Snack Review: Turn Back the Clock Banana Twinkie

Whenever I think of Twinkies I think of two things. One, a famous warning from the movie “Heavyweights” in which Keenan (or wait, was that Kel?) designates the limits of how a Twinkie should be eaten. Two, I think of one of those goofy food tech shows like “Unwrapped” in which some dopey host drops the whole “Did you know?” spiel about how Twinkies were first made using banana cream, but because of World War II shortages on bananas, Hostess was forced to switch to vanilla cream.

Killer of Banana Twinkies

Not that I would ever thank Imperialist Japanese expansion and island hopping for anything, but this by-product of  historical phenomenon wasn’t exactly a bad thing. Or was it?  Because of irrational fears over eating any kind of “artificial” product containing partially hydrogenated oil, I’ve long avoided the Twinkie, but still couldn’t help snatching a box at Walmart the other day when I saw the limited time only “Turn Back the Clock” box advertise a banana “creamy” filling. I like bananas and I remember Twinkies fondly from my elementary school days, so I figured my arteries could take the scant 0.49 grams of trans fat (or whatever it is) for the day, just as long as I didn’t test out the theory of Twinkies on pizza and roll the dice of culinary madness.

A few days later I’ve suffered no apparent heart damage, but I am $2.50 poorer (this, after losing my job last week – mind you) and have a box of nine banana cream Twinkies laying around that I could care less to finish. That’s right: even artificial, nostalgic crap food can’t rise me to finish the box, which is saying a lot considering nostalgic crap food is up my alley most of the time.

These just are not very good. For starters, the “cream” isn’t exactly cream, although that’s too be expected. It’s your typical Twinkie fluff, a ubiquitous form of ultra-sweet matter that may or may not have originated on this planet. I was bummed that they didn’t even bother to make it yellow, nor did they assign it much in the way of banana flavor. It vaguely smells of a banana candy, but it doesn’t exactly taste like a banana. In fact, I couldn’t put my finger on what it tasted like. Lite and fluffy, it “tastes” almost like a muted and artificial banana flavor smell, but doesn’t seem sweet at all. Scratch that. Maybe it’s too sweet, with an over saturated on flavorless, unrefined sugar muting any potential of flavor.

The sponge cake is, well Twinki-ey… but it’s not like the Twinkies I remember. It doesn’t seem as moist, and there isn’t that bad-for-you artificial mouth feel which I remember sticking to my hands. So there you go. Left disappointed by my Twinkie purchase, I’ve sworn off wasteful Hostess buys for the immediate future, although still have the question of what to do with nine unopened banana cream Twinkies to deal with. Knowing how worthless these things are on their own, I can’t help but openly question “Why?” when faced with the internal maxim of no-go Twinkie combos. I quote TS Eliot: Do I dare?

I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Pros: Momentary high of a frivolous Walmart purchase. Proving that a little beef tallow/and/or partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening never hurt anyone. Childhood memories.

Cons: $2.50 I could of spent on, well, something else. Hardly any banana flavor. Spongecake doesn’t taste like it used to. Possibly indicting myself as pro-Axis.

Price: 2.50 (on sale at Walmart)

Overall GrubGrade: 4.25 (Poor)

More Info: www.hostesscakes.com
Nutrition Facts:
urn Back the Clock Banana Twinkie
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 5 g
Sat Fat: 2.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g*
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Sodium: 220 mg
Carbs: 27 g
Fiver: 0 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 1 g

19 comments on “Snack Review: Turn Back the Clock Banana Twinkie

  1. rob says:

    I’ll still eat those once in a blue moon but what I really miss is Tastykake products, especially their pies, they don’t sell them in Florida

    http://www.tastykake.com/products/pies

    Best convenience store food I’ve ever had.

  2. Ryan says:

    Even though these failed, now I want a Twinkie…. but the regular non-banana kind. I want one bad… like Tallahassee.

    “In Mexico, you know what they call Twinkies?”

    • Shannon says:

      Like Tallahassee? Huh. When I think of Twinkies, I only think of a sweet snack. So I am glad that this review was done. Never would I have guessed how long they have been in existence or how a world war impacted production. As for your job loss, sorry and I hope you find something else soon.

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah, have you seen Zombieland? Tallahassee was Woody Harrelson’s character and he was obsessed with Twinkies.

    • Shannon says:

      “Los submarinos” was probably the response that you wanted. Zombieland is not one of the movies that I have seen. Curiosity led me to look it up.

  3. Scott says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your (job) loss! I hope you find something soon!

  4. Clevegal42 says:

    You should have a contest and send the other ones away to test the age old question of how long a twinkie wan last and if it holds up to shipping.

  5. missouri says:

    sorry to hear about your job loss – hope something works out.

  6. AO says:

    What’s disappointing is that the package can’t possibly be the pre-World War II one–it looks like they just stuck “The original banana…” on a box from the sixties.

    Has anyone ever seen what pre-fifties Twinkie packaging looks like? My Google search turned up nothing, which just made me all the more curious.

  7. Chuck says:

    The fluff isn’t even yellow? Seems pointless then…

    And it was Keenan

  8. varta says:

    Yes, I’m going to be the grammar police and be annoying. But I think you meant that you couldn’t care less.

    I think they need a chocolate banana filling in those Twinkies.

  9. mitchery says:

    Every time I think of Twinkies I think of Woody Harrelson in Zombie Land. Never knew the history behind Twinkies were so deep and that there were a shortage of bananas in the states. I’m just happy they didn’t originally try plantains.

    Sucks you lost your job Adam, I wish you luck in finding another.

  10. I haven’t found these yet, but they’re well worth buying for the cool retro style box!

  11. […] brings back the banana Twinkie for a limited time in a retro box. Or maybe because of Twinkies’ shelf-life, Hostess are selling the original banana Twinkies […]

  12. Jodi D says:

    Hi first time visitor to your lovely blog. I also think of Zombieland when I see a twinkie. And his temper tantrum stomp on snoballs at the beginning of the movie. He doesn’t hate the taste of coconut just the consistency lol.

    I saw these at Walmart but passed them. They should of used the recipe as accurate as possible to the old ones and not just thrown a touch of artificial flavor to them. I think they were pondering it since the King Kong limited edition banana flavored filling ones. If this would be a good idea.

    But what they really need to do is make chocodiles nationwide dammit. At least for a limited time. Those are chocolate covered twinkies. And you can get them in certain areas. Like California. They are covered with that waxy chocolate but still. Me want chocodile.

    I am a big nostalgia nut so I love the limited edition retro stuff. But I got some Little Debbie Banana Pudding rolls this week so I am good on banana flavored snack treats.

  13. cindy says:

    Walmart accepts returns.

  14. ashleyt says:

    Personally I am glad that they use artificial flavoring(I’m allergic to bananas) I ate them when I was pregnant to get through my cravings lol

    So as someone who can’t have bananas any other way, I thought they weren’t that bad.