Taste test: As a longtime resident of New England, Ding Dongs have always been sort of a legendary snack that I could rarely find, but I have had occasional encounters while traveling. Around here, our circular Devil's Food cakes had always been Ring Dings from Drake's. Even after Drake's and Hostess became part of the same company, Ding Dongs were not to be seen. (I did come across an entirely unrelated snack from the Philippines that also used the Ding Dong name, though not in the plural.)
So I was quite surprised to find Ding Dongs at my local drugstore. Apparently we live in a whole new world with the breakup of the vast Hostess/Interstate Brands/Interstate Bakeries empire, as Hostess and Drake's went their separate ways. Much as Drake's introduced Zoinks to compete with Hostess Twinkies, Hostess has brought Ding Dongs into unfamiliar territory to go head-to-head with the revived Ring Dings brand.
The package contained two of the hockey puck-shaped snack cakes. I bit into the first one to find much of the expected formula, with a milk chocolate coating, chocolate cake interior and creme filling in the center. Having eaten many Rings Dings in my youth (thanks Mom!) but few of them in recent years, these didn't seem as good. From the outside, the chocolate coating didn't look as smooth or shiny. Biting in, the chocolate coating seemed less milky, the cake less moist, and the creme similar in taste but less plentiful. Still, it's a Ding Dong, and it's good for your chocolate craving, but I just didn't find these to match up to my memories of Ring Dings.
Smell test: Sweet, creamy milk chocolate and creme. Nice.
From the package: “The sweetest comeback in the history of ever.™”
Online store: Buy snack cakes on Amazon
Company: Hostess Brands, LLC
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This snack was discovered by Jeremy at CVS Health. Review published .