In a holiday season awash with pumpkin-flavoring spice, gingerbread and caramel apple, Hostess foregoes the dominant fall flavors in favor of a pair of special edition snack cakes colored and flavored like toothpaste. Mmmm, minty.
Based on recent Twitter activity in which I discuss losing a small child’s worth of weight since October, many of our readers expressed concerns that I would not be continuing to create video reviews for Snacktaku. Rest assured this is not the case. I eat a set number of calories a day, so all I have to do is figure whatever I am reviewing into that plan.
What that means is the more calories a snack contains, the more disappointed I’ll be in the video. It’s a fun meta-game you can play with the whole family.
In the case of Hostess’ two limited edition holiday offerings—eh, I’m okay. A HoHo—even a peppermint-flavored HoHo—only contains 127 or so calories. Hostess lists the serving size as three HoHos, but that’s just because they want us all to die.
I’m not quite as happy with the “Merry Minty” Holiday Cakes. Each cupcake-like unit is 160 calories, so it’s a slightly bigger bit. Also they aren’t very good.
Interestingly, Hostess’ serving size for the cupcakes is only one (160 calories) versus the HoHos’ three (380 calories). This is due to the simple fact that serving sizes are complete bullshit. You hearing me, Ben and Jerry’s? I love you guys, but no one is eating a quarter of a pint of ice cream and calling it a day.
Back on topic, minty snack cakes. I used up most of my thoughts on these in the video atop this article, but I’ve got a few left over. For instance, why can’t we accept that something is mint unless it looks green?
Along the same vein (almost literally), why must peppermint be pinkish-red?
Junior Mints does mint perfectly well without food coloring, but then Junior Mints only exist to make your overpriced movie theater soda taste horrible. Hostess has to compete in a crowded marketplace filled with packages that look more interesting and delicious than its own—and I’m not just talking food packages. The cakes I review here were in a display next to the air freshener aisle at Walmart, and boy those Cinnamon Apple wax melts smell tasty.
One shouldn’t eat wax melts. One probably shouldn’t eat Merry Minty Holiday Cakes either. The creme inside is mildly flavorful and pleasing, but the actual cake bit somehow manages to taste like it’s been on the shelf for a decade, even though these are new this year.
The peppermint HoHos are pretty good, for HoHos. I enjoy the HoHo as a creme delivery device, and the peppermint creme is quite lovely. The chocolate coating is pretty much particularly melty wax, but the cake bit is so thin you can barely taste it, which makes the whole thing so much better.
The only problem I have with the HoHos is really a Hostess branding issue. Holiday HoHos—think about it. What did the marketing team miss? What would have made these really sing?
Just one “Ho” away from greatness.
Snacktaku is Kotaku’s take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands.
To contact the author of this post, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter @bunnyspatial.