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Counterfeit Coffee Break

This afternoon, faced with a daunting stack of final papers and exams to grade, Counterfeit Chic slipped out to a local coffeeshop (which shall remain nameless) for a restorative cup of tea.  Naturally, I paused to consider the latest sugary temptations -- and did a double take.  There, displayed behind glass, were row upon row of chocolate cupcakes with a bold black-and-white label:  Faux Hostess.

As the survivor of a nutritionally strict childhood, I'm not much of an expert on branded snacks -- real or fake.  My esteemed colleague and spouse, however, has considerably more experience in this regard and offered his palate in the service of research.  According to his analysis, the copycake was visually a dead ringer for the Hostess original:  chocolate cake, shiny chocolate ganache icing, signature 7-loop white icing stripe, cream-filled interior.  More detailed examination revealed a superior taste (more intensely chocolate) and denser texture.  While he expressed a certain nostalgic longing for the cellophane wrapping around the original, not to mention the lower price, it seemed that the copy was actually a sweeter treat.

Back online, it quickly became apparent that my favorite caffeine merchant is not the only producer of contraband carbohydrates.  Recipes (and accompanying trademark disclaimers) abound, leading one to wonder:  what is the point of spending extra money and time in the kitchen to imitate an inexpensive, mass-produced, convenience food available from virtually any grocery store?

And are the superfake bakers likely to get burned by the Hostess legal department?


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