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.

NEWS: Hostess’ Frosted Devil’s Food Cake Donettes Could Be The Yin To Their White Powdered Donettes Yang

hostess

It looks like Hostess is trying to be a temptress with their new Frosted Devil’s Food Cake Donettes.

Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of devil’s food cake. Perhaps this is because I’ve never been able to tell the difference between it and regular chocolate cake. My guess is that my tongue is so pure and innocent that it rejects the flavor of any devil’s food cake. Or maybe my tongue has been in too many places where it shouldn’t have been which has caused it to lose its ability to distinguish nuances between flavors.

The Hostess Frosted Devil’s Food Cake Donettes are simply mini devil’s food cake donuts dipped in a chocolate-flavored coating. They join the white powdered and chocolate coated mini donuts in the Donettes line.

The Hostess Frosted Devil’s Food Cake Donettes are available now and come in four sizes: 10.5-ounce Dunkie Bags, 11.25-ounce Dunkie Bags, 12.2-ounce Sweet Sixteen Dunkie Bags, and 3-ounce single serve sleeves.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Hostess Chocolate Creme Twinkies

Limited Edition Hostess Chocolate Creme Twinkies

I must admit, I’ve always felt like a bit of a traitor eating Twinkies.  See, I grew up in the central Jersey/Philly region, and that’s Tastykake turf.  If you’ve never heard of Tastykake, that just means you live outside the tri-state area — in the old days, the company refused to use preservatives, so their products could only be transported a certain distance before their shelf lives expired.  (This is also why I never bought Tastykakes from vending machines, because seriously, who knows how long that shit’s been in there?)  But as a kid, you don’t care about supporting local businesses or fighting the power — you care about eating the stuff you see on TV, especially if it’s shilled by Twinkie the Kid.  So I ate plenty of Twinkies growing up, both of the regular (mmm) and light (pure, unadulterated taste abortion) varieties.  But in all those years, I never had one that strayed from the vanilla creme standard.  That’s about to change, as Hostess has released two new limited edition varieties of Twinkie, chocolate creme and strawberry creme.  As part of my ongoing quest to never eat a fruit that isn’t apple, we’ll be taking a look at the former.

In contrast to Tastykakes, Twinkies are nothing but preservatives.  If you stripped all the preservatives out of a Twinkie, you’d be left with a 1-inch ball of sponge cake.  It would not surprise me to learn that these “limited edition” Twinkies were originally created to commemorate America€™s bicentennial; they just ended up with a lot sitting around the warehouse afterward, of which you and I are now the lucky recipients.  Not that I care, mind you — no organic food purist I –  but I thought it was worth mentioning.  Really though, people eat Twinkies for nutritional value the same way they go to Hooters for great food at affordable prices.  Let’s just tear into one of these things and see what’s what.

I don’t know if I got a bad batch or if I need to change the prescription on my rose-colored glasses, but the first bite of Twinkie was a huge let-down, and it didn’t improve much from there.  Actually, I suspect it has nothing to do with nostalgia or improper packaging and everything to do with the filling.  Let’s face it, you can get shitty sponge cake anywhere; what people buy Twinkies for is the creme filling.  And as it turns out, there’s a good reason why Hostess uses the vanilla stuff.  I had been laboring under the delusion that chocolate makes everything better, but consuming just one chocolate creme Twinkie showed me just how wrong I was.  It’s my sad duty to report that while chocolate may make MOST things taste better, Twinkies are a tragic exception.  It might just be the flavor combination — I like chocolate creme, I like sponge cake, but put them together and the flavors don’t mesh nearly as well as you’d expect.  If a regular Twinkie is more than the sum of its parts, the chocolate creme Twinkie has to be considered far less.

Limited Edition Hostess Chocolate Creme Twinkies Innards

That wasn’t my only beef… joking aside, these Twinkies might indeed have been produced during the Ford administration for how the sponge cake tasted.  I remember Twinkies from my youth being soft and moist, but these were tougher — not totally stale, but on their way — and kind of dry.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that even if these had had vanilla creme inside them, I still would’ve paused after the first bite to wonder if they’ve changed the way they make Twinkies in the last decade.  If so, I urge Hostess to follow Pepsi’s lead — I want my Twinkies Throwback.

It’s a sad day for any of us when the cherished bits of our childhood are retooled to be more edgy or to have more mass appeal, only to end up sucking harder than letting your wife control the TV.  (We meet again, One Tree Hill.)  We’ve seen it happen with the Transformers and G.I. Joe, with Star Wars, with New Coke.  Fortunately chocolate creme Twinkies are only limited edition, and Hostess has no plans to phase out the regular variety.  That’s good news, and if I were you, I’d stick with the classic.  Points for trying something different, but if you’re going to be ingesting that amount of sugar and carbs, you want it to be worth your while.

(Nutrition Facts — 1 cake — 160 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 220 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Limited Edition Hostess Chocolate Creme Twinkies
Price: $3.99
Size: 8 cakes
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Tripping nostalgic.  Being able to keep food on the shelf for longer than a week.  Twinkie the Kid.  Trying something new.
Cons: Bicentennial Twinkies.  Finding out chocolate doesn’t make everything better.  Dry sponge cake.  The Transformers movies.  “Something new” tasting gross.  Brown filling in a Twinkie just looks… wrong.

REVIEW: Hostess Sno Balls B.O.B. Cakes

I love when brands team up with whatever children’s movie that was recently released on the big screen or on DVD to create a product like the Hostess’ B.O.B Cakes. Usually when this happens, snack food companies create some minimal variation of a tried and true product to make kids pull at their mother’s apron strings mom jeans and beg for them.

Hostess B.O.B. Cakes follow that formula exactly. Basically, it’s a Sno Ball with different packaging and in a different color; it even admits that on the box. However, I fell for it. No, it wasn’t because I loved Seth Rogen’s character in Monsters vs. Aliens. I didn’t even see it. It’s simply because this was a blue Sno Ball; a blue ball, if you will, and I couldn’t pass up buying a product clearly marketed towards children that would be tarnished by the dirty mind of a 22-year-old female with the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.

I have to give props to Hostess (and Drake’s who was captured by the corporate clutches of Hostess…that greedy yet tasty bitch) for the lovely names they gave their snacks back in the day. Apparently there was a time when asking for a HoHo got you a chocolate cream snack cake instead of a venereal disease-ridden woman who wears lime green booty shorts everyday because they’re the lucky shorts she wore when she tested 30 men to see if any of them were the father of her baby on Maury (Spoiler alert: none of them were). During that same time period, saying you were craving a Ding Dong didn’t mean you were jonesing to go to that new Asian gay bar.

The B.O.B. is a cream injected chocolate cake that’s covered in fluffy marshmallow, then coated in coconut and then dyed in a food coloring that looks like it could turn your stool into the color of a Smurf. It’s been a long time since I had a Sno Ball, and I almost forgot what they taste like. But when I put that blue ball into my mouth, the memories came back. Maybe it was because of the instant sugar rush I got from the first bite. I guess 23 grams of sugar will do that to you.

Is it really necessary to jam cream inside of a cake that is covered in a heaping amount of marshmallow?

Yes, because the cream is what brings it all together and paired with the marshmallow and coconut, the taste is simply marvelous.

Oh, who am I kidding?

After the first couple of bites you feel like you could be foaming out of the mouth, but it’s tasty, and the coconut isn’t choky like most products with shredded coconut.

You can find Sno Balls at most locations where food that will eventually make you BFFs with Wilford Brimley is sold. Currently, Sno Balls can been found in white, pink, blue and, if you check the Halloween clearance shelves, orange (which are called Glo Balls). Personally, if I did have balls, I’d rather have blue balls than ones that glow.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Cake – 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein and 4% iron.)

Item: Hostess Sno Balls B.O.B. Cakes
Price: $2.50
Size: 6 cakes
Purchased at: Wally World
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tasty, like all other Sno Balls. The names Hostess gives its products. Coconut flavor isn’t overwhelming. Not having to experience blue balls, Wilford Brimley
Cons: High in sugar. Mom jeans. Smurf-colored stool. Cream injected chocolate cake. Balls that glow. Diabetes.