When the Hostess company went belly-up everyone was kicking up a fuss about Twinkies, but where’s the love for the Ho-Hos??
Twinkie clones can be found everywhere and most of them taste very close to the originals, but Ho-Ho clones are much harder to find and finding ones which even come close to the originals is nearly impossible. To make matter worse, Ho-Hos were always my #1 favorite snack cakes. Twinkies were decent and the cupcakes were good, but Ho-Hos were the bomb.
When I was a kid, Ho-Hos came wrapped in foil instead of plastic, and were a rare treat due to their higher cost. A much more common treat was Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls, which really taste nothing at all like Ho-Hos. Don’t get me wrong, I like The flavor of the Little Debbie ones quite a bit & often crave them specifically, but they’re as much of a substitute for Ho-Hos as root beer is a substitue for Dr Pepper.
Ho-Hos have also been a birthday tradition for me for a long time. I think it started when I was about 12 or 13, though I really don’t remember for certain. I was never very fond of regular cake because it always had too low of a frosty to cake ratio in each bite. At some point, Ho-Hos became my official birthday cake, instead of a cake full of candles I would get a box of Ho-Hos with candles jammed into it. My birthday this past January was the first time in about two decades that I wasn’t able to have my Ho-Hos cake. McKee Foods (the company behind Little Debbie) seems to be the high bidder for the Drake’s brand products formerly owned by Hostess, which includes products like RingDings and a Ho-Ho-like product called Yodels. I’ve never had (nor even heard of) Yodels before, but maybe they’ll be a good substitute…
I really hope that somebody hurries up and buys the rights to Ho-Hos and starts producing them again, AND that they don’t screw around with the recipe in the process.
Packaging image from Waffle Whiffer.