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Requiem for a Twinkie

The Twinkie is dead.

So it goes. Another icon of my well-spent youth gone, the victim of changing times.

There have been many over the years. Record albums. Turntables to play them on. Typewriters. Burger Chef restaurants. But the Twinkie hits home in a way the others didn’t.

For a significant part of my youth, Twinkies and their Hostess Brands brethren — the cupcakes, the Ding Dongs (and King Dons) and Zingers — were my breakfast food of choice. First with a healthy little carton of milk, later with Diet Coke, and even occasionally with coffee, Twinkies were well and truly the breakfast of champions.

It started in elementary school. It continued through college and well into my 20s. Honestly, if I had a dime for every Twinkie I’ve ever eaten, I’d be the next Warren Buffett. And now they’re gone, maybe for good. I’ve lost a friend.

Granted, not one that was good for me. Sponge cake, mystery filling and enough preservatives to keep them fresh at least through the end of the Mayan calendar obviously don’t qualify as health food. But there’s no denying the taste, the texture, the thrill of knowing they’re bad for you and eating them anyway. There’s just something about that little yellow pound cake thing filled with creamy goodness that’s addictive.

You want decadence? Try the ultimate indulgence, the classic fair food known as the deep-fried Twinkie. The simple act of dipping a Twinkie into batter and hot oil raised the people’s food into a great American delicacy worthy of royalty. My very intelligent wife, the health conscious one of the family, allowed me to have only one a year. One spectacular treat, on one glorious day. It was worth enduring the remaining 364 days just to experience it.

And now it’s gone. It doesn’t matter anymore. Just like that.

I had what might have been my last Twinkie a few days before the liquidation of Hostess Brands was final. I grabbed the last package on a shelf at one of the convenience stores I pass on the way home from work. Eating it was a bittersweet experience, recalling scenes from my childhood, scenes that now seem a little farther away.

Sure, someone’s likely to buy the brand, and eventually the Twinkie and its siblings will return to the shelves. But it won’t be the same. As with most other resurrected brands, only the name will remain the same. The experience won’t.

Then again, if it’s deep-fried, it might work out OK….

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About The Walrus

Welcome. I am the Walrus. As the Lewis Carroll quote implies, I am interested in many things. News, sports, business, cars, planes, boats, pop culture of all sorts, science, technology, literature, music, art, you name it. I’m quite opinionated, and always appreciate other people who are. Let me know what you think.

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