REVIEW: Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies

Maybe mutants are a problem. Hey, I know, it’s easy to love the X-Men. Wolverine—so cool! Beast—so smart! Storm—so strong! Yeah, yeah, we get it. Being a mutant represents being different. It doesn’t matter what your race, creed, religion, sports team, Sex in the City archetype or toilet paper roll orientation is. We need to accept everyone. And we do! (Even though “under” is so the wrong way.)

We love the X-Men. That’s the central theme of the X-Men. But it’s never really challenged. In the Marvel Universe it never seems reasonable as a reader to hate or fear mutants. The human beings in that world—the mutant haters—seem insane, uncool and scared. Living in the time we do now, it’s tough to relate to building an explicit case against others just because they are different. That is, until Hostess Extreme Creme Twinkies Blue Raspberry.

Let’s get down to it. This stuff is outwardly ugly. Not just Eric Stoltz in Mask ugly, but…well, okay, Eric Stoltz in Mask ugly. It’s a Twinkie with blue cream inside. This blue cream soaks through the undercarriage of the Twinkie and combines with the yellow cake to make a spotty, dark spinach green color. Frankly, it looks moldy.

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies bottom

The color of the actual cream inside is like Play-Doh or a racquetball court or a poisonous frog. This is gag reflex ugly. I had a visceral reaction the first time I turned one over, tossing it quickly from my hand like it had cooties.

Regular Twinkies with white cream don’t look like this. Is it because the white cream doesn’t show up against the yellow that it doesn’t look like an oblong cupcake drizzled with melted crayon? Why does this one look so weird? It looks gross. And thus begins the line of thinking that might end up writing discriminatory anti-blue Twinkie legislation, or an anti-blue Twinkie military task force. The Twinkie work camps would be filled with small Hostess baked goods and the Blue Man Group and a chubby Blue Ivy, with all the cakes she could ever want. They hammer out license plates to that Eiffel 65 song.

If it tastes good, though, forget it. All is forgiven. I’ll eat a steak that looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask if it’s not overcooked. Actually I’d prefer it. A steak that resembles a “normal” human face would be considerably smaller. So do blue Twinkies taste good? No. Well, they’re fine. Thing is, they are blue raspberry flavor. And blue raspberry has this lip curling, wooden, sour taste with a note of bitterness at the end. Certainly that sounds interesting, if not appealing.

But are we eating interesting things here? Are we at a Thomas Keller restaurant in search of a tastefully balanced, nine-course meal designed to tantalize and expand the notion of food and eating in general? Pretty sure we’re eating a piece of sugar stuck into another thing full of sugar.

Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies Innards

The cream is not pleasant at first. After the inaugural bite I grimaced like a kid being told I would have to buy all the X-Universe comic books that summer because of some dumb crossover. (Age of Apocalypse excepted.) The amount of sugar doesn’t counter balance or round out the blue raspberry flavoring, so that’s pretty much what you’re getting all up in your mouth.

It’s pretty different from the fluffy sweetness you get from a regular Twinkie. After you know what’s coming a second taste is easier and after a third, the uniqueness is almost admirable. That first impression, though, is a doozy because it’s so different. I imagine I would feel that way if I saw a human being covered in blue fur with a cat face and Frasier’s voice too. Or eating some tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

They look gross, they taste kinda gross, but to be fair that’s because we aren’t used to them yet. It’s tough, because it’s both disgusting yet a little cool that we as human beings are so comfortable just eating stuff that are colors that don’t really exist as food in nature. We should all be a little more accepting, and blue Twinkies are the first step.

Keep in mind, however, Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies are not a cool X-Man. They are not Nightcrawler or Blink or Psylocke or anyone undeniably compelling and powerful. They’re more like that kid Cypher who could read fast or Dazzler or that guy in the third movie with spikes coming out of his face. Okay. I got it. Regular Twinkies are comforting and these blue ones are strange. Not necessarily bad, but definitely strange.

Twinkies are handsome Eric Stoltz, and blue Twinkies are Eric Stoltz in Mask. He could’ve be an X-Man, by the way, if the guy with spikes in his face is one. Buy up Mask and reboot it already, Marvel. This new movie has a talking tree. Give me a break.

Roll credits for this review. Fade to black. Nick Fury comes out of nowhere and asks Eric Stoltz in Mask to join the Avengers. He hands Nick Fury a blue Twinkie. Nick Fury eats it, spits it out. Thomas Keller picks it up, adds it to menu at Per Se. They all retract spikes from their faces and laugh.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 cakes – 270 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 35 grams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 32 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Hostess Limited Edition Extreme Creme Blue Raspberry Twinkies
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 10 count
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: After first taste, serves as a unique change of pace from regular Twinkies.
Cons: Twinkies are comfort food, and this isn’t comforting. Blue food is unsettling.

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.