By Sierra Tishgart
Day of the Dead Twinkies by Nancy Peppin.
The fate of Hostess is still in limbo, but one artist is bringing attention to the nationwide outcry for more Twinkies. Nancy Peppin makes Twinkie-inspired art, using mediums such as watercolor, mixed media, and creative writing to express her love for the "ultimate American food icon." It gets stranger; her "Twinkies in history series" shows how she thinks Charles Darwin and Leonardo da Vinci would have portrayed Twinkies in journals and books. One of her pieces includes the prolific passage, "Twinkies radiate out from the spring St. Louis breeding area to the summer nesting habitats throughout the world. Populations are heaviest in the North American 7-11 meridian." So is her beloved, possibly extinct Twinkie now just a cultural artifact?
She did title a painting 'The Last Snack.'
By Hugh Merwin
Hey, don't worry, that creepy white guy in the Rayon tie and sweater vest who watches you from the street every time you enjoy some fried chicken on the privacy of your balcony — who happens to also haunt your family picnics and is the same guy who ogles you while you wait for your laundry to finish drying — isn't coming to come murder you later on, he just wants you to save him a thigh. This drab new ad for South African fast-food chain Chicken Licken's new "Soul Fire" line shows that even fast-food stalkers need a little bit of new flavor every now and then.
Creepy people get hungry, too.
By Hugh Merwin
Homaro Cantu uses his noodle.Photo: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images
Eight years ago, the Chicago chef Homaro Cantu, who regularly serves guests edible menus and "prints" flavors like broccoli and Cheddar using rapid prototyping machines, was contacted by a friend on behalf of a chemotherapy patient who could no longer taste food. "She said everything she chewed tasted like metal and rubber," he says. Because the 36-year-old chef develops flavors and invents techniques for corporations in his spare time, Cantu approached the problem of the chemo patient's lost appetite like any other fully funded research project, synchronizing his innovative and do-gooder impulses. He ordered thousands of spices and industrial flavor compounds, and back in the restaurant kitchen, he and his team set out plates of rubber bands and aluminum in at the top, like some demented food pyramid. "My pastry chef and I got to work," says Cantu, "chewing on tin foil and rubber for weeks at a time in different combinations with other ingredients just trying to figure out how to change the taste."
"Our product will be cheaper than sugar."