Twinkies, like Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Sno-Balls, Yodels, and Funny Bones, were never to be found on our pantry shelves in my childhood home. I had a mom who baked, and I mean baked, as in there was always something homemade for dessert. This, even though my father did not eat sweets (as kids, we were fascinated by that: “Dad, you sure you don’t want some gingerbread?”). In my mind, Dad exerted tremendous willpower. In fact, he probably preferred a cigarette and a can of Narragansett beer after dinner.
At school, I’d occasionally try to pawn off my waxed-paper-wrapped bundle containing one brownie, or two chocolate chip cookies, for one of the treasures that lay wrapped in shiny cellophane. Sometimes my made-from-scratch sweet warranted only one Twinkie, leaving its mate for the clever owner, who ended up with a Twinkie and a brownie. Hey, I had to try it, especially if it was deemed unworthy by my mother.
Now, in 2012, with Hostess shutting down operations and ridding itself of its 18,500 workers, social media and online news stories are buzzing today about the end of the Twinkie. Oh, fear not, you junk-food junkies. You’ll have your Twinkies. Hostess Brands will sell off its assets, and stands to make a ton of money. The Twinkie recipe will be picked up by some other company. The laid-off workers? Not as much to be thankful for this year.