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Death of the Ding-Dong, Twinkie, Wonder Bread: Hostess to Close

Reports are that Hostess is starting to close down after a labor dispute. End of a beloved era, or good riddance to junk food heaven?

Twinkies. Hostess Cupcakes. Wonder Bread. Ding-dongs.

They will be gone forever, with reports Friday that Hostess Brands, Inc., will sell off or close down its renown business. Done in, the CEO claims, by labor union action.

Twinkies, an 82-year-old American tradition, began in Chicago at a bakery in Schiller Park. The cakes were originally stuffed with banana-flavored cream, but after banana rationing in World War II, the filling switched to vanilla.

Chicago became the “Twinkie Capital of the World” when its residents were named as the highest per capita consumers of the treat, The Huffington Post reports.

But Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past January.

The company has been challenged by not only by snarly labor relations, and a national strike by its second-largest labor union, but also by consumers switching to healthier foods and high ingredient costs, posits the Wall Street Journal.

One caveat—The Journal says that Hostess has threatened liquidation before, and not followed through. The move would put 18,500 workers out of their jobs, CNN reports.

The Twinkie brand is officially for sale, but some local bakeries are determined to keep the snack alive.

Redeye said Chicago’s Angel Food Bakery in Ravenswood has its own version of the Twinkie, called the “airstream.”

At-home chefs can also try to make their own, pending a sugar shortage from the desperate Twinkie fans. 

What do you think about this end to a junk-food kingdom? Will you buy some Ding-dongs and Twinkies just for old times' sake? Stock up on them for the future?

Is it the end of a beloved era? Or is it 'good riddance,' that the world would be better off without as much junk food? Tell us in the comments.

Lorraine Swanson November 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Fortunately Twinkies have a 200-year shelf life.
Carrie Frillman November 16, 2012 at 07:52 PM
A friend of mine just went to the store looking to stock up and they were all gone already.
Dave November 17, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I can't remember the last time I had one, but now I miss them.
Russ November 17, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Twinkies were my favorite lunch time snack, as a kid. I haven't had one for years.
Carrie Frillman November 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
How about a fried Twinkie? The county fairs just won't be the same.

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