Sunday, January 19, 2014

From The TESR Test Kitchen

After shoddy labor relations, Hostess went under.  It was liquidated in 2012 and that was the end of Ding Dongs, Twinkies and more.  Under new owners (Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos and Company), the Hostess snack cakes returned to supermarket shelves last summer.  Hostess Brands brought back Twinkies, Cup Cakes, Zingers, Donettes, Suzy Q's, Mini Muffins, Ho Hos, Sno Balls, Cofee Cakes, Fruit Pies, Jumbo Honey Bun, Cinnamon Roll and, yes, the Ding Dongs.

Ding Dongs are part of America's cultural heritage -- so important, they even pop up in the movie Can't Stop The Music when Steve Guttenberg tells Valerie Perrine, "Anyone who could swallow two Sno Balls and a Ding Dong shouldn't have any trouble with pride."  They also happen to be our favorite Hostess snack cake.

The first thing you'll notice -- we spotlighted in in the photo above -- the Ding Dongs are no longer wrapped in foil.  Instead, each one is in a plastic sleeve.

Wrapping each Ding Dong in aluminum foil probably wasn't good for the environment.

Was it good for the taste?

We're not sure.

We think the cakes taste fresher now.

We also think they're being made a little lighter.  To be clear, the most recent any of us can remember eating a Ding Dong before the research for this test kitchen was 2009.  But we all remember the cake -- and especially the chocolate icing -- being thicker than on the current batch.

Each box contains 12 Ding Dongs.  That's how it's been since 1967 when the snack cakes first emerged. Today's box if 15.3 ounces; however, before Hostess went out of business in 2012, the boxes had always contained 17 ounces.

The 1.7 ounce difference in the 12 Ding Dongs is noticeable.

As a snack cake, we'd rate it an 8 out of 10.

But as a Ding Dong, we'd rate it a 4 out of 10.

The box tells you it's "THE SWEETEST COMEBACK IN THE HISTORY OF EVER."  The box lies.

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