This particular discussion made an appearance at the lunch table some time ago. Growing up, I was exposed more often than not to Drakes Cakes products, of which I believe the Ring Ding is the "flagship" of the line. Ring Dings used to come individually wrapped in in foil and there was an ongoing contest to see if you could get the foil off in one piece and then completely flatten it without ripping it. Ring Dings and their long caked cousin, the Yodel were mainstays in the lunch bags of my youth. I would still be eating them more often if I looked less like a Ring Ding. Luckily my son did not develop the sweet tooth his father has so he doesn't even look for them. He does have a salty tooth and will often come looking around if we are having potato chips and will ask in his little voice, "May I have another chip?" But I digress.
If you are looking for that gift for the Brave Astronaut that has everything, you can always go here and buy me a box of treats. There are few if any of the products found there that I wouldn't eat if put in front of me (except perhaps the Yankee Doodle, I'm not that fond of their chocolate cake, which would thereby extend to the Devil Dog).
The lunch table discussion revolved around the differences / similarities between Drakes products and Hostess products. Hostess is of course the company that provides the world with its Twinkie fix, which I may have also eaten my fair share of in my youth. Given their interminable shelf life, Twinkies and cockroaches may be the items that survive our decline. My parents have friends in Bermuda, where food prices are astronomical as everything has to be shipped in to the 26-mile long island. When they would visit, they would often pack a second suitcase of foodstuffs, including Twinkies for their children who had developed a taste for them in the states. I wonder what they would think of the now ubiquitous Fried Twinkie.
Hostess does offer a comparable alternative to the Ring Ding, known as the Ding Dong, in fact they counter with a similar alternative to the entire Drake's line (with the exception of the Drake's Funny Bone, which is a yodel filled with peanut butter). I will go on the record here that I prefer the Drake's line over Hostess, but I can't necessarily tell you why. I think it is just a factor of what one is used to and this is especially relevant in the area of "comfort foods." This is probably why I was sad to move to the DC are and not be able to find Wise products because of the glut of Utz products in the DC area.
The discussion above all leads to this blog post, which I read some time ago. It seems that a restaurant here in DC has begun offering the "Cking Ding" on their dessert menu. It occurs to me that Mrs. Brave Astronaut and I never did go out to dinner for our anniversary . . .
Update: Colorado Kitchen closed in June 2008.