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PHOTO: Perry Hall's Last Twinkies Are Mine

The great American era of Hostess has finally come to an end.

They're gone, they're all gone. You'll have to get your golden sponge cake and creamy filling fix somewhere else. 

I bought the last Twinkies in Perry Hall and I'm probably not even going to eat them.

The pack is sealed but damaged, the bottom half of my $1 twin-pack slightly crumbled. Is that why it was left behind? Among Orange Cupcakes and Chocolate Zingers, the Hostess display in Safeway looked thoroughly picked over Saturday morning. The gas stations, drug stores and other grocery stores either never carried them or were out—unless I missed some secret stockpile.

Do I save them for a special occasion? Frame them in a photo box? Freeze them? Sell the pack on eBay

For now, I'm just holding it in my hand wondering how I'll explain to my kids 10 years from now why I have a pack of shriveled up Twinkies in a keepsake box. Of course, if the years have no visible impact on the snack cakes, the conversation will be all the more interesting. 

I might mention the business' multiple trips to bankruptcy court, the bakers' strike and the Great Recession that finally brought down the Hostess empire of Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs. Ironically, it was founded in 1930 during the Great Depression. 

I'll tell my kids about my college years, when I purchased much-needed computer repairs from some boys in exchange for a package of Donettes. I'll tell them about the boyfriend who wooed me with a package of Twinkies and a love note at my door after I told him on a Walmart run, "I haven't had one of these in years!" I'll tell them about saving my pennies for a Cherry Fruit Pie at Weis Markets, before I was tall enough to see over the checkout counter. 

Sure, Twinkies are carby and processed and possibly contain beef fat (see the ingredients after "partially hydrogenated vegetable and/or animal shortening"), but they're so darn American. It's anyone's guess if the most iconic products will ever be reproduced. 

Unfortunately, as in life, after the food is gone, the guests leave the mess for the Hostess. 

Share your memories of the all-American snack cakes in the comments.

Tim November 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Won't be missed. Haven't eaten one since I got old enough to realize how terrible they are for you. Although it is a shame that the company was so poorly managed over the years, that a little strike put them out of business. You can blame the union for striking, and that's fine. They contributed to the demise for sure...but just the icing on a cake of terrible business management. They called the management's bluff and paid the price. Who are we kidding? The owners of hostess will probably just liquidate, start a second company and buy up the profitable portions of the company, and let the rest of us poor saps eat (ha!) the losses on the rest.
Parkvillehoney November 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Some other company will buy the rights to these iconic snacks. I feel for the workers because they took a gamble that didn't pay off. If the company was losing money, why didn't the Bakers union work with the company. The Teamsters took a cut. Now the drivers will probably be working again, especially if they have a Class A license. The bakery workers are probably going to have a hard time finding a job in this economy. To me, something is better than nothing.
Grace B. November 18, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I've never eaten a Twinkie in my life. Now I wonder what I missed. Not!
Dawn Donovan November 18, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I would trade my homebaked cookies, brownies and such with my friend who always had a hostess treat for lunch. We both thought we were getting the better deal.
Tim Gary November 18, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Dawn, I like that "both thought we were getting the better deal." The grass IS greener on the other side of the fence.
John Doe November 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Hi, I'm Mr. Twinkie, now that I have fattened you all up to the point of no return, I will be on my way! I will return as Mr. Belly-Bulger in 2014!
Steve November 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Don't count your chickens too quickly. It loos likes the Mexican giant bakery Bimbo might be buying them out. I don't know if they are just buying the Twinkies or the whole product line. Somehow I think Bimbo Ho Ho's might be a little too much.....
Marty Warren November 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Put the Twinkie on E-Bay. You can probably get something for it.
Paul Amirault November 18, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I am trying to decide where will dinner be?/!
Bill Howard November 18, 2012 at 09:42 PM
If the union didn't put Twinkie out of business all the new taxes, regulations and healthcare mandates would have finished them off. On Nov. 6th America dedcided to give up freedom and pay more for government. We are all Twinkies now.
Steve November 18, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Blah, blah blah. The Union didn't put Twinkie out of business Hostess put Hostess out of business. They have been paying for healthcare coverage for years and years. Nothing has changed. You're just upset because we reelected a Black Guy as President.
BK November 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Nice try Bill Howard, but while Hostess was filing for bankruptcy, the CEO was busy TRIPLING his salary and increasing high level executives' salaries by as much as 80%... but blame the unions. - http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/16/1203151/why-unions-dont-shoulder-the-blame-for-hostesss-downfall
BK November 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM
@OtherTim, it's not the fat and the calories that will slowly kill you - it's the artificial junk that's being put into your body that will slowly kill you
Tim November 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM
BK: Now now, Bill doesn't need to let facts get in the way of his agenda
Tim Gary November 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM
It's not the artificial stuff in the Twinkies getting me. It the scotch, the gin, and Arby's. Ha!
Tim November 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Here's a first hand view from an actual worker among the 18,000 who lost their jobs: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/18/1162786/-Inside-the-Hostess-Bankery
BobBaft November 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I don't know what everyone's so upset about....Baltimore City is FULL of Twinkies.
BobBaft November 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM
How about Bimbo Ding Dongs! X-Rated Grocery Stores!
BK November 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The truth about Hostess and their financial problems / history - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=491394124234398&set=a.182300141810466.38724.146422995398181&type=1&theater Most surprising? Since 2002, Hostess has gone through SIX CEOs... and none were able to turn the company around. Boo hoo.

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