For decades state fairs across the country have reeked of things that aren’t generally deep fried—Twinkies, candy bars, drifters—receiving the hot oil treatment. Hostess has decided it’s time to capitalize on one of those. Let’s cook us up some Hostess Deep Fried Drifter.
By Deep Fried Drifter I mean Deep Fried Twinkies, and by cook us up some I mean we actually have to cook these damn things. By Snacktaku’s own definition of snacks, that puts Deep Fried Twinkies on shaky group. Microwaving is fine, but there are no microwave instructions on the back of these boxes. Just conventional, toaster oven and deep frying.
After much deliberation and fierce argument among members of the Sanctum Snackologic, the shadowy cabal that controls snacktime and of which we shall not speak, it was decided that the Twinkies name held enough clout to make an exception.
Hostess Deep Fried Twinkies, available now in both Orignial and Chocolate varieties, are an obvious attempt by Hostess to capture back some of the revenue lost each year to big county fair. If people are willing to pay upwards for five dollars for a snack cake they made for five cents and sell in boxes of eight for three dollars, then surely Hostess can fry the damn things themselves. They’re a big company. They’ve got to have a fryer around there somewhere.
Not only do they have a fryer, Hostess also has a freezer. Deep Fried Twinkies come frozen in boxes of seven. I found these in the dessert section of my local Walmart.
Opening a fresh box of the Original style Deep Friend Twinkies results in a scent reminiscent of any pre-fried frozen food—french fries, for example. That tells me these are cooked before packaging, so no one need worry about consuming a raw Twinkie. It also tells me that cooking is essential, and the microwave is not an option.
I baked my initial batch of Deep Fried Twinkies, which seemed strange until I recalled the french fry thing I mentioned earlier. We bake fried food all the time, or at least we would if it weren’t always 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in our kitchen. Six to eight minutes in an over preheated to 350 degree, I had a plate full of this stuff.
Soft and moist with a crisp outer hull, the baked version of the Deep Fried Twinkie almost tastes like a fresh-cooked pastry. The warm creme that resisted the cooking process dissolves quickly in the mouth, the rest seeping into the cake portion, making it less spongy and more . . . cakey.
It’s actually quite a pleasant bite, reminiscent of state fairs and funnel cake. It’s a bit more flavorful than the traditional Twinkie, really. Given a choice, I might pick this over the classic.
So close, yet so far. Whatever chocolate crumb breading these were rolled in before the original frying process kicked in tastes a little bitter, as if burnt. A heavy dose of white creme would have balanced the bitter perfectly, but Hostess decided to go with chocolate in the middle as well. Not horrible, but not great. Plus they look like they’ve been rolled in coffee grounds.
Next I turned to my old friend, an entire bottle of vegetable oil, in order to see what re-fried Deep Fried Twinkies tasted like.
Some things are enhanced greatly by a nice dip in some boiling oil, but that’s not the case with the Deep Fried Original Twinkie. They got it right the first time. All deep frying does is trade flavor for an oily aftertaste.
Look closely at the deep fried Deep Fried Chocolate Twinkie, and you might note it looks like a roast swarming with tiny insects.
We’ll just leave it at that.
Deep Fried Original Twinkies are delicious, as long as you don’t deep fry them. That’s weird, sort of like taking a beloved product enjoyed by millions each day and asking the folks who consume them to cook it themselves.
If you must try these, go for the Original variety and cook them in some sort of heated metal box. For a product I expected to be horrible, that particular configuration is quite good. Perhaps even an improvement over the long-in-the-tooth original. Just make sure you bake, or you’ll have nightmares like this:
Snacktaku is Kotaku’s take on the wild and wonderful world of eating (and drinking) things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands.