I’m trying to stay away from the omnipresent pumpkin spice this year, but I just had to pick up some Hostess Pumpkin Spice Twinkies. The first reason being that it’s incredibly rare to find a new variety of Twinkie filling. Oh, sure, banana was the original, and they’ve had some one-off fruit flavors, but for the most part, a Twinkie is a Twinkie, unlike an Oreo, which I’m pretty sure will have been every single flavor on the planet soon.
The second reason is that I just couldn’t resist the picture on the package. That’s supposed to be the beauty shot, and instead it looks like a Twinkie extruding…I’m not sure what, but it looks gross. I feel like the cream goop shouldn’t look any worse than regular Twinkie goop, but somehow, it does.
I wish Hostess had given me more to work with on this packaging, but it’s pretty minimalist. A slice of pumpkin pie and some cinnamon sticks. Not even any autumn leaves. At least let Twinkie the Kid dress up as a vampire or something to make it a Halloween tie-in.
Do they even use Twinkie the Kid anymore? I’m already too bored to bother going to look, so let’s just get to the snack.
“Pumpkin spice” is such a vague term. Usually it just means “cinnamon with some other underlying spices”, sometimes there’s more nutmeg, and rarely is there actually any pumpkin flavor.
This time, there was a sweet, cinnamon smell that greeted me. It was quite welcoming, and evoked feelings of warmth on a chilly autumn day.
The cream filling actually looked better in real life than it did on the box, until suddenly I realized it kind of looked like tuna mixed with mayo ready to be put between two slices of bread, and that sort of killed the vibe.
Evicting all thoughts of tuna from my mind, I took a bite and, while not surprised, was not entirely displeased, either. The traditional golden sponge cake of a Twinkie mixed well with the cream, that tasted exactly as it smelled – sweet and cinnamon, with a hint of pumpkin that was probably only there because I imagined it.
And there you have it. Hostess Pumpkin Spice Twinkies in no way taste original or complex, but I feel like it’s their simplicity that gives them a little bit of charm. Use them to add a little fall flair to your child’s lunches, or grab a few for your snack station at work. Your palate won’t be challenged, but it won’t be offended, either.
As a weird side note, these Twinkies are only available at Kroger stores (known as Fry’s Foods in my neck of the woods), which seems like an odd place for an exclusive food. Target or Walmart I understand, but Kroger?
Hostess Pumpkin Spice Twinkies Limited Edition
- Score: 3 out of 5 vampire Twinkie the Kids
- Price: $2.50
- Size: 10 Twinkies
- Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
- Nutritional Quirk:Includes no pumpkin. Boo! Includes actual cinnamon. Yay! Includes beef tallow. What?