Welcome to yet another review of the 100 foods an omnivore in DC should partake of. Read the full list.
Hostess fruit pies? Now, Hostess cupcakes, yes. Twinkies, certainly. But fruit pies, you say? I’d never heard of such a thing. Of course, this is not surprising, because I grew up in a household full of whole grains, fresh fruits, low-fat, and no sugar. I ate cheerios and grape nuts while the rest of you folks chowed down on coco puffs and fruit loops. In fact, my first birthday cake was not a cake at all, it was a rice cake with peanut butter, no lie. (My parents had cake, traitors.) (Hi, Mom and Dad!) So when I looked at the Omnivores 100 list, made my picks and saw Hostess Fruit Pies, I thought, “well, there’s a way to make up for lost time.”
So I set out to find them. I went to Giant. No fruit pies. I checked the Court House CVS, nope, not there either. I checked the Foggy Bottom Walgreens. NO PIES! I finally complained to my boyfriend (and partner in crime during my Omni 100 adventures), who burst out laughing. “You’ve gotta go lower class than that! Fruit Pies are not a classy food, Katie.” So fine. I downgraded my standards. On a whim, we checked the CVS near Federal Triangle, you know, the one facing the park where everybody skateboards? AH HA! A cornucopia of Hostess corn-syrup treats. We selected Cherry, Apple and Lemon and checked out. For $1.29 each, they were surprisingly large, and thick.
So we carried them home to our feast. I got ready, did a little googling, and decided the best way to eat them was to warm them up. And then I made a grave mistake; I looked at the nutrition label. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A FRUIT PIE? Between 470 and 490 for 4.5 oz of food! If you’re not a big calorie counter, and are scoffing at me right now, I then ask you – DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TRANS FAT IS IN A FRUIT PIE? 1.5 grams! EW! My heart is clogged already. My roommate, the biggest anti-trans fat advocate ever, is probably keeling over reading this. Also, there’s one ingredient that makes me squirm. BEEF FAT. Ewwwww. I mean, I guess I eat beef fat when I eat beef, but not usually on/in my pastries. Matt (the bf), who is a high school chemistry teacher, recognizes red algae as another ingredient (disguised for us lay-people as agar). It’s apparently used to thicken the filling, according to Mr. Science Teacher (and Wired Magazine). See below.
So, with fear, I busted them open. The lemon had something that looked a bit like mold on the outside. Strike two. We threw the lemon away, not without nibbling on a corner. See, I’m dedicated. The corner was actually kind of tasty. Sugary, buttery (read: trans fat city!) but really, quite delicious. There has to be a reason these are on the list, so we stuck our two other 1,000-ish calories worth of food in the toaster oven. Hmm… they smell good. Hmm… really good. They’re looking warm, and fluffy. And smelling like a bakery. Yum!
I take a tentative bite and… hmm, tastes a little bit like a doughnut. With glazing. Mmm… I have the apple, Matt has the cherry. He’s digging in, exclaiming it’s surprisingly good. We swap. Yup, they’re both good. And before we started eating, we had agreed that we were only going to eat a little. We decided we DO NOT need 400 calories worth of beef fat, algae, trans fat, and high fructose corn syrup. Yet here Matt is trying to convince me to let him eat the whole thing. I considered it, momentarily. It was uncannily good. The apples in the apple pie (if they were apples) were crispy and warm. Cinnamon-y, even. But, since Matt and I are both struggling to fit into our pants for winter, together we ate about half of each pie.
All in all, yup! I’d give it a one-time shot. You should too. Despite the gross ingredients, it’s pretty delicious, actually. Gooey, warm, “fruit”-y, and sugary. Kind of makes up for my lack of birthday cake. Kind of.
Photos courtesy of Flickr user Needlessspaces