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.