The news Friday that Twinkies' parent company, Hostess Brands, was shutting down wasn't just about Twinkies.
It was also about Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls, Donettes, and, Cake Boss help us, Zingers and Yodels, too. (Yes, the Dolly Madison and Drake's brands also fall under the broken Hostess umbrella.)
Should some or all of these treats disappear from shelves, what's a snack-cake fan and/or high-flying resident of Colorado and Washington state to do?
1. Tastykake Chocolate Kreamies: Tastykake is a regional flavor of the East and Southeast, and should be sampled as you would chowder or a mint julep. If you want to start an argument, then assert that the company's goods are not as good as East Coast-biased TV references have made them out to be. But if you want to eat something that equals the joy found in a pack of Suzy Q's, another potentially endangered Hostess product, then Chocolate Kreamies will do quite nicely.
2. Entenmann's Frosted Donut Pop 'Ems: To be honest, Hostess' Donettes are almost peerless. Almost. The gooey, sticky-sweet bakers at Entenmann's do very well with their bite-sized offerings, so long as you stick to the powdered-sugar and chocolate-encased varieties. Sorry, cinnamon, but Hostess' Crumb Donettes are peerless. (Seriously, they're magic. Every time you make crumbs at home, all you want to do is vacuum.)
3. Mrs. Redd's pies: You're probably going to have to travel to Southern California to buy a Mrs. Redd's pie, but (a) Southern California is quite nice this time of year; and, (b) Mrs. Redd's pies, especially the pudding, are the best. You'll never regret coming out from under the spell of Fruit Pie the Magician.
4. Moon Pies: You should eat Moon Pies always, and you should not care if Hostess is going out of business, or roaring back into business, you should just always eat Moon Pies.
5. Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies: You know how Twinkies are really famous and iconic even though, clearly, not everybody likes Twinkies? May we suggest that not everybody likes Little Debbie. May we suggest that some are offput by her cloying, trying-too-hard-to-be-cute "little"-ness. But may we further suggest that in a Twinkies-free world, Little Debbie's signature snack cake may be the best option a bad day has.