The mediation has failed, and Hostess is closing its doors for good, selling off its popular brands to the highest bidders. Now that the initial panic has subsided it's time for clearer heads to prevail. The end of the Twinkie as a Hostess product is not the end of all golden sponge cakes.
There is another.
Several others, really. Hostess held no monopoly on stuffing creamed sugar inside preservative-laden cakes. Salvation is around every corner, as I discovered in my local Walmart as I wandered about trying to not look like a Black Friday shopper this weekend. "Oh, I'm just here for toilet paper and soda. Oh hey, cheap TV? Might as well." I am subtle. You could barely even see the blades I affixed to my elbows—not until it was too late.
My wanderings brought me, as they often do, to the snack cake aisle. It's not that I buy a lot of snack cakes, mind you. The snack cake aisle is also the Hot Pockets aisle, and I made a vow that my pockets would never run cold.
The week before last that spongy aisle opposite my local grocer's freezer was a barren wasteland, with nothing but a few lonely (and disgusting) strawberry Hostess cupcakes. That was before Walmart sprang into action, filling the shelves with box after generic box of Great Value-brand cakes. Misleading chocolate cupcakes. Not Ding Dongs. Faux Ho-Hos (and a bottle of rum). And of course, Golden Crème Cakes—Twinkies for poor people.
Twinkies for everyone now, at least until somebody buys the brand and does twisted things to it (Meat Twinkies!)
Of course I've developed an incredibly sophisticated palate over the years, so that everyone might not include me. Surely a certified snackologist like myself could tell the difference between a real Twinkie and a Golden Crème Cake. I decided to hold a taste test.
On one plate I placed a Golden Crème Cake. On the other, I placed nothing because there are no Twinkies anywhere.
So far it wasn't going so well.
I tasted the Golden Crème Cake. It tasted like a Twinkie. I sampled the emptiness. It was hollow, with a hint of despair. Quite telling.
Rather than rush the results, I spent the next two days emptying the entire box of ten. The verdict? I still felt just as sick as I would had I eaten nine official Hostess-brand Twinkies.
That leaves one unaccounted for. I needed that one for the final test.
Yep, that's a Twinkie, more or less.
The truest test of whether the Golden Crème Cake can take the place of the Twinkie is not one I can perform—not without an immensely powerful intergalactic artifact.
I'd like to think the Golden Crème Cake would pass that final test, but let's face it—if it didn't, we wouldn't live long enough to notice.