|Captain Cup Cake - Twinkie The Kid - Happy Ho Ho - Fruit Pie Magician|
This week we were given the news that another iconic American business was in trouble and would be shutting the doors. I stay away from writing about politics and will not be sharing my opinion about the striking employees or the high paid executives. I stick to what I know. The food.
|Don't get me started on my Wonder Bread memories!|
As a chef I am someone who understands food and food science. I have never bit into a Twinkie and said "Man! They put just the right amount of cellulose gum, Polysorbate 60, and calcium sulfate in that one! Apparently, these ingredients are also used in sheet rock, shampoo, and rocket fuel. I SHOULD steer you away from this stuff.
However I believe that 90% of why we love certain foods is because we have memories attached to them. If not then why did I have 4 separate highly spirited debates over what hostess snack was the best this week? At one point my daughter asked my wife and I why we were arguing over snacks. Ha! We made sure she knew we were not fighting we were passionately debating the tasty treats of our youth.
As a child I loved going shopping with my Grandma Hoover. I was the youngest grandchild and it was no secret that I was spoiled by her. She took me shopping one day when I was 5 at "The Pop Shop" as she called it. It was located at the "Park and Shop" on Williow Pass in Concord California where I grew up.
One day while on one of our trips to the pop shop I saw it. I saw the cardboard cut out of Chauncey Choco•Dile. An ad made perfectly to attract a child and it did just that! I was mesmerized. I had to know what it was!
"Grandma...What are those!?"
"Sweetie, those are like chocolate covered twinkles"
"Grandma...Can we get one of those?
"Honey, we can get one of those if you promise not to tell the other kids when we get home. Deal?"
So there I sat in the front seat...yes front seat with no seat belt...in my grandmothers '64 impala with my Choco•Dile in my hand. I opened it, slid it out of the wrapper and bit into my secret treat. It was delicious. At least I think it was delicious. I don't really remember. What I DO remember was a moment with my grandmother who loved me. She made me feel special. Like I was the only kid in town while she had a house full of grand kids waiting for her at home. Truth is she probably had these secret deals with all of us.
The snack wasn't what was great, it is the memory I made with my grandma. To this day if I see a Choco•Dile I am transported for a few seconds back to the front seat of that old impala and can almost smell my grandmothers perfume again. She passed away a year later and now as an adult I realize she knew she was ill and wasn't going to say no to her precious grandchild.
So here we are at thanksgiving. A time that we are encouraged to look back and remember the things we are thankful for and stuff our self with food and tradition. Much like we could debate over who's stuffing, potatoes, pies, or turkeys are better we could debate over what Hostess snack was best.
The reality is that while all thanksgiving food and hostess snacks are found tasty it's not really about the food. It's about the memories. For my wife it was the Ho Ho. For a buddy at work it's the pink snow ball. I still remember giving my good friend Nancy who grew up behind the wall in Germany her first Twinkie! It wasn't amazing tasting. It was an experience and a memory made with my friend, much like the one made with my amazing grandma Hoover.
I am sure Hostess will re-emerge after they are bought or rebuilt by another company but it won't quite be the same. Maybe it will be the new coke / coke classic debate for this generation. You never know. For now though I say Thanks for the memories Hostess.
Enjoy the holidays. Make some memories. Eat some good grub. - Cameron