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…
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
Back to life, back to reality.