I used to love Hostess Pudding Pies as a kid. We would get them at the Five and Dime in our neighborhood along with Garbage Pail Kids cards as youth in the 80s. I loved that they were slightly frosted and in portable pocket form.
To my surprise, I discovered that they still sell pudding pies at least at Stewart’s Convenience stores in upstate New York (though without the chocolate crust). I opened the packet with some anticipation. The crust is still nice and moist, and the frosting is present as well. The “pudding” though is much, much thicker than I remember. Half the fun as a kid was the messiness of the pudding inside. The chocolatey flavor is a little questionable as well. Overall, the taste does not live up to nostalgia. First of all, post-consumption I noticed that it’s artificially flavored and has artificial colors too. Apparently in the 80s it was artificially flavored too if you look at the package zoom in at the end of the commercial below:
Adding to the buyer’s remorse, I looked at the ingredients list. Holy crap is it a long list. Among the strange ingredients possibly in it are beef fat and animal shortening. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen those additives in sweets (granted I don’t buy these types of snacks often). I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect sweet baked goods to be vegetarian. I won’t be purchasing these again unless of course they change the formula to real food ingredients. I however do still love the fruit based ones, in particular the Lemon flavor.