July 13, 2013

Sweet nostalgia! Twinkies return to Maine, elsewhere

The iconic snack of the baby-boom generation arrives gradually in Maine stores, seven months after they disappeared.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Today's poll: Twinkies

Do you plan to buy Twinkies now that they are back on store shelves?

Yes

No

View Results

click image to enlarge

Twinkies have returned to Hannaford in Portland where they will be officially for sale starting Monday. Emily Strumpf of Portland is excited to see the spungy, yellow cakes made by Hostess on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

This undated image provided by Hostess Brands LLC shows a box of Twinkies. Twinkies will be back on shelves by July 15, 2013, after its predecessor company went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with unions last year. The brands have since been purchased by Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management. (AP Photo/Hostess Brands)

The difference, though, is that Twinkies are not as good for you, said Susan Quimby, a nutritionist with Nutrition Works, a Portland counseling firm.

Quimby said the list of ingredients in Twinkies reads like a top 10 of items to avoid.

There's white flour, sugar, corn syrup and niacin, "which is a B vitamin. Why it has that, I don't know," she said.

Then there's water, more sweetener – high fructose corn syrup – and partially hydrogenated oil, "which is the worst fat you can consume," Quimby said.

"Then it gets worse," she said, with caramel coloring, red dye No. 40 and yellow dye No. 5.

"Really, on top of everything, they're going to put food coloring in it?" she said.

"Look, I grew up on Twinkies. I'm a baby boomer. I ate Twinkies as a kid and lived to tell about it," she said. But even though they won't kill you immediately, Quimby tells her clients that there are other snack foods that are tasty and not so bad for a person – dark chocolate-covered almonds almost qualify as health food, at least by comparison.

Still, it's not as if Twinkies are going to be named Maine's official treat, she said.

Of course, whoopie pies pretty much have that spot all sewn up.

"We won't even get started on whoopie pies," Quimby said. "They're made with half a can of Crisco."

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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Today's poll: Twinkies

Do you plan to buy Twinkies now that they are back on store shelves?

Yes

No

View Results