I roadtest the quintessential American snack, and try to avoid instant heart failure.
Six years ago on this blog (christ) I started a thing called Incredible Inedibles, in which I would subject myself to eating weird foods, usually sourced from my local Asian supermarket, after which I would try not to die and then write about the experience for your reading pleasure.
Past Inedibles included the horribly named but inexplicably popular drink Pocari Sweat, American "cereal" and Christian mind control substance Lucky Charms, and Japanese turdy stumps, all of which were marginally more tolerable than setting oneself on fire.
But since I'm now living in the land of the free, home of the brave and nation of the unnecessary foodstuff (that's how the American anthem goes, right?) I've decided, despite my better judgement, to resurrect Incredible Inedibles.
Today the part of my stomach will be played by Steve Carell.
And what better weird food to kick things off than that quintessential Americana snack - the Twinkie.
Looks harmless enough...
The side of the box describes the Twinkie as a "golden sponge cake with creamy filling". This is entirely correct, if your understanding of "sponge cake" is "a collection of chemicals" and you define "creamy filling" as "squishy white stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with cream".
There are in fact 37 ingredients in a Twinkie, most with appealing names such as "Calcium sulfate" and "Polysorbate 60". Despite the promise of "creamy filling", there is no dairy in a Twinkie, which is why it can stay fresh on the shelf without refrigeration for 26 days.
YES, THIS SHIT STAYS PERKY FOR TWENTY SIX DAYS. How are stomach acids even a match for this thing? It is basically the food equivalent of the Terminator. There is a distinct possibility it may reform post-digestion and rise up out of the toilet bowl to kill me.
Which brings me to the eating part.
Biting into a Twinkie is rather like giving up on life. As you put the sugary, slightly stale finger on your tongue and taste the odd, fake-butter flavour you're basically sending a message to your brain that you no longer care about sustaining it, or any of the other useless lumps of meat inside you that supposedly "keep you alive".
Take THAT, body!
The snack's ludicrously white filling also ensures you will be blinded - if not by eventual diabetes, than by the light which reflects off it with the force of a million suns.
Little known fact: Stevie Wonder used to be a huge Twinkies fan. USED to be.
I guess what I'm saying is, Twinkies taste a bit like death. But not the pretty come-to-the-light, surrounded-by-angels death. It's more like this:
It's a very specific vision I have.
In summary: Twinkies are frightening. Also: I need some broccoli, stat.