My mom packed apples in my lunch. I coveted my friends' Twinkies and Ding Dongs. Great cupcakes recipes? Nutritionally, no. But like elementary school children around the United States, I didn't care about preservatives. I wanted those Hostess cakes!
So with the news that bankrupt Hostess Brands plans to stop making its iconic products, I'm feeling nostalgic. My kids? Not so much. They don't understand the appeal of the "golden sponge cake with creamy filling." After all, they've heard all the jokes. "I've never had a Twinkie, and I don't really want one," says my 15-year-old. "It seems gross."
Obviously, unlike me, she did not grow up with Twinkie envy.
Nowadays Hostess treats are no longer lunchbox staples. "There are not many people who bring Twinkies," says my 13-year-old. "Nobody eats Wonder Bread either."
She knows the 82-year-old delicacy is hardly a health food. "Wasn't there some study that said a Twinkie would last years and years?" she says.
My husband tries (unsuccessfully) to explain the products' significance to a generation – but throws up his hands in defeat. "The loss of the Twinkie means nothing to you," he says to our girls.
But like business analysts, he is confident the revered pastry is not dead. "Somebody will be making Twinkies six months from now," he says. "There will be Twinkies."
Like many kids, he ate his school's hot lunches – and only got Hostess goodies (his favorite: the fruit pies) on rare field-trip days.
As much as I'm an apple-packing mom myself, I will always be a Twinkies fan.
My 51-year-old self knows the best recipes for cupcakes are in my high-end Art & Soul of Baking cookbook. But the 8-year-old inside of me will always think they're at the Hostess factory. How about you?
(By the way, if you do want to bake your own, you can find many Twinkies recipes online. One secret ingredient: marshmallow creme.)
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