Expanding My Snack Cake Horizons

Expanding My Snack Cake Horizons

I sat down to tell you about the orchard I visited this week—the twisted, arthritic trees; the cold, clinging fog; the crisp, sweet smell of the apple shed—and realized:          A)This is just too Frances Mayes to be allowed. B)You could have the same experience in Wisconsin, minus the conversion issue. (“Wait, I just bought how many pounds of apples? You mean there’s more than one pound in a kilogram?”)

But you know what you can’t experience in the US? Melon-flavored twinkies. So let's talk about those instead.

One of the greatest rewards of international travel is the thrill of discovery. Today I discovered twinkie cakes with honeydew filling. Actually, it was Sam who came upon them on a trip to our corner store this afternoon, but I discovered them in our cupboard. It was a personally fulfilling moment. I ate two of them.

The Korean snack cake I’m referring to is not an authentic Twinkie, of course. I don’t even think it’s meant in imitation. It’s just a chemically-flavored sponge cake product with cream-style filling. The ones we have are a pleasant light green, but you can also get them in the popular squash and grain flavors. They have the perfect, porous density and sweet tastelessness of a Twinkie. Without, of course, being anything like a Twinkie.

Real Twinkies are, of course, an American institution. They predate, among other things, shopping carts, the Richter scale, Alaska, and bypass surgery (though the last shares a special relationship with processed snack foods to this day). Twinkies have something for everyone’s palate—vegetable products, animal products, petroleum products.* Alas, Hostess Company, the maker of Twinkies, recently flatlined after a labor dispute left the company unable to adequately make and distribute its product (the corporate version of congestive heart failure, if you will). As it stands, the future of the American Twinkie looks uncertain.

Conversely, my melon cake delights appear to be here to stay. I can’t even find an expiration date on them.