By Tim Braun
Seriously. If you ever just came across that headline in a random blog (i.e. mine) you would sit your little behind right down in your little Lazy-Boy with your little laptop and just do nothing but read it. It may be the best headline every written. For that is the power of the former snack cake known as the HoHo.
The first task to tackle, in any posthumous tribute to the HoHo, is snack cake terminology. First of all, is a solitary HoHo a Ho? That probably wouldn’t go over too well among all the well meaning parents for their 5-year old sons to ask “Can I please have a Ho?” Like any 5-year boy would be that polite. So my thinking is that a solitary snack cake is a HoHo (note the capitalized second H for some reason). And a box of the pastry of the Gods is clearly labeled “HoHos” with a smaller S than either the H OR the O. And a picture of two HoHos on the box.
To make things even more confusing, at Christmas some brilliant Hostess marketer (now unemployed, so not THAT brilliant I guess) came up with the idea of HoHoHos – yes, with three HoHos on the box.
I miss HoHos. They are/were by far my favorite snack cake. My wife bought Little Debbie Swiss Rolls as a comparable replacement. Let’s compare and contrast.
Little Debbie vs. Hostess. Winner: Hostess. The only girl I want to eat a snack from is Betty Crocker. Betty just destroys Debbie. Even if Debbie was big, the Crocker lady trounces her. I might have liked the maker more if they had apostrophe’d their name as Lil’. That seems to make food taste better.
Swiss Roll vs. HoHo: Winner: HoHo. What am I – in the Alps? Does something about seeing the Matterhorn make you suddenly think ‘rich, chocolaty goodness’? And I think I’ve previously stated in my annual ‘Words That I Hate’ blog my disdain for the word ‘roll’. This is a hands-down win for HoHos.
Winner: HoHo. Take a look at the two pictures. You can see that it’s no comparison. At all. 3-0 HoHo(s).
The crappy Lil’ Debbie on the right is a big chunky stupid gooey mess. Cream spurting out of all orifices and what not. The chocolate outside coating is rough and not well-formed. Compare that to the streamlined body styling of the Hostess HoHo on the left. Cream is neat and orderly and not jumping around all willy-nilly on you. Chocolate outside is practically an advertisement for how chocolate molecules should line up and behave. This is a slam-dunk for HoHos.
Big Fat Winner: HoHos. Few people realize that in the world of round snack cake packages the final and most compelling reason for eating them is the ‘snap’. That feeling you get when your teeth attempt to have first penetration of the chocolate armor. Little Debbie? No snap. Your teeth sink in. You may as well be eating a wet wash rag. But your teeth hit the HoHo and boom. You have to actually apply pressure to move your teeth to get to the whipped ecstasy inside. There is a perceptible cracking as the chocolate shell breaks apart. And the best part of it? When you’re done with the HoHo, you look down and find a small chocolate shell piece still on your shirt to enjoy. THAT is the snap of a HoHo. I stand up and applaud Hostess for this revolutionary sensation.
So 4-0 to the Hostess masterpiece known simply as – HoHos. Not even a contest. So get out of here with your European Rolls – that doesn’t play in this playground. I realize I didn’t include taste as a judging criteria in this – but frankly it doesn’t even matter. Nothing really matters because they’re gone. Possibly forever.
All that really matters is the snap. And I really, really, really miss the snap.