A review of the humble Twinkie

Whilst looking through some old notes, I found this. Back in Lockdown 1, during a trip to Aldi, I found myself buying Twinkies for the first time ever. I mentioned this to my friends and one of them asked me for “the full 3000 word review”. They should know me better than that.

American exceptionalism is a heady drug. The potent combination of the arrogance of youth and the possibility of a brave new world, forged in the fire of a violent emancipation of its mother country. A belief that by sheer nature, America can do no wrong; that by virtue of the fact that it is doing it, it is the right thing to do. A worldview that permeates to this day, one which holds self-evident that not only can America do anything, should she put her mind to it, but that she will unquestionably do it better than anyone else ever could, or will, against all better judgement.

Thus, the Twinkie. Stuffed so full of preservatives that it is oft compared to cockroaches in its ability to withstand the harrowing effects of nuclear apocalypse, albeit with slightly less nutritional value. Nonetheless, the box bears an “best before” date - it should be noted, though, that “best before” implies a relative position of quality, not an absolute, and it is right not to do so. The box also notes that its colourants “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”, posing the question how, given how unappealing the colour of the cake is as it stands, bad it must be unadulterated to warrant such side effects. It also recommends keeping the product away from direct sunlight, presumably lest it mutate.

Said product is described as a “golden sponge cake with creamy filling”, presumably by a man who has once perhaps seen a film in which characters have enjoyed cream, but due to an unfortunate dietary condition, has neither tasted, seen, or been in the presence of the genuine article. Somehow both oily and gelatinous, this filling does however maintain the remarkable quality of being entirely unable to soak, seep, or otherwise damage the integrity of the substance here being generously described as sponge. This substance miraculously combines the facets of tasting of nothing very much at all, still being immensely sickly, and independently of the filling sticking to one’s palate. Were a Twinkie to be a wine, its scores on mouth feel would be underwhelming at best.

As far as closing remarks go, I will note that its mascot is named Twinkie The Kid, which I’m sure has led to some unfortunate Google Image search results. The slight amusement of that mental image aside, there is very little to recommend here. The imagery on the back of the packaging reveals a number of related products that Hostess manufactures (for that must be the apt term), all seemingly equally made of their concepts of sponge and cream. This should not be questioned. These cakes will outlive us, and we’ll just have to make our peace with that.

Sam Healer

Sam Healer

Software engineer. Occasional musician. Erstwhile comedian. Cultural omnivore.

rss facebook twitter github gitlab youtube mail spotify lastfm instagram linkedin google google-plus pinterest medium vimeo stackoverflow reddit quora quora letterboxd bandcamp