My first and last Tastykake

July 21, 2011

I had my my first and last experience with a TastyKake. Growing up in California, I had never had the brand Tastykake before. We had ding dongs, and Twinkies, and zingers, but no Tastykake products. 

Well today at work someone brought in some so I finally had the chance (not that I was waiting for an opportunity) to taste one. The one that I had was called a peanut butter Kandy Kakes. Apparently it is a "milk chocolate coated treat...beloved for their vanilla sponge cake lined with peanut butter..." 

My first impression, nothing to write home about. It was almost too sweet. The peanut butter tasted like you would expect from a highly processed food. I am sure if I had ever had it as a young child, tasting it now would bring back those memories, but for me it really didn't do much.

And then I turned the package over. I avoided looking at the ingredients list the entire time it was sitting on my desk. I knew if I looked I wouldn't want to eat it. So I waited until it was safely consumed before analyzing. I don't even know why I looked. I could have guessed at the ingredients. I guess in the back of my mind I was hoping it would be better. I was hoping that they were the type of company that had not changed their recipe in 90 years. 

Sugar, Peanut Butter, Partially Hydrogenated And Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (Palm Kernel, Canola, Rapeseed, Cottonseed, And/Or Soybean Oils), Bleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate-B1, Riboflavin-B2, Folic Acid), Water, Whey (Milk), Eggs, Cocoa, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono And Diglycerides, Salt, Cornstarch, Skim Milk, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Soy Lecithin, Butter, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Propylene Glycol Monostearate, Isolated Soy Protein, Xanthan Gum, Tapioca Starch, Cinnamon, Sorbic Acid (To Preserve Freshness), Nutmeg, Food Starch Modified, Pectin, Citric Acid, Dextrose, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid.
So the first ingredient is sugar (at least it isn't high fructose corn syrup, that comes later), then peanut butter, and then partially hydrogenated oil. I guess I could expect that sugar was first, although the majority of the cake seemed to be... well...cake. So I would think flour would have been higher up there. But it was quite sweet. And I don't think I have ever seen partially hydrogenated oil up so high on the list. Third ingredient! Now the funny thing is that on the nutrition facts label, trans fat says 0g. Well it obviously has some due to the partially hydrogenated oil, so I would venture to guess it has an amount very close to the 0.5g per serving while still staying under to account for the 0 designation. (For those unfamiliar with the labeling law about trans fat I will write a post about it shortly.)

So I wasted 180 calories (not that I ever count) on a transfat-laden, highly processed snack food. I am not into feeling guilty about the food I consume, however it does motivate me to continue on my path to real food, even if that real food includes real butter, real sugar, real chocolate, real milk, real peanut butter - all the ingredients needed to make a homemade version of a tastykake.

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