January 2

Deep-fried Twinkies: a bad food made worse


A while back I posted on deep-fried Twinkies sold at county fairs, a food that I couldn’t believe that even existed, much less one that people bought and ate right and left. Strangely, I came across the video below while looking for something else. It shows deep fried Twinkies being made. If there was ever an awful food, this is it.
I present this video with commentary at the risk of the maker(s) of it getting after me. When I posted the video of the chicken-fried bacon a couple of months ago, I got taken to task in the comments by Auntie Dee Dee for what she considered my elitism in criticizing the good folks of Snook, Texas, so I fear the same here.
This film is obviously made by amateurs, and the production quality is awful. At 9 minutes plus, the film is way too long, but thankfully YouTube has a time limit. As one of the nascent filmmakers wrote:

We had a video over 30 MINUTES long, but since the limit is 10 minutes, I had to *severly* (sic) edit this down to the basics.

Whoever did the editing failed to heed the old maxim that less is more. At 9 minutes it’s pretty awful, but it could have been so much worse. Long and dreadful though the quality is, I watched it in its entirety with a sort of grim fascination for two reasons. First, to see if the video cook could possibly make any more mistakes due to poor planning, and, second, because each step of the preparation made the “food” indescribably worse from a health perspective. I had to see just how bad it could get.
Nevertheless, you do learn how to deep fry a Twinkie. And I learned that I never even want to think about eating one.

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  1. Aside from the mesmerizing skills of the “chef” and the sophisticated dialogue, and the totally repulsive food,this was still more fun to watch than Rachel Ray.
    You made my day.

  2. My thought halfway through the video was that if a deep fried Twinkie would get my 8 yo son interested in cooking, I’d do it! Then again, naaaaahhhhhh. I’ll have to find some other way to pique his interest in cooking. Perhaps I’ll go on strike.
    Hi Anna–
    It would probably destroy any culinary interest he might have.  By the time I was halfway through it, I never wanted to cook again.  The only good thing was the lousy production value makes our low-budget PBS cooking show look like Masterpiece Theater.

  3. I’d like this except that I’d substitute coconut oil for canola – not only would it be a healthier choice, but it would taste better.
    I know I might be weird for wanting to try this, but I like to try anything new just to see what it tastes like.
    Hi Victoria–
    Go for it.  Just don’t send me one.
    Somehow I don’t believe the switch to coconut oil will much improve this item’s position on the healthy food index.

  4. Amazing, and quite repulsive, I felt quite sick by the end of it. Tell me, what exactly “is”
    Pure Canola oil?
    Hi Glenice–
    But did you like it better than Rachal Ray? 
    What is pure canola oil?  It’s an oxymoron, of course.

  5. Aren’t Twinkies one of those “foods” that won’t support mold growth and even bugs won’t eat?
    Hi Anna–
    I always thought that the idea that a Twinkie would last forever without decomposing or being consumed by bugs was an urban legend until I read this piece in the New York Times a couple of years ago. It’s about a science teacher who was retiring after 30 some years, and who had left a Twinkie out to see what would happen:

    THIRTY years ago, Roger Bennatti, a science teacher at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Me., decided to test the myth that a Twinkie lasts forever. So he bought a two-pack, ate one and placed the other, still in its wrapper, on top of the intercom box. There it sat until he retired last year.
    The Twinkie is in fine condition, if somewhat dusty and the consistency of Styrofoam. ”There’s a little bit of what looks like mold on it,” Ms. Rosemeier (a former student, now a teacher, who has the Twinkie in her classroom) says, ”but it’s mold that has dried up and is no longer active.”

    Best of all is the comment from the Twinkie spokesperson:

    Anne Drozda, brand manager for Hostess, says that the preservatives in a Twinkie give it an official shelf life of only 25 days post-assembly line. ”It’s made from eggs and milk and sugar and flour. Just like anything else, it’s going to go bad. Even after 21 days it starts to go stale and gets this weird texture.” About Blue Hill’s Twinkie, she says, ”I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.”


  6. So I happened to be in Dallas this year at the time of the Texas State Fair, known as “Big Tex”. Aside from it being just a heap of fun for this Yankee-boy to wander around and see pig-races, show-bred chickens, great carnie rides and such, there was no end to the amounts of strange and interesting deep-fried foods. Twinkies ( I missed them, but my fiancée tried one, just to try it, and said it tasted pretty bad), “Cosmopolitans” (apparently some sort of flavored cheesecake that was deep fried), Coca-Cola (dumplings made with Coke syrup, heaped in a commemorative cup, covered with whip cream, more Coke Syrup, and a cherry), deep-fried avocados (self explanatory, on a stick), deep fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwiches (also on a stick) plus all sorts of pseudo-Tex-Mex that was deep fried. Seriously, I think some of those folks would deep fry just about anything.
    I tried some sort of “tostado”-type thing that wasn’t very good, then kept my indulgences to the sausage on a stick which turned out to be a 10-inch kielbasa, straight-up, no bun or fried anything, on a stick.
    With all the foods on a stick, deep fried foods, and beer available, the place had the makings of a college eating/drinking game gone terribly awry.
    Hi Ogden–
    And just when I thought a deep-fried Twinkie was the worst food devised by man, here you come with this report.  God help us all.
    I’ve never heard anything more revolting than your description of the Coca-cola concoction.
    It does sound like a frat scene fueled by an abundance of booze, sugar and stupidity.
    Thanks for the report from the front. I may have to make a full post out of this.


  7. This reminds me of the new 2006 invention of fried Coke balls. Just when you thought we were becoming intellectually stagnant as a nation, someone invents Coke-balls. Yeah!
    Yummmm…..not. What is it with county/state fairs being a hotbed for crazed “Frankenfood” inventors? I went to the West Virgina State fair some years back (was working in the area at the time and thought it would be entertaining) and they were selling these 2 lb cinnamon rolls and for just a few dollars more you could get a side of insulin. Just kidding….about the insulin. The line to get one was at least 25 yards long (and a few yards wide!). You see people with cotton candy in one hand, a funnel cake in the other standing in line to get fried Coke-balls. State/county fairs should come with a black box warning!
    Hi Ned–
    A black box warning indeed.
    Thanks for your report from the front lines of the war on good health.

  8. I had to chuckle when the host of the video said “We don’t recommend this if you have, like, heart problems, because… well, yeah” (~5:16).
    In defense of this young kid, at least he seemed to know a couple of basic tidbits about cooking: measurement breakdowns, acidulating the milk, and how to avoid too much gluten in the batter.
    Unfortunately, saying things like “Canola oil is the best…” (among the many other culinary/nutritional crimes in the video) is purely a result of his misguided education.
    Hi Karen–
    Granted, he does know a fair amount about cooking, just not a lot about nutrition.
    What has stunned me about all the comments is that everyone recognized this as a male.  I assumed he was a female.  I guess I was bamboozled by this YouTube post of his that I found when I was trying to learn more about the kid on the Deep-fried Twinkie video.  After seeing this, I just assumed he was a ‘she.’  I went back after all these comments and found a couple of other videos.  He is definitely a he.  I showed MD the video below, and she immediately fingered her as a he.  All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not in the dating scene right now or I could be in for some nasty surprises.
    Don’t watch this if you are offended by a young boy semi-erotically playing with fake breasts.
    YouTube link 

  9. Along the lines of what ants won’t eat, I walked out side my apartment building one morning to find shrimp and broken tortilla chips all over the front steps. The shrimp were black with ants. The tortilla chips were untouched.
    Hi Victoria–
    Interesting observation.  Thanks for commenting.
    Too bad were all not as smart as ants. 

  10. I can see it now. “On the next episode of Low Carb CookwoRx, Mary Dan and I will be making some wonderful low carb deep fried twinkies. Made from healthy almond meal and coconut oil, this delicious treat has become an American favorite.”
    Haha, if you guys ever end up doing this, then it means we’ve got major problems!
    Hi Michael–
    Great idea for a show!  You’re not going to ask for producer credits are you?

  11. Hi Mike–the above idea sounds great. Just imagine where it could go. Deep fried low carb PB&J sandwiches, deep fried sugar free cheesecake with nut flour crust, and how about chicken fried brie with low-carb batter?
    Thanks for the most informative, and definitely the funniest, nutrition web site on earth.
    Hi Paul–
    Thanks for the kind words.  I’m glad someone notices the humor.

  12. I’m the person who made the video, and am the one in it making the Twinkies.
    Guys! I hate to tell you this, but Deep fried Twinkies aren’t meant to be nutritious..lol!
    As for Canola oil, it is the best, because its got a high smoking point and best for deep frying, while being the lowest in saturated fat and highest in monounsaturated fat. MUCH better than soybean or lard, am I not right?
    Coconut oil has alot of saturated fat. I’m not sure how you call that healthier. There’s debate about it but a general nutritionist would not currently recommend that over canola, AT ALL.
    Canola has the highest monounsaturated besides olive, which you can’t deep fry in. Plus it would taste nasty for this. lol.
    And there no trans fat in liquid oil. So considering these are the furthest thing from tryign to be “healthy”, I’d say I did a good job by eliminating the worst health dangers. (Trans and saturated fats).
    We just did this fast.. not sure what you mean by lack of planning? We pretty much had things organized, I thought.
    And this is only something to have once in awhile, people! 🙂
    Hi Logan–
    Good to hear from you. I think everyone knows that deep fried Twinkies are about as far from being nutritious as one could imagine. I wrote the post so that people could see how un-nutritious they really are.
    You are laboring under a number of misconceptions that many people have. In fact, your comment has inspired me to make a new post about these misconceptions and use your comment as the example.
    As to the lack of preparation for your show…
    My wife and I have a cooking show on PBS so I know how much planning is required. Your video on deep frying the Twinkies should have been about 4 minutes long, max. You don’t want to show the whole thing from beginning to end – you want to show just the critical parts. In this case, the set up with the oil, the preparation of the batter, the dunking of the Twinkies into the batter then dropping them into the hot oil. You cut out all the time while the Twinkies deep fry. Then cut back when they’re ready to come out. You should make sure that all your stuff works together, i.e., the pan is big enough for the Twinkies, etc.
    And, BTW, what happened to your Barbie Girl video. I thought it was spectacular. In fact, it was one of my favorite YouTube videos. I showed it to tons of people, and now it’s vanished. You did a great job on that one. In fact, you did such a good job of acting that I thought you were a girl. Bring it back!

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