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Fallout food

January 13, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Its cold. Freaky cold. The icy dagger of Damocles has been hanging over our collective head for some time now and we've all been quite lucky that warm temps have stayed its descent this long. Which should make us all grateful that it is January and it is just now starting to look like winter.

It should; but it doesn't.

So as the roads ice over and our fellow drivers attempt to find the perfect balance between sliding through a crowded intersection and looking at me like its somehow my fault they can't drive the overall appearance of our beloved town takes on the all too familiar post-apocalyptic look of an Iowa winter.

And when I think "post-apocalyptic," I?think Twinkies.

What better food like product could you ask for when attempting to stave off hunger and marauding raiders (they're coming) from the homestead then a neon orange concoction representing the culmination of decades of food science and Cold War era survivalism?

Alright, maybe Ho-Hos.

And yet, in a twist of fate so cruel it would please the gods of Olympus ... or M. Night Shamylan ... Hostess, the company responsible with for these indestructible snack cakes of our youth, has filed for bankruptcy.

Thanks, Obama.

I'm not really sure what the President has to do with this but ever since the caucus I've gotten used to blaming him for pretty much everything. When he made me lose my keys on Monday it was quite traumatic, and personally offensive.

As I'm sure all of you are as shocked and outraged as I am you are most likely steeped in denial about the death of the Ring Ding.

Yes, Hostess really is going bankrupt.

A quick check of their website confirmed that 1)Hostess is delicious!!!, 2) the company will continue to operate while it reorganizes during bankruptcy and 3) Hostess is proud to offer our seasonal gingerbread Donettes!

All of this makes sense. We all know that Hostess is the taste of America, and that a privately held company that is going bankrupt will likely have enough operational cash to keep the Wonderbread flowing until they can dig up some new deposits at the Wonder Mine.

What was a bit shocking was the presence of a "recipes" button at the top of the page. How does one cook with a pre-made foodish substance?

And lo, dear readers, I have discovered how the great makers of Yodels had fallen from our good graces. Hostess had lost their roots.

Upon clicking the recipes button I was asked which of the fine Hostess snackables I wanted to start with. Being a red-blooded American I?chose the Twinkie.

I was willing to cut Hostess some slack. I assumed I?was going to find mostly "recipes" that directed you to open up a Twinkie wrapper, put the Twinkie in the bottom of a container, and pour something on top of it.

And I was not disappointed. This simple formula extends to most Hostess recipes, from the Layered Twinkie Delight (Twinkie with ice cream on it) to the Twinkie Shortcake (Twinkies with strawberries on them) all the way to the epicurean adventure that is the Twinkie Fantasy (Twinkies with strawberries AND Jello on them).

As I?continued perusing the litany of Twinkie + Something recipes I came across something that didn't sound right. They were words I?knew on their own, but not when you put them in this order. "Hostess Twinkies Sushi."

This is basically a mutilated Twinkie, bound in a green Fruit Roll-Up, with dried fruit on the top.

Sushi, Hostess? You're better than this. Sure, a lot of Americans eat sushi and its gained a lot of popularity in the last 20 years and the fact that I can buy it at Hy-Vee means its achieved total market saturation ... but not for you, Hostess.

You guys really think all those people out their enjoying sushi are washing it down with a package of Ding Dongs? Probably not. You should figure out a way to make Twinkies look like a pizza or hot wings or one of those sandwiches with fried chicken instead of bread. THEN you'll be moving some snack cakes.

Hostess, our once venerable vanguard of food capable of surviving a nuclear winter (what I like to call Fallout Food) has turned their back on the average American consumer, instead chasing after the trendy "foody" type who will only eat something if its over priced and served on a square plate. For shame.

For those of us about to endure the post-apocalyptic World of Winter we will have to do so without our reliable Twinkies; I guess we'll just have to make do with Little Debbie.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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