If you have ever eaten a Twinkie and thought "I wish these were more sweet" then the Zinger is for you.
the much declared death of Hostess, the implication is that you should stock up on Hostess goods and get them while you can. Personally, I'm skeptical - the Hostess brand name has far too much value, I think, to just lapse quietly into history. Someone will buy it and keep cranking out Twinkies, I'm certain of it.
But nevertheless, I thought it might be a good idea to try a Zinger, just in case.
I'm not a fan of artificial fruit stuff in general, which is why I have always avoided Zingers in the past. Why buy a Zinger, I always thought, when you can get a perfectly good Ho Ho or Ding Dong or - if you're really lucky - Chocodile? Even a regular Twinkie is, to my mind, somewhat preferable to a Zinger.
And having finally tried one… I have to stick with that perception.
Zingers are basically just Twinkies, ostensibly with raspberry icing. That's how the packaging describes them: "Raspberry Iced Cake with Creamy Filling." I find these claims difficult to understand. For one thing, the "icing" goes all the way around the Twinkie. For another thing, it isn't exactly an icing, is it? It's more like a coating of raspberry gelatin cream substance.
And then they roll the whole thing in some coconut for good measure.
The Zingers pictured on the box didn't look too bad. Like Snowballs, more or less, but rectangular. But the reality of the treats packaged within was very different indeed.
The raspberry coating (I refuse to call it "icing") has the unfortunate side effect of making the cakes visibly damp. Not only do they stick to their individual plastic wrapping, but the bottom sides have actual fluid visible. Some kind of unholy moisture. A snack cake version of blood plasma.
The best-looking side of the Zinger is the top, preserved from the moisture by its positioning in the box. But even here, the news is not great. The tiny coconut shreds are obviously being slowly overwhelmed by the raspberry coating, like tiny mastodons struggling in a tar pit.
As for the eating: it's like a Twinkie, but raspberry flavored, and more damp. If you have ever eaten a Twinkie and thought "I wish these were more sweet," then the Zinger is for you. Conceivably if the raspberry had been tart (which is to say, zingy) it might have provided a nice flavor contrast. But in reality, it just makes you even thirstier than a regular Twinkie. Oh, and stickier, too.