Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ring Ding vs. Ding Dong. Discuss

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.


Anonymous said...

My household was a Tastykake household, but the one Drake's product that we often had was the Yodel (which I still love) - since there is nothing comparable in the Tastykake line. I have a definite bias toward Tastykake, but merely out of habit. I don't believe I've ever even eaten a Twinkie or a Ding Dong, though I think I may have had a fruit pie once or twice.

Really looking forward to my salad for lunch, now. Thanks alot, BA!

Anna van Schurman said...

I love the peanut butter so I'm afraid I am a fan of the Funny Bones. I've NEVER eaten a Twinkie but in high school I practically lived on Hostess Apple Fruit Pies.

Here's a Smitten Kitchen recipe for you. I remember seeing this on not martha because my cousin bakes cakes and her husband loves Ding Dongs or one of those sorts of things.

Amy said...

Being from Ohio, I have never had a Drakes Cake — they're pretty much an East coast thing, right? The first I ever heard of them was probably when Rosie O'Donnell got her TV show and talked about them all the time.

My Oma was always a fan of Ho-Hos, so every time we were over at her place, we had some. I liked to eat the chocolate layer first, then lick all the cream filling off of the cake part, and eat the cake last.

My personal preference is for the Little Debbie Nutty Bar. I eat those layer by layer as well. (Yes, I know I'm strange!)

ScottE. said...

Wisconsin is/was Hostess land, so the Ding Dongs were king for me! I used to get them from my grandma when I was little. Then I didn't have them for AGES! In my early 20's I was in a store and saw them...I forgot the rest of my groceries and bought a box and went home. A little bit of heaven.

I've yet to have a Drakes Cake.

Lana Gramlich said...

Gads, what memories you've brought up! I haven't had a bonafide Yodel in years. Haven't seen Wise chips in at least as long.
I learned recently that Twinkies are 64% air, so I won't buy them anymore. I hate paying for air!
On the other hand, since moving back to the states, I DO see Entenmann's cakes here & there. horribly delicious!

Archivalist said...

Is the Ding Dong the same as the old Big Wheel? (Remember the commercial with "Chief Big Wheel"?) It's always been Hostess for me. I too have never had a Drakes product.

Brave Astronaut said...

J in PA - well you seem to be recharging with onion wrapped bacon.

Anna - right there with you on the Funny Bone.

Amy - We had cupcakes last night that Mrs. BA made. Several of us ate the cake first and then ate the frosting. To each his/her own. I have a weakness for Little Debbie's, too, but that is a remnant from my ex-wife.

Scott - Being the high faluting chef that you are now, perhaps that's best. But they are certainly a comfort food to be enjoyed alone.

Lana - But the air is just so sweet! Don't even get me started on the Entemann's chocolate chip cookies.

Archivalist - I really wish Hulu would have period commercials. I would watch those just as much.

Dan said...

BA, We really must talk snack cakes next time I see you. Really.

Unknown said...

both ring dings and ding dongs are made by same corp whuch owns drakes and hostess. this of recent event.

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nutballgazette said...

Back when the product now known as a Ring Ding came out it was known as a "Ring Ding Junior", The Ring Ding was a much bigger product,
In the New York area Drakes were the dominate product, Hostess made by the same company that made Wonder bread really only had Twinkies, Sno Balls and a few other products,
Now both products are made by the same company as is Dolly Madison Cakes,
We did get in the Mid-70s in Long Island Tasty Cakes which to me is the best Snack Cake out there,
Also available on Long Island and New England was Table Talk Pies available as a Take Home fresh baked pie family size and single serve pies, (They also made Restaurant size pies for Diners

Unknown said...

It's either a Ford household or your a Chevy....Buick or an Olds...we were Drakes and my fave was the Ring Ding and the Yodel. Question just came up on Facebook and it's 2014... Just goes to show you...the really good things stay around forever...great memories.. Thanks for keeping them alive