We’ve all had them.  We’ve all heard the old wives tale of their seven year shelf life.  We’ve all marveled at the inclusion of beef fat in the ingredients list.  Really, Hostess?

In today’s increasingly vegan and vegetarian society perhaps if they had juuuuust tweaked that ingredient out of the recipe they’d still be here. I mean, even Oreo’s are technically vegan, aren’t they?

But whatever, I’m not here to analyze why Twinkies are no longer on the shelf, I’m here to discuss what this has taught me and thus what it is about to teach you.

First, it has taught me never ever to delete a picture from my camera or phone with the intention of taking another.  Twinkies are not my favorite Hostess treat . . . Sno Balls are.  Coconut covered marshmallow enveloping a chocolate cake with a creamy beef fat filled center.  I’m embellishing.  I don’t actually know where the beef fat is in the Sno Ball.  The funny thing about Sno Balls is not that they look like boobs, but how I like to eat them.  Er, we like to eat them.  The Husband and I share our Sno Balls like the loving, happily married couple that we are.

I carefully peel off the marshmallowy coconutty top from the chocolate cake.  Over a plate of course, because no coconut will be lost on my watch.  The Marshmallow is mine, the cake is The Husband’s.  I took a picture of our deconstructed snack on my camera phone and promptly deleted it to take a better picture.  Then I deleted the next picture I took.  (It turns out deconstructed Sno Balls are not that photogenic.)  Then The Husband insisted we eat the Sno Balls and take pictures the next time.  Except that now there is no next time.  Sigh.

Lesson One: don’t delete a picture before a replacement is taken.  Even if it wasn’t the best Sno Ball picture, it was still my Sno Ball picture and apparently my last.

Second, all this hoopla has taught me that if you are using something nontraditional as a measuring tool, you should measure it beforehand . . . with a traditional measuring tool.  Like a ruler.  I had best explain.  While I liked to eat Sno Balls, I had another use for Twinkies.  I liked to measure with them.  Yup.  I did.  I paid attention to Lesson One on this account and still have photographic evidence.

Exhibit A.

That my friends is a giant cucumber I grew several years ago.  It was four Twinkies long.  Now since Twinkies are no longer available and I never measured them, I have no idea what that translates to.  How long, in inches, was my giant cucumber?  I will never know.  (Unless of course someone else buys Hostess and brings Twinkies back from the grave then I will be smart enough to buy a box and measure them.  But what if the new owners change the Twinkie and shave half an inch off the end, then my measurements will be off.  It’s a mess.  A real mess.)

Lesson Two: measure your measuring tools people.  MEASURE YOUR MEASURING TOOLS!

Third, embrace life.  If “Eat a Twinkie” was on your bucket list, then you should have just eaten the danged Twinkie when you had the chance.  We all have a list of things we want to do.  What is holding us back?  What is stopping us?  Enjoy your life and live it as fully as possible.

Lesson Three: do not hold off till tomorrow what you can do today.  Also, make a doctors appointment to have the beef fat from all the Twinkies you ate removed.

Fourth, and more seriously, have a spare.  Or two or three or four.  The Husband has started a Family Essentials series where he talks about the importance of being prepared to meet your family’s needs in case of an emergency.  He has discussed Water and Food already.  The Great Hostess Crisis of 2012 has taught us just how quickly a desired item can disappear from store shelves in an emergency.  Many shelves were cleared out the very day Hostess made the announcement.  My mom managed to find one measly pack of chocolate cupcakes at a CVS but she had to scour several stores to find them.

I’m not suggesting that Twinkies are necessarily a necessity and you should have hoarded a dozen boxes in your pantry.  But what if they were?  What would you do now?

Let’s talk about another product.  Let’s talk about aspirin.  According to the Mayo Clinic, aspirin can lower your risk of heart attack (which possibly occurred from all the Twinkies you ate, but whatever.)  Many folk are on daily aspirin therapy, when recommended by their physician of course, or keep it handy to chew at the onset of a heart attack.  The point I am trying to make is aspirin can be very important.  It could be a necessity.

What happens if, like Hostess, they was an aspirin crisis and aspirin was suddenly stopped being manufactured?  How quickly would it disappear from the shelves?

I have a friend at a large retail store and I picked his/her brain about the stockroom.  What items did they keep extras of?  According to him/her the items most often kept extras of were domestic items like towels and curtains.  Most food, with the exception of pop and chips and water, was already out on the shelves.  This is the same with health and beauty.  Shampoo.  Aspirin.  What you see is what they have.

Naturally I stopped by a local large retailer to check out the aspirin aisle.

It may be hard to tell, but it wasn’t full.  According to my friend, that is most likely all the aspirin they have in the entire store.

How quickly do you think they would go if aspirin manufacturers suddenly announced they would not be making any more aspirin?  My guess, if Hostess was any indication, is quickly.  Your options then would be to scour the town like my mom did, beg or borrow from a friend or maybe pay an exorbitant amount for a bottle on Ebay.

Unless you had a few spares at home.  Then you could buy some time till Hostess, I mean the aspirin companies, either were sold, restructured or another company rose up to fill the need.

Lesson Four: be prepared, have a spare.  I’m talking about more than just Twinkies and aspirin here people.  Toilet paper?  That’s important.  Toothpaste, hand soap, body wash, contact-lens solution.  Water.  Food.  All important.  I would be willlng to bet some hurricane victims wished they had been better prepared for a crisis.

Well, that’s what I learned from Twinkies.

– Joanna

P.S.  Foodie Pen Pal taste results still coming this week.  Sorry again.  This post was way better though.

Question of the Day:  What have you learned?


  1. I’ve learned, over the years, that size doesn’t matter. Just be thankful for the gigantic cucumber in your home.

  2. Luckily we have two ginormous bottles of aspirin that we bought recently at Costco and have yet to open them. They will last us as least two years if they ever stop making aspirin. I do have about 8 rolls of paper towels and maybe 12 rolls of toilet paper. 7 boxes of mac and cheese and 5 boxes of chicken broth. I think we are set.

    Someone somewhere, HAS to have one Twinkie left over that they can measure for you right? I haven’t had one since I was probably like 3. Never did like them. Must have been the beef fat.

  3. You made some really interesting points with this! I wonder if that’s why my mom is such a crazy overstocker of her home…

    • One of my friend’s moms is an overstocker because she does the crazy couponing and gets everything cheap. I will pretend it’s because she is just being prepared though 😉

  4. Pingback: Move Over Hostess There's a New Twinkie in Town