Culture

From the Health Beat: Deep Fried Twinkies Are Finally Here

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Heads up, arteries:

The deep-fried Twinkie is jumping from the state fair to the home freezer.

Hostess Brands, the maker of lunchbox treats like Ho Hos, is launching packaged “Deep Fried Twinkies” starting Friday, marking its first foray into frozen foods. The cream-filled snack in vanilla or chocolate is the result of a yearlong collaboration between Hostess and Wal-Mart, as both companies look to spark food sales with innovative products.

Battered and partially fried before being frozen, the Twinkies need to be finished for a short time in the oven, toaster oven or frying pan. They’ll cost $4.76 for a box of seven, and for the first three months are available only at Wal-Mart.

It has a “retro cool factor,” says Ellen Copaken, Hostess’ vice president of marketing. “It plays into the comfort food trend. And it’s fun.”

The Twinkie, long one of Hostess’ largest sellers, is a bigger business now than even right before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, Copaken said. Executives had considered developing a deep-fried version, like those seen at local fairs, but put the plans on hold until Wal-Mart approached them last summer.

This has potential for good or evil. On the good side, this could redefine cheat day glory. On the other, state fair food doesn’t always translate well when commercialized, as one of our editors pointed out. She’s in Ohio, and they do know their arterial sclerosis-inducing foods there, so I momentarily contemplated her concerns. In 2016, however, I need to grasp for rays of sunshine wherever they may peek through and will desperately cling to optimism and the dream here.

Think about it: if ever there were potential for a strategic partnership to create a snack that delights both the American public and its cardiac surgeons, it would be one between Hostess and Wal-Mart. This really is one of those “the answer was staring us right in the face all along” things. Sure, we weren’t able to ask the question, because our mouths were full of other snacks, but we mustn’t quibble now that FREAKING SCIENCE is here to save us.

I’ll let you know if they absorb beer well. Enjoy your weekend.