REVIEW: Hostess Chocodile Twinkies

Hostess Chocodile Twinkies

I am an animal.

An animal with all the habits, flaws, and self-imposed delusions that accompany being a carbon-constructed mammal with opposable thumbs, and thus I found myself appreciating all these animal traits as I put those opposable thumbs in my special lunchtime skill: ripping open the cellophane wrapper of a snack cake.

I’ve eaten enough Ding-Dongs, Yodels, and other snack-cakes-with-onomatopoeic-names to fill the pages of a small comic book series. Needless to say, I was celebratory in discovering that Hostess’s former West Coast exclusive, the Chocodile, had been reintroduced and expanded its horizons, migrating to shelves around all around this fine country. If you, like me, find yourself clawing for the Zingers and Sno-balls, shaking the vending machine for that last pack of Zebra Cakes, that one Oatmeal Crème Pie, come, fellow snacker, and we shall delve into plastic-wrapped horizons.

Hostess Chocodile Twinkies Chocodile in its natural habitat

I can think of 12 good reasons why a miniature oblong cake is better than a cupcake. One is that you are now equipped with a contextually sensible way to use “oblong” in a sentence. Another is that the cake specimen has equal frosting distribution. In a cupcake, there’s often a glob of frosting, pillowing at the top. Even worse, sometimes, you even have to play favorites: do I want the cupcake with the sprinkles or the one with the fancy frosting ribbon on top? Then, you have to fight for the one you want before someone else gets it (“Get away! That’s my frosting ribbon!”).

Here, not so much. Every cake is the same. Not only do you get a glaze of chocolatey something enveloping your cake in an even layer, but you also get crème filling all the way through. There’s no overwhelming decision-making. No “perfect ratio.” No, “Should I go for the middle first, or save the middle bite for last while sacrificing my fingers as they’re trying to work around the edges so I can save the pile of frosting?” None of that. It’s equally massive poofs of frosting. All day. All the time.

Needless to say, I’m excited. Just crackling open that thin plastic wrapper is enough to take me back to the days of elementary school cafeterias and Chuck E. Cheese Birthday cakes.

Hostess Chocodile Twinkies Chocodile doppelganger

And the first few bites were pretty good, but as I continued, the magic descended at madcap speed. It was the chocolate that started it all. Tasting of burnt cocoa and stubby crayons, that shiny mahogany glaze seems as though it might be better suited melted down and repurposed as a wax celebrity at Madame Tussaud’s. There was perhaps a hint of cocoa in there, but, on the whole, it had all the excitement of candle drippings, old raisins, and Sad.

The saving grace came in the crème filling. Like the classic Twinkie, this crème is poofy and tastes of Betty Crocker frosting that’s been pummeled into a Marshmallow Fluff machine. Or Marshmallow Fluff that’s been pummeled into a Betty Crocker frosting machine. Either way, there’s definitely sugar in celebratory abundance. While made of questionable ingredients, I could scoop this with my paw and eat it like a Pooh bear.

But not even those sweet hydrogenated poofs can save the cake. While I enjoy traditional Twinkies for their spongy, slightly oily character and fake vanilla-y flavor, this thing was like eating a loofa. A dry, unflavored loofa. The crème gave it the sugar it needed to upgrade its taste to that of a stale, dry doughnette, but, overall, that Loofa Cake combined with a raisin-wood-wax coating? No bueno.

Hostess Chocodile Twinkies Quick Batman, get some milk for that loofa cake!

I wish I could glorify these Chocodiles. I love weird finger cakes. Snarfing a double-snack-pack is my special lunchtime skill. I may have ordered a case of expired Twinkies 8 months after Hostess shut down (Moldy Twinkies, people. Moldy. Twinkies.). So I’d really like to give these a sparkling grade. But I just can’t. Sure, the crème was good, but…loofa cake. Waxy coating. To say it lived up to its Hostess brethren would be a lie. Lies are no good for you. No good for me. However, let me take note that these are not inedible, and, in fact, are far better than other experiences I could imagine in my life, such as perpetual B.O. or death by toilet paper.

So if you like loofa cake, stale doughnettes, and things that are marginally better than death by 2-ply, go for it. Otherwise, I’d approach with a wary step.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cake – 170 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Hostess Chocodile Twinkies
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 9 cakes
Purchased at: Met Foods
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Even frosting distribution. Good crème-to-cake ratio. Poofy, sugary crème. Wrapper is excellent way to exercise your opposable thumbs. Better than death by toilet paper.
Cons: Loofa Cake. Waxy-woodsy coating. The fight for the frosting ribbon. Madame Tussaud’s. Wrestling matches with vending machines. Elementary school cafeterias.

17 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hostess Chocodile Twinkies

  1. I agree this version of the chocodile is very dissapointing I don’t understand why it has to be a mini cake what was wrong with the full size one ,this version lacks any kind of taste

  2. I didn’t realize chocodiles were West Coast only because Roger the alien in American Dad is nuts about them to the point of his usual excess …. And they’re near CIA headquarters far far away from the West Coast. Is this a clue that the writers live in California, mayhap?

    And a moldy Twinkie? Do you have a picture? I thought Twinkies were so filled with preservatives that they were incapable of molding and would survive an apocalypse (another plot point for Family Guy after the Year 2000 disaster, they trekked to a Twinkie factory to get the only remaining food supply). Tasty treats and rugged too.

    1. That’s the first thing I thought of too, and yes the CIA HQ is in VA. I live in DC and I’ve never heard of them until American Dad. “Haley, these Chocodiles, omg these Chocodiles.”

  3. I was a big fan of the original Chocodile. Even here in Northern California they were hard to find. So, I was thrilled when I heard they were coming back….until I actually bought a box about a month ago. Yuck. Like every other product of the “new” Hostess, these do not taste the same as before. The coating (like on the “new” Ding Dongs) is now similar to (probably the same as) the coating on the mini donuts. I wish I could travel back in time a few years and but ton of the original products…or just eat Mrs Freshley’s instead.

  4. If you want a chocolate-covered creme-filled snack cake, the thing to try is Bimbo Marinela’s Gansito. Down side: it is available only in markets where there are a lot of people of Mexican background.

  5. I don’t believe that Chocodiles were West Coast only. I grew up in NYC and remember having one in my lunch box from the 3rd grade until around the 5th grade. I distinctly remember the chocolate covered alligator on the box. And spending the time to pick the chocolate off, eat that, and then eat the Twinkie. For some reason I thought it was twice the treat then.

  6. I too, distinctly remember eating Chocodiles on the East Coast. They were readily available at a Hostess Outlet store before it closed down. Wikipedia says they stopped selling them on the East Coast sometime in the 90’s.. which is weird, because I’m pretty sure I ate them way up into the 2000’s.

    The picture makes it seem like the cake is dry.. not at all “sponge”-like. Perhaps they’re not using regular Twinkies anymore? Haven’t touched anything Hostess since the “comeback” – mostly because of their business practices.

  7. I was so excited when they announced the return of the Chocodile. I tweeted in anger at Hostess for weeks that here in Los Angeles I couldn’t find a single place that had them, until finally I spotted display at my local Von’s. I grabbed a box and must agree these “Chocodile Twinkies” really aren’t the Chocodile’s of my youth. Much smaller than the original, cake more dense (stale) like a twinkie, and just not as tasty. I checked again the other day and they’re already gone from Von’s. They still had chocolate filled twinkies. No thanks.

  8. THANK YOU. I had heard about the Chocodiles of yore, and having grown up in the East, had always considered these mysterious creatures to be–like the hippogryph or the goose-billed platypus–a thing of mythical amazement. And then to find them at my local supermarket, to open the package with such excitement, and to be greeted with these waxy, flavorless, dry, dull specimens, these snack treats that taste like coprolite off a museum shelf … so disappointing. I am glad to know that what I experienced was merely the modern interpretation of the Chocodile, and that I can still hold my hopes out that one day the true Chocodile will be returned to us.

  9. Twinkies have always sucked and I figure there’s no chance they could be worse. Well according to this review its like I was incorrect. And if they taste anything like the Hostess yellow cup cakes with chocolate frosting then they will really suck.

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