Ecto Cooler Twinkies?!

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Was there such a thing as Ecto Cooler Twinkies? Well, NO, but bear with me.

Old news: Ecto Cooler was the Slimer-fronted Hi-C flavor, made to capitalize on the popularity of The Real Ghostbusters. The flavor overachieved, and Slimer seemed to remain on those boxes even after his superstar status diminished.

Ecto Cooler would live on even without Slimer on the boxes, and the actual flavor formula would survive for even longer, under another name.

After ten years’ worth of assorted articles about this, I felt like I’d written all I could write about Ecto Cooler.

But then I saw THIS…

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About a week ago, I was enjoying another brainless Wikipedia marathon, gobbling up information on incredibly trivial topics for no good reason at all.

I can’t remember the chain of links that led me to the Hostess Zingers entry, but there I was.

Still produced today, Zingers are basically “decorated Twinkies.” The vanilla version is the most Twinkie-like, looking much like the more-famous cake, but with a thick stripe of frosting on top. (They also come in raspberry and chocolate flavors, with more intense retoolings.)

Zingers’ Wikipedia entry seemed mostly unremarkable… until I got up to the “marketing” section.

Wowza.

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First was a note about how Zingers were advertised in a series of commercials starring the Peanuts gang, and that information checked out.

No big deal, but the next paragraph?

Look at the part I highlighted.

What the hell? There was an ECTO COOLER version of Zingers? Green-dyed cakes with orange frosting?! My world was suddenly turned upside-down.

In my heart, I knew that this couldn’t be true. There was no way that I wouldn’t have seen one mention of these in all of my years spent researching Ecto Cooler. That didn’t stop me from writing to Hostess, who could only confirm that they had no archival information available to confirm or deny.

Heavy Googling turned up some vague references, but nothing concrete. My theory was that two or three people were confusing Ecto Cooler with the just-as-legendary Hostess “Turtle Pies,” fronted by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (There were a few who reminisced about probably-imaginary “Slimer Pies.”)

Even now, I have no hard proof either way, and can only trust my gut feeling that the information on Wikipedia was wrong. If there’s a part of me that believes otherwise, it’s only because Zingers is such a strange brand for there to be any misinformation about.

My educated guess is that someone who likes adding things to Wikipedia had messy memories about old junk food. Believe me, this is a case where I’d be THRILLED to be proven wrong.

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Even if false, the description of Ecto Cooler Zingers still sounded phenomenal. Green cakes with orange frosting! I had to see them for myself, and there was only one way to make that happen.

First, I dyed a bunch of Twinkies. (Buying a box of Zingers wouldn’t have worked, since I could never remove the wrong-colored icing without destroying the cakes.)

Dyeing Twinkies is harder than it sounds, at least when following this online guide. My job was to essentially paint them, using a mix of food coloring and water, all while trying not to get them too wet.

After letting the newly-green Twinkies settle, it was time to add the icing. It might have been easy to find orange icing back in October, but in January, I had to make my own. I used vanilla frosting and the perfect blend of red and yellow food coloring.

Here’s how they came out:

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Yeah, they’re pretty hideous, but on the off-chance that Ecto Cooler Zingers ever existed, they would’ve looked something like this. Green Twinkies with orange icing.

As was the case with the Ecto Cooler Hi-C flavor, the real thrill would’ve been in the marketing. Specifically, the idea that you were eating something so closely associated with Slimer. I can just imagine the boxes, with Slimer peering out from behind that big “Z.”

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I’m 99% sure that Ecto Cooler Zingers never existed, but since the rumor gave me an excuse to spend the weekend painting Twinkies, this wasn’t a complete loss.

Also, wouldn’t it be odd for there to have been Ecto Cooler Zingers and not Ecto Cooler Twinkies? There was a major Twinkies reference in the movie, after all. I need to stop thinking about this.

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Back to life, back to reality.


84 Responses to Ecto Cooler Twinkies?!

  1. Yep. That’s it. dyed green coconut shavings!

  2. Received a reply from Hostess, unfortunately it doesn’t clear anything up.

    January 7, 2014

    Dear Nicholas Herum ,

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    We are always happy to help our consumers with their research. Unfortunately we do not have any archive information from the previous companies.

    If you would like to speak to someone directly regarding your request, please contact us at 800-483-7253. Our office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday Thru Friday, Central Time.

    Again, thank you for contacting Hostess Brands, LLC..

    Sincerely,

    Bianca ****
    Consumer Response Representative

  3. I hate that I haven’t been here in so long because I wish I had seen this sooner. I have no recollection of Ecto Zingers, but I want them to be real so badly. And the ones you made look wondermous, Matt. I would definitely try to make these, albeit using Zingers instead of Twinkies. I think I would use orange frosting, though. The frosting is pretty easy to peel off of Zingers. You may not get it off in one piece, but you can definitely get it off without destroying the cake.

    I kind of disagree with the Zingers/Twinkies comparison, though. I love me some Zingers. I have for as long as I can remember, back when they were made by Dolly Madison. I think they’re so much better than Twinkies, and it’s more than the frosting. It’s the consistency of the cake itself. I could take or leave Twinkies but I will always eat the hell out of some Zingers.

    I’m pretty sure Zingers were being made by Dolly Madison back when Ecto Cooler was a thing and back when The Real Ghostbusters was on the air. That would explain why there were Ecto Zingers (if there were Ecto Zingers) and not Ecto Twinkies. Also, I was thinking that maybe that was why Hostess had no record of them, because they didn’t make Zingers back then. But then I read, “Unfortunately we do not have any archive information from the previous companies,” in Nicholas Herum’s post, so…I honestly don’t know anymore. I want to believe, dammit!

    Oh, and the Dolly Madison products didn’t have Peanuts themed flavors…the Peanuts characters were just their…mascots or something, kind of like how Dennis the Menace was on Dairy Queen cups back in the day.

    I really like Zingers, you guys.

  4. I’m going to make these also maybe for like a Halloween party, thanks for the good idea Matt. Food coloring, pure genius!

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