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Safeway Stocking Twinkie Wannabe

Safeway calls them Crème Cakes, Swiss Rolls and Chocolate Cupcakes...but they sure look and taste a lot like the Hostess products that disappeared with the company's bankruptcy in November.

If you've been mourning your morning fix of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Hostess Cupcakes, there was good news on two fronts this week.

First, the Hostess company, based in Irving, TX, is looking for a buyer for its dessert recipes. It already sold its bread line, including Wonder Bread, for $399 million to Thomasville, Ga.'s Flower Foods.

Second, Safeway has been stocking its shelves with products that look and taste very similar to the original Hostess cakes. Its "Snack Artist" line features mostly healthier foods, such as chips made from vegetables.

But a look down the aisles shows boxes of Crème Cakes (with a fancy French accent, mais oui!), Swiss Rolls, continuing with the European motif and the plainly-named Chocolate Cupcake.

(Safeway in South San Francisco is located at 30 Chestnut Ave. and 170 El Camino Real.)

Calorie and sugar-wise, you are in for a blast. Each of the fake Twinkies has 15 grams of sugar, 190 milligrams of sodium, 140 calories and 45 calories from fat and 5 milligrams of wonderful cholesterol. Wonderful, that is, for heart surgeons.

The cupcakes up the ante to 200 calories each, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 60 calories from fat and 26 grams of sugar, with sugar on top.

Yummmm.

Safeway announced its snack artist brand in 2010. Some stores sported signs announcing the dessert brands when Hostess quit selling its products in November.

Some collectors have been selling the Hostess goods, once rumored to be able to survive nuclear warfare, on eBay for $15 for a pack of three cupcakes, or $127 to  $12,000 for two boxes of Twinkies. Nope, that's not a typo.

So how do the Safeway brands stand up to the taste challenge? Would they fool a fool for Twinkies?

You tell us.

For this junk food junkie, I'd say they are close, but not exact. They whet the palate with a delicate aura of the Twinkie, they have the stickiness in the texture just about right, but they lack a little firmness, a little of the hidden ingredient that makes the Twinkie twinkle.

Sort of like comparing Oreos to the sugar-free Oreos or Hydrox cookies. A whisp of memory and they are true in their presentation, but if the Twinkie is an A, the Creme Cakes are a B, almost a B+ for good effort.

If you are a diabetic, longing for the purity of the Hostess products, these ones are almost worth going into the coma for.

Is that why I'm writing this at 12:05 a.m. Hey, who took those bites out of the product?

wolfone January 24, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Try to get them to stock healthy stuff, no the stock this cr*p! That's why Trader Joes is beating them in sales! Why would someone want to BUY the recipe for "Wonder bread"????Gah!
Kenneth Buhagiar January 24, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Why would anyone want to shop at Safeway in South San Francisco? We must have the shabbiest grocery stores on the planet here in SSF.

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