DC Omnivore 100: #77, Hostess Fruit Pies

Fruit Pies

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!

Warm'n them up

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.

Cherry Fruit Pie

Photos courtesy of Flickr user Needlessspaces

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

8 thoughts on “DC Omnivore 100: #77, Hostess Fruit Pies

  1. You people have never had Hostess Fruit Pies? And you didn’t EAT THE WHOLE THING? What planet are you from?

    These are a fantastic snack while you’re traveling on a greyhound bus. True that you can’t heat them up, but when the bus stops for yet another smoke break (depending on the tastes of the driver) you can grab one of these and be set with hours worth of calorie goodness!

  2. These were my official “give to the homeless guy at the corner” treat, and he loved them. Long after he got canned on a misdemeanor charge and subsequently released 3 months later he never forgot those pies, and would ask if I had any more of them in my pantry.

  3. In my own defense, you did have lots of birthday cakes over the years (yellow cake with chocolate frosting was your favorite). Ok, so we kept you away from sweets until you were two. Aren’t you glad you didn’t grow up on fruit pies?

  4. You WARMED it?!? And…and…you ate it with a FORK?!! Good lord, what kind of blue-blooded patrician are you?

    The proper way to eat a Hostess Fruit Pie is straight outta the wrapper with your hands, leaning over a trashcan at the 7-11 so any sugary filling goop that squirts out doesn’t ruin your authentic replica Def Leppard union jack shirt.

    Note: this is also the proper way to eat a 1/4-pound Big Bite with chili, cheese, and onions…wait. What’s that? You’ve NEVER HAD a 1/4-pound Big Bite with chili, cheese, and onions?? What the hell!??? Who ARE you people?!

  5. Greg, I can’t account for the tastes and experiences of my wonderful WLDC colleagues. It amazes me that such cultured people had never had Hostess pies. She probably has never owned a Def Leppard t-shirt either.

    These are great snacks. Unfortunately, they are out of my diet since they have beef tallow or pig balls or whatever is in them. These are a bit like Vienna sausages – delicious but don’t look at what’s in them.

  6. That was hilarious, that goes for the comments as well. Coincidentally, the Fed Triangle CVS also has a wide variety of Turkey Hill items, which, if you are in-the-PA-know, are amazingly delightful. Esp the lemon tea.