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Twinkies–they’re BACK!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you, the original, newly repackaged–TWINKIE!!  Yes, ahead of their originally scheduled July 15th release date, HeatCageKitchen is proud to announce that Kroger has them now, in a separate kiosk area in the back by the milk. Well, that’s where they are in my neighborhood, anyway. No kidding, I bought a box:

The new Twinkies box. Pretty much like the old one.

The new Twinkies box. Pretty much like the old one.

I read today that Wal-Mart has them now, and when I dropped in on Kroger on the way home, I saw a handwritten sign on the front door that said, “Hostess is back!” Oh, I had to go investigate. In addition to Twinkies, they have cupcakes, Donettes, Zingers, and I think I saw Ding Dongs.

Yes, Miss Gluten-Free Health Food Nut bought Twinkies. I will admit to being an occasional hypocrite, but I don’t plan to eat the entire box myself. I do intend to share, and never buy them again.

I was under the impression that they were packets of two, as they are in convenience stores; but no, in the box, they they are individually wrapped. You see how savvy I am with these things:

One lonely wrapped Twinkie. . .

One lonely wrapped Twinkie. . .

So after an accidental dinner from Carl’s Jr. (because the Chick-Fil-A I was going to has closed up, thanks for the coupon, guys), I decided to have a new, freshly baked Twinkie.

It was pretty good–cotton-soft, light, airy, creamy, and not heavily sweet. This Twinkie tastes exactly as my distant memory recalls them. They look and smell the same, too, so Twinkie and junk-food aficionados shouldn’t have anything to complain about.

Bite into it!

Bite into it!

Seriously, I only bought some because they are kind of a big deal. Especially when the company went bankrupt and sugar addicts went bonkers over them.

The new company will have a much leaner operation, with trucks bringing all of the products to the customer’s warehouse. The outlet stores have been eliminated, and a number of other processes have been streamlined to make what is now called Hostess a more competitive company. Instead of 11 bakeries operating at 50% capacity, they have four bakeries at 85% to 90% capacity. They are also now non-union, meaning the issues that broke the last company won’t exist. For now, anyway.

And for all my IT friends, here’s a little story on how the new Hostess Brands LLC’s IT infrastructure. . .well, read the story and you’ll see how they pulled it off. THAT part is interesting, even by itself.

Fifty million Twinkies, folks. They put out 50,000,000 Twinkies, with a completely new IT infrastructure and company in six months. And some stores even got them out for sale early.

I’ll say it again–IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY, OR WHAT??? (Not everyone gets this. And for that, we’re a proud country.)

Now, we all must pay the proverbial piper, and so I’ll be a) watching my diet all weekend, and b) hopping on the Nordic Track or gettin’ my Pilates on tonight after taking out trash, watering the HeatCageKitchen garden, and maybe tidying up a bit.

If you’re wondering what the nutrition information says, have a go at this:

You knew this was coming, right?

You knew this was coming, right?

Two cakes are 270 calories, with 80 of them from fat. How else do they taste so good? And yes, there are three fill holes on the bottom, just like the old ones. Not too bad for junk food; candy bars are about 180 to 200 calories each, and even my favorite Larabars are about 200 calories apiece.

Granted, there is a tiny warning on the ingredient list that says it contains. . .nevermind, you read it at your own risk. And one day, we just might get those gluten-free versions. I’ll be on it and give everyone a full report.

That’s all for now, and more to come.

Happy Twinkies Friday–enjoy!!

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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Desserts, Ingredients

 

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Carb loading: cookies, bread and Twinkies

Evening, Fellow Foodies:

I found out this evening that as part of Taco Bell’s new menu, they have dessert. Not only do they have dessert, they have one that looks fantastic: The Cookie Sandwich. Holy Shish Kebab. My bar buddy brought Taco Bell tonight, and while we drank white zin (him more than me) I had the chicken Cantina Bowl, and he had a couple of tacos and two of these. Surprising, because he doesn’t eat a lot, and he had two–AND he didn’t offer me one! That’s OK–I’m glad, because I know I would end up driving to Taco Bell and getting them through the drive-up window after one sugar-loaded taste. I will also tell you that the ones he had contained twice the vanilla filling you see here. They’re about the size of the palm your hand, but the cookies are thick. OMG–if I really need dessert, I’ll be heading that way to get me one. Maybe two. And you have to admit, they do look interesting.

Two food-related stories from today’s Wall Street Journal today–one on the ubiquitous bread basket served in many restaurants, and are either disappearing or cut back.Some restaurants have artisan bread, some come up with new bread creations, regularly to show off their creativity, and some have cult followings, like Cheddar Bay Biscuits at Red Lobster. They cost–especially the butter part. But as one expert points out, eating white flour on an empty stomach, which is how it usually goes, is like eating sugar from the sugar bowl–and will cause an insulin spike. I try to avoid it myself, because I know I can’t stop eating it. And you fill up with bread or chips before dinner–bad idea. Some bring it with dinner, some bring bread only on request.  Whatever your feeling on bread before/with dinner, you can see the video here.

About four years ago, we had a restaurant in Houston called Bailey’s American Grill, and they had the most delicious pre-dinner nibbles ever. They had these little cheesy biscuits with bits of prosciutto in them, and a couple of others I can’t remember, all freshly baked. An experience in and of itself. I went with a supper club from work and it was fantastic, three kinds of nibbles! Two weeks later, my brother was in town, and that’s where we went to dinner. Worth the trip, I tell ya.  I told him about the great “nibbles,” but he said something else in a fake hick voice I won’t repeat. I can’t take him anywhere, and in the car on the way back to my place, I called Mom to complain about his behavior (while he called his wife on his cell.) Suddenly, about 2 years later, Bailey’s American Grill closed suddenly for no reason. Shame–I was hoping to go back again one day.

So the other bit of WSJ news for Twinkie fans is that Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulis & Co. are offering $410M for most of Hostess’ brands–yes, Dolly Madison, Ding Dongs, HoHos, and even the incredible Twinkies.

All this for a line of junk food. No kidding. But it’s also a big, creamy, sweet piece of Americana. We only do this in America, right? What a country. . . .

The deal they are working will set up a “floor price” at a bankruptcy auction for some of the well-known assets–the aforementioned brands, five bakeries, and “certain equipment.” I’m guessing that’s proprietary stuff that makes Twinkies so special. It’s called a “stalking horse bid,” which this chef wannabe has never heard of, but it has to do with Hostess’ bankruptcy auction they are planning for Mach 13th. . .an odd day for an auction, but OK.

It was previously reported that Mexico-based bakery Bimbo (pronounced BEEM-bo) would likely be the new owners, but, well, it doesn’t say that here. Also, there are a total of interested 9 parties bidding on either pieces of the Hostess pie or the whole enchilada (puns intended, I’m a foodie, darnit.) I’m guessing Bimbo is one of them.

They need to get a move on. Although you can still buy remaining Hostess Twinkies on eBay for varying prices, they will eventually go away, and people will remember them fondly but not buy them anymore–or at least be skittish about the new ones. There will be push-back from purists, no doubt.  Competitors are fighting for that shelf space that Hostess used to have, and people may eventually get used to something else. Then when you say “Twinkies,” the response will be, “who cares?”

This eBay seller has a recipe for Twinkies that she claims will sell out, but why the heck she’s feeding one to a beautiful kitty cat, I’ll never know. Cats aren’t supposed to eat that kind of stuff. Well, neither are humans, but humans can handle it better than felines.

Apparently you could, at one time, buy a Twinkie kit from Hostess–sure enough some are for sale, this being the cheapest (there are actually three for sale.) And as I reported to you previously, you can also buy a kit on Amazon.com that you can use to bake Twinkies on your own.

So as I predicted (like a lot of other people) Twinkies will be coming back, maybe even sooner than you think. Sit tight, America–you’ll have your Twinkies again, maybe even this year if they can get the legal wrangling finished. (Note: that’s speculation on my part.) Cross your fingers and pray that Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Dolly Madison treats come back to your convenience store shelves soon.

Happy Dining!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Desserts

 

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