Hey everyone, it's Christmas! That means pumpkin spice is replaced with peppermint, and there's pine trees and snowflakes on every package. Keep on going and read about 700 words about minty snacks that usually aren't minty.
I have to preface this post by saying I've always been more of a Tastykake fan. I had some Hostess cakes over the years, ate a few orange cupcakes, and scarfed down a couple of Twinkies. But I always went back to good ol' TK. As much as I love Butterscotch Krimpets and Kandy Kakes, I'm writing about products that have panache and style. Boy do these boxes ever have panache.
When it comes to the individually wrapped snacks, Hostess always did the best job of marketing to the younger crowd. They put out full page comic ads for their fruit pies for crying out loud. I bet you didn't realize the fruit pies had a mascot too. Fruit Pie the Magician, that's his name. A freakin' fruit pie that's a sorcerer. And he wasn't the only one. There were anthropomorphic characters for their cupcakes, Ho-Ho's, and of course, Twinkies. I guess what I'm saying is Hostess was probably more hip to the kids than Tastykake, whose bland packaging made it seem like the sort of thing you're grandparents would eat. That still holds true today. Hostess is like that one relative that turns their house into a reasonable facsimile of Santa's workshop, while Tastykake is that single uncle that just props the tree up in the corner before tossing a couple handfuls of garland into the branches.
That's not to say the Hostess boxes are overdone. If anything, they're rather spartan. Each one features a single pine branch with hanging ornament, almost as if they're implying these are the sort of cakes you could expect to find under your tree, rather than in the cupboard. The package claims the Merry Minty Holiday Cakes are a "LiMinted Edition" which is exactly how "limited" sounds when one has one too many glasses of eggnog. A common trend among peppermint flavored products is the inclusion of candy canes or those little round candies that always end up sticky in their wrapper before the New Year. That area of the Merry Minty Holiday Cakes box is unoccupied, but then I guess a pile of mint leaves isn't exactly festive.
The Peppermint Ho-Ho's have a pretty strong peppermint aroma. I could actually pick it up through the wrapper. Unfortunately, the peppermint doesn't carry over into the flavor. Sure, they're a little minty, but nowhere near what I expected. I was thinking they would be at the same level as a York Peppermint Patty, but it was more like eating a cake that had been stored in a Rubbermaid container with a handful of peppermint candies. And man, were they dry. I had to down half a glass of milk before I could finish one Ho-Ho.
The Merry Minty Holiday Cakes don't fare any better. For me, they were minty in color only. I thought I detected a little mint one time, but I'm not sure it wasn't a figment of my imagination. They weren't as dry as the Ho-Ho's, but I still needed some liquid assistance to finish them. Ever had birthday cake that's been in the fridge for a couple of weeks? These had that same "seems moist but is really dry" texture.
So, if I were to give them both a score of arbitrary numbers that don't really mean anything, I'd say the Peppermint Ho-Ho's would get a 6/10, while the Merry Minty Holiday Cakes only rate a 4/10. Both would get an 8/10 for the packaging, because there no way you'll be able to confuse these for fall themed snacks.
P.S. I'm doing the Lego City Advent Calendar this year, but you'll have to check it out on my Instagram account. If you're not already, give me a follow at thestuntzombie. Or you can click on that little widget thingy on the right.
P.P.S. They should have called these Peppermint Ho-Ho-Ho's. Because that's what Santa says. I bet everyone at Hostess is just smacking their foreheads this morning as they read this. It's okay guys, you can make any checks out to cash, and send them c/o Stunt Zombie Industries.