Hostess: Remembering Forgotten Products and How to Cope With The Loss in the Bay Area

Categories: Palmer, Sweet Beat

Tamara Palmer
We'll miss you, Zingers.
Hostess is in the process of immediate liquidation, and it's not just cleansing from scarfing down cream-filled cakes for 82 years. It's done done and it's a heartbreaking story for the over 18,000 workers nationwide who are now out of a job right before the holidays, including employees at an Oakland-based bakery. It's also a sad blow to the inner children living inside of adults everywhere.

Twinkies seem to be getting all of the shine, all of the column and waistline inches. When shopping at a San Francisco Walgreens just minutes ago, the Hostess shelves were already stripped of the golden sponges -- and almost everything else, too. All that was left were a few fruit pies, a dented duo of Sno Balls (those atomically pink coconut and vaguely chocolate cakes that no one will miss), and a pack of vanilla Zingers, forever the unknown runner-up to Twinkies' Miss America podium.

See Also:
- Better Start Stockpiling Those Twinkies: Hostess Announces Plans to Shut Down
- Chocolate-Espresso Twinkie, a Hostess Mashup from Bette's Oceanview Diner
- Drink of the Week: Burger Bar's Twinkie Milkshake

Zingers was the Twinkies rival in the early Eighties. In our young minds, Zingers had an edge once Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang began to promote them. But Hostess eventually bitch-slapped Dolly Madison and took her over, and now Zingers taste exactly like Twinkies with extra filling and an appropriately yummy-plastic-y frosting. If your choice is between nothing or Zingers and you're looking for that Twinkies fix, you'll still be happy.

Tamara Palmer
The Hostess shelves at a San Francisco Walgreens, moments before we cleaned it out.
Hurry up, because the devil's food chocolate ones are already going for $34.99 on Amazon. And if you find some Tiger Tails (raspberry striped coconut Twinkies), put those straight up on eBay, like some have already done with cases of Twinkies.

Tamara Palmer
The chocolate-espresso Twinkie at Bette's Oceanview Diner.
If you think you'll really miss these "snack classics" (as they're called on the packages) before the names get licensed out and the recipes likely altered, take solace in the knowledge that there are some local takes on Hostess treats that are healthier and tastier products. The sweet case at the two locations of Market & Rye in San Francisco always contain some sort of homemade Twinkies remix, like root beer or devil's food or Irish coffee; they're fatter and denser and way more flavorful than the original. In Berkeley, Bette's Oceanview Diner offers an ingenious mashup of Twinkies and the chocolate cupcakes with a Twinkies-shaped but cupcake-frosted and cream-filled chocolate-espresso cake.

Rest in peace, sweet lady Hostess.

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Location Info



Market & Rye

68 W. Portal Ave., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

Bette's Oceanview Diner

1807 4th St., Berkeley, CA

Category: Restaurant

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