this dish. Of course, I split it, so I’m sure there are hardly any calories (let alone fat grams) in my portion. Thank goodness, the restaurant had amassed a stockpile of Twinkies large enough to carry them through to the return of the Twinkies. As always, the deep-fried golden sponge cake (with its light, crispy batter on the outside to contrast against that airy cake and dreamy, creamy filling, all sopping up the melting ice cream) was incredible. By this time, the news was out that Twinkies would indeed return, so the dessert was extra sweet.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Hostess plans to roll out additional products, aimed at today’s market (smaller portions, lower calories) along with its historic favorites. Also, expect to see Twinkies and their cousins in many new environments, from hotels, to cruise ships, to movie theaters. And, still at Street Meet, I hope!

To celebrate, you may want to try a Twinkie fry yourself. Food.com has a recipe – I haven’t tried it….yet. I’m pretty sure a nice glass of Prosecco would pair perfectly with either the fried or original version. To add to the nostalgic pleasure, watch Twinkie the Kid (below, circa 1985), as he interviews kids to solve the mystery of the creamy middle.

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