Twinkies change with the seasons, and we try to keep up

Photo: Aimee Levitt

Time is fleeting, and seasons change almost overnight. On October 31, our Walmarts and Targets and Walgreens were decked in black and orange. And then on November 1, they were red and green. All the pumpkin-spiced snacks had been pushed aside to the bargain bins. (The half-price Halloween candy, naturally, had vanished almost instantaneously.) Now ’tis the season for gingerbread and chocolate mint.

Even Twinkies are not immune. You would think that yellow sponge cake would be eternal, but this is not the case; these treats have succumbed to the change of seasons. (Contrary to legend, Twinkies do go bad eventually: Snopes reports that they have a shelf life of 25 days, which is still a pretty long time for something advertised as a pastry.) Over the weekend, we were able to capture the Pumpkin Spice Twinkies and the Mint Chocolate Twinkies simultaneously. What a time to be alive!

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Photo: Aimee Levitt

Mint Chocolate Twinkies

We suspected that the chocolate cake of the Mint Chocolate Twinkies would taste exactly like the standard yellow cake and that the mint filling would taste like toothpaste, but we were pleasantly surprised on both counts. The cake tastes faintly of cocoa, and the filling tastes lightly, but not overwhelmingly, of mint. The mint flavor comes in late, which is nice: you’re not bombarded all at once. Overall, a nice interpretation of holiday flavors, Twinkiefied. It’s a solid B.

Serving: 2 snack cakes
Calories: 240
Fat: 9 g
Carbs: 41 g
Sodium: 300 mg

Grade: B


Pumpkin Spice Twinkies

We were more divided on the Pumpkin Spice Twinkies. The yellow cake tasted like nothing, pretty standard for a Twinkie. The creme tasted like Cool Whip and “pumpkin spice,” which is really just an edible form of potpourri. (Cinnamon? Cloves? Like those seasonal brooms you can buy at Trader Joe’s that stink up the whole lobby?) There was no evidence of pumpkin at all.

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Aimee, after a lifetime of pumpkin pie, wasn’t quite sure what pumpkin even tasted like; Marnie clarified that it tasted earthy and fruity. Aimee found this overwhelming and disgusting. Marnie didn’t think it was so bad, though she thought that “snickerdoodle” would have been a better description. But we both liked Mint Chocolate much better.

Serving of 2 snack cakes
Calories: 260
Fat: 8 g
Carbs: 44 g
Sodium: 340 mg

Grade: C (average; Marnie said B-, Aimee said D)

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About the author

Aimee Levitt

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.