The Internet on Friday was quick to embrace the end of the Twinkie with “RIP Twinkie” comments on Facebook and “Never Forget 11/16/2012” messages imposed over Twinkie photos.
Twinkies may soon be no more, with the closing of Hostess Brands Inc. and the loss of thousands of jobs. Fans who grew up enjoying Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Zingers and other Hostess treats remembered the sugary snacks fondly across social media on Friday.
“One Ding Dong could get you a lot of good food in the lunch box trade,” Kelly Gentry, of Oklahoma City, said in a Facebook post.
“A disc of deliciousness disguised as a hockey puck!” Oklahoma City mom Kelly Moody said, adding that as a child, she, too, would trade in Ding Dongs at school lunch, but had never bought the snack for her own children.
Some fans rushed to grocery stores Friday to stockpile Twinkies for the future.
In addition to dozens of baking and distribution facilities across the country, Hostess Brands will sell its popular brands, including Hostess, Drakes and Dolly Madison, which make iconic cake products such as Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls and Donettes, the company's website noted. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder, Nature's Pride, Merita, Home Pride, Butternut and Beefsteak, among others.
‘Part of our childhood'
As people lamented the end of the Twinkie, the loss of jobs and the closing of a sugar institution, very few people in an unscientific sample group of Oklahomans admitted to eating a Twinkie recently.
“It's been years! Flavorless. Full of sugar. Bleh,” Oklahoma City attorney Leslie Lynch said in response to a Facebook post.
A few noted that that Ding Dongs and Suzy-Qs were better, especially frozen or even heated up.
“When I was a kid, Mom would go to the Hostess store and stock up on whatever we (my Dad, three sisters and me) liked,” Lynch said. “I made sure we put some of the Ding Dongs in the freezer. They were 10 times better when they were frozen.”
Sherrel Jones, who writes a food column for The Oklahoman, enjoyed a trip down “Twinkie Lane,” as she called it, on Friday. However, she mentioned the snack's unhealthy reputation and said she'd rather have a slice of Oklahoma pecan pie.
“It is a free country — but not calorie-free. A Twinkie measured on the same scale as those cupcakes with the mile-high frosting,” Jones said in an email. “We haven't even considered all those stabilizers and preservatives. We can take folks to the moon, but science has yet to make a healthy Twinkie!”
Callers on Friday to the Wonder Hostess bakery on S Interstate 35 Service Road in Oklahoma City reached a voice-mail message that said the store was closed and told employees not to come in for work. The message also referred people to Hostess Brands' website and directed prospective bidders interested in the company's assets to an email address.
“You have reached Hostess Brands and Wonder Bread, Oklahoma City. Hostess Brands has closed all its bakeries and ceased operations,” a man's voice said in the message. “If you are an employee, please do not come to work. The company's assets are for sale.”
In Altus, a woman who answered the phone at the Wonder Hostess bakery there wouldn't comment about sales of Hostess products on Friday. Instead, she referred questions to a toll-free number for Hostess Brands.
All might not be lost for fans of the snack. If and when the assets of Hostess Brands are liquidated, it's possible that another company could buy the rights and recipes to Twinkies and other similar snacks, according to a New York Times report.
Former Oklahoman Rebecca Dunai, who now lives in Madison, Wisc., offered a goodbye to Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread in a comment on Facebook.
“They were part of our childhood, a nostalgic yummy food that was a treat, back when there was not the plethora of junk food that is on the market today,” Dunai said. “I have not had one in probably 20 years but am sad to see an American brand fade into mere memories.”
Contributing: Features Editor Matthew Price;
Food Editor Dave Cathey;
Staff Writers Ken Raymond, Jane Glenn Cannon,
Brandy McDonnell and