Monday, February 7, 2011

Tastykake- Like Fuel for the Rustbelt

It had to be more than a coincidence that two people in the span of two weeks asked me if I knew about Tastykake brand products. Person #1, a San Francisco-based queer boy raised in Tennessee, had just returned from a trip to New York and made a special trip to Philadelphia where he procured a suitcase filled with said kakes. Oh my god I said. I haven't thought about Tastykakes in over a decade. Not long after, my dear friend, a Minneapolis-based queer girl raised in Missouri, g-chatted with me asking if I were familiar with the TKs. Wow I typed. You're the second person to ask me about these. I didn't realize they were from Pennsylvania. Her friend, another Minnesotan, had just returned from her homeland of Philly and - you get the pattern?- brought a suitcase filled with Tastykakes.


I grew up in Pittsburgh and have been away long enough to have shed the majority of my childhood trauma meaning I can have hometown pride about the area-specific foods: Heinz ketchup (consumed by the gallon), Primanti's sandwiches, chipped ham, pretzel salad, and other items that are accent-inducing.

Imagine my surprise when I received a box last week from New Jersey (?) that contained half a dozen Tastyklairs! A sort of Boston Cream Pie/eclair hybrid, it was by far my fondest memory of what I'm sure were hundreds and hundreds of Kakes devoured throughout my sullen upbringing.

My PMS is at threat level orange so, save for 1.75 Kakes, I devoured these within several days. You what's horrifying? This multiplied by 5.25:

4 oz.
Ingredients Water, Unbleached And Bleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate-B1, Riboflavin-B2, Folic Acid), Sugar, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil and/or Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid Added to Preserve Freshness), Eggs, Skim Milk, Cornstarch, Food Starch Modified, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Chocolate, Salt, Butter, Corn Syrup, Cocoa Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid (to Preserve Freshness), Cellulose Gum, Agar, Artificial Flavor. 

Surely one of the highlights of living in the digital age is that we can order anything in the world! Plus, now that food companies have webpages, we consumers can know the full menu of their fare. I thought Tastykake had about 4 or 5 pies to their name because that's all I ever saw at Giant Eagle, Shop 'n Save or Viola's.

Take a look at this:

Our personalized pies have made sure that pie isn't just a holiday treat! With a light, flaky crust and sweet – sometimes tart – fillings, Tastykake Pies have flavors for everyone’s daily pleasure, including lemon, peach, apple, blueberry and of course, our much-loved custard-filled Tasty-Klair. Why not enjoy one today? It’s easy as... well, pie.
  • Apple Pie
  • Peach Pie
  • Lemon Pie
  • Blueberry Pie
  • French Apple Pie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Tasty Klair Pie
  • Strawberry Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pineapple Cheese Pie
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • Egg Nog Pie
  • Cheesecake Pie
  • Chocolate Lover's Pie
  • Summer Berry Pie
  • Mint Chocolate Pie
  • Rita's Mango Pie
Who is Rita and why have I never laid eyes nor tongue on her mango?? Pineapple cheese pie? That would have rocked my Butler-county world. 
You know what jerked right out of my Yinzer k-hole? News that Tastykake is GOING GREEN. The rust belt recycles!

1 comment:

  1. Haha, yea Tastykake products are pretty awesome. The Lemon and Chocolate pies are my fave!