- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Twinkies won’t die, but maybe they should
Hostess isn’t only baker of bad snacks
It was the snack cake heyday. Twinkies were being deep-fried at state fairs, doing cameos in movies such as “Ghost Busters” and “Die Hard” and being pushed by Spider-Man in comic books. A pre-vegan Bill Clinton even signed off on including Twinkies in the nation’s millennium time capsule (the two-pack was later removed and consumed by his council overseeing such matters for fear that mice would add themselves to the time capsule).
Sure, not all the attention was positive. Somewhere along the line, Twinkies became the butt of jokes, mostly about their perceived longevity (though Hostess staunchly maintains 25 days is the max). And not all associations were great. The so-called “Twinkie defense” came out of the 1979 murder trial of Dan White, whose attorneys included his junk food obsession among the evidence of his supposed altered state of mind.
Then something happened. Americans, who for decades had been tone-deaf to how food was produced, suddenly started paying attention, seeking out organic goat cheeses made from the milk of an unoppressed herd raised on a fence-free collective within a 20-mile radius of home. Even Doritos went artisanal, and an awareness of seasons and availability crept back into the culinary consciousness.
Products that had so prospered by their artificiality suddenly lost their allure. Even Hostess, which blamed its shutdown mostly on a labor dispute that hobbled its facilities, has acknowledged that consumer concern about health and food quality changed the game. People just weren’t buying snack cakes like they used to.
So what would we lose if Twinkies really did go away? From a culinary standpoint and from a nutritional standpoint, it’s hard to love the Twinkie (or pretty much any other Hostess product). It’s hard not to wonder how the American diet, the American palate, would be different if the parents of the ‘50s hadn’t begun a cycle of turning to processed packages as the default snack of childhood.
And does nostalgia alone justify the continuation of something so patently bad for us?
Of course nostalgia, even irony, tastes awfully good.
And I notice that a growing number of — dare I say it — artisanal bakeries are going retro, creating their own inspired takes on classic processed snack cakes. Treats like the red velvet “twinkies” at New York’s Lulu Cake Boutique. Real ingredients. So perhaps it isn’t time for Twinkies to go away. Or to stay the same. Maybe it’s time for them to go back to their roots. And then, we lose nothing.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow