The Twinkie Affair

Today, I was about to sit and write about a little train of thought that had been following me around this week. I thought I had some more serious things I wanted to discuss, including returning to the subject I raised in To She Who Loves Us Before She Meets Us, on the consequences of taking away women’s power in the birthing of babies. But, I figured I would just tap out this other idea first even though I was questioning its relevance, significance and general cohesiveness.

I had planned on talking about the very interesting work of an old friend of mine, whom I had recently reconnected with. Quite coincidentally, just as I had cleared away my other duties of the day and was gearing up for a mid-afternoon snack to fortify my writing, I got an email from this very friend, asking if I had seen Mark Bittman‘s tofu recipe in the NY Times today. She sent me the link.

After returning from snacking, cleaning the cat litter box, emptying the compost and bringing in the spring water, I curled back up on my computer and found myself in the Dining and Wine Section of the Wednesday Times. I did not see the tofu recipe, but was quickly sucked in by a few other articles.

One was about a spontaneously created cafe in the Hurricane Irene flood ravaged town of Schoharie, NY. My life was touched some by the hurricane so the story of survival in Schoharie is meaningful to me. Apparently, miraculously, food provided by angels from near and far has swirled its way into the town, first amassing under a cluster of trees and then with the coming of winter in a local DAR Hall. The combined offerings–which just still keep arriving– give those whose homes and lives were affected a free lunch and a sense of continued community. Just as spontaneously as this epicenter of nourishment created itself, so did a sign that named the cafe, Loaves and Fish.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/makeshift-cafe-sustains-storm-ravaged-schoharie-ny.html?pagewanted=all%3Fsrc%3Dtp&smid=fb-share

Next, were an amusing piece about a vegetarian New Yorker on assignment in the Midwest–the meat capital of the country; and, also–though no mention of tofu–a Mark Bittman editorial on the decrease of meat consumption in the past few years. Of course, those would speak to me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/a-vegetarians-struggle-for-sustenance-in-the-midwest.html?emc=eta1

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/were-eating-less-meat-why/?emc=eta1

Just as I was about to get back to work, one more thing caught my attention. By the time I hit the publish button tonight, this may already be old news to you, but apparently, Hostess Foods is declaring bankruptcy and the fate of the Twinkie is in serious jeopardy. Before my eyes I could tell the food world was in a tizzy. The article actually interviewed a renowned baker and pastry chef who I know from my own little community. That seemed silly. What would he have to say about Twinkies?

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake w...

Image via Wikipedia

http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/imagining-a-world-without-twinkies/?ref=dining

But me?  Don’t I have to say something academic, relevant or amusing about the Twinkie affair? And, don’t I have to say it really soon or my writings will be considered as fresh as a stale pastry? Unlike Twinkies, my words do not contain the ingredients that will ensure their shelf life into the next millenium. Instead, they will be moldy by Monday. Well, here it is.  You have heard it here probably second, third or fourth. I have no quick or witty assessment of the situation and I will probably defer to those who do.

It is a dilemma that stories from the food, nutrition and eating world amass very quickly. My queue of articles that I want to address or reference gets longer and longer every day. Pete saves podcasts for me or reads me articles straight from his Kindle; friends from afar send me links to interesting or absurd articles; radio stories infiltrate my driving commute; my professional networks post really relevant material; and, blogs I follow are deserving of mention. On top of that are the real life stories that I am privileged to hear from my clients everyday. No story is purely personal. There is always a larger cultural context. There is much to react to. I cannot keep up.

So, for now I must continue at my own small town pace. I thank you for your patience. I’ll get back to the piece that includes my old friend, a Mayan elder– and, actually, now that I think about it, it may have everything to do with Twinkies; back to the mommas–and, as I have promised before–all the menopausal women. I am attaching a few things that I have been sitting on that may be of interest to you now. Time for dinner.

From my high school boyfriend’s brother: An article about the problem with valuing food as a commodity. http://monthlyreview.org/2012/01/01/food-as-a-commodity

From the blog, The Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss: The story of a personal trainer who spends six months overeating to purposely gain weight and six months trying to lose it in hopes of understanding the experience of others better–so that he may help them.  http://www.fit2fat2fit.com/

From my high school friend: An NPR story about a woman very openly sharing her weight story and her awareness of the role of shame in her struggle.  http://www.npr.org/2011/07/25/138606501/one-womans-struggle-to-shed-weight-and-shame

And, from Michael Pollan himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH-Qv3f73x4&feature=relmfu

In Health,  Elyn–A once upon a time Twinkie eater. How about you?

my plate

My Plate Haiku

Spread peanut butter

On whole grain sweet dark bread

Raspberry jam-yum.

by Barb–who is currently doing an Ayurvedic cleanse and dreaming of this.

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8 thoughts on “The Twinkie Affair

  1. Sadly, or not, the bankruptcy of the Twinkies corporate parent is extremely unlikely to end Twinkies. They may eventually be sold by someone else, but they will be around for a very long time.

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    • hmm, you know, now that you mention it, i don’t hear much about krispy kreme in this neck of the woods these days. did their one local retail shop close? and i don’t see them at gas stations either. maybe i am not paying attention or maybe i have intimidated them and they have quietly rolled??? away?

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  2. I had a twinkie…many, many years after my obsession had ended. I was surprised. It didn’t taste like I had remembered and did nothing for me. I had the same experience with a Tasty Kake buttterscotch krimpet. Every trip to Philly brought back a box of butterscotch krimpets that I coveted, and box of chocolate cupcakes for everyone else. Apparently, “You can’t go home again” applies to junk food. But I still want to go back to Brooklyn.

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  3. butterscotch krimpets??? was that like a crueller??? yes, my home was hostess well endowed and twinkies brightened my day once. you could break one open and reach your tongue down that nice channel of cream. though it has been many decades between twinkies for me now–though i would not be so above every trying one again, i think their ingredients must have changed as the science of food preservatives evolved. i think i read some commentary on that and that truly they are not as good now as they once were.

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    • Yes, butterscotch krimpets. I wanted to create a link for you, but didn’t know how to do it in the reply box. But go to Tasty Kakes and you’ll learn all about them. Even without the cream-filled middle, they, by far, beat out the Twinkie. But since supply was limited by trips to Philly, I made due with the Twinkie, the Yodel and the Scooter Pie. All of which I have post tasted and none of which tasted all that good. Now, the pink snow-balls are another story. What are our kids going to reminisce about…”I tried carrot sticks and hummus the other day and it just doesn’t taste as good as I remembered….and those rice cakes coated in carob, can you believe we ever ate those….

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