The other night at a holiday party, the Rice-A-Roni jingle was getting quite a lot of play (not at all unusual for the types of parties I attend). Once performed, the song is on perpetual replay in everyone's mind until replaced by something equally infectious; the jingle eventually led to intense and provocative discussions of other processed foods and pre-packaged meal-aids like Hamburger Helper and Shake 'N Bake. With equal parts pride and embarrassment, I had to admit that in all my years, I had never tried any of these products (fancy, name-brand items were reserved for the rich and famous). For better or worse, we were raised without the benefit of many packaged and processed foods; that meant no "San Francisco Treat," no TV dinners, and definitely no Hostess Sno Ball snack cakes.
All these years my parents deprived us of the "Energy snack!"
On the way home from the same party we were listening to a stellar, Christmas music mix that included "It's A Marshmallow World," as performed by the inimitable Darlene Love (a welcome replacement for the ringing bell of a San Francisco cable car). After a full night's sleep of digesting lyrics like "It's a yum-yummy world," "It's a whipped cream day," "In winter it's a marshmallow world," and "The world is your snowball," I kid you not when I woke up and exclaimed aloud, "SNO BALL CAKE!!!" Thus, the next entry into our wacky tacky Kitsch-en Kounter was born. It's like the song was written by Hostess as jingle for it's snowy, pink treats.
Obviously, reproduction Sno Balls are not an original concept.
This vintage ad for Swift'ning Shortening shows that cotton
candy-colored coconut cakes are a perennial favorite.
|The inspiration - a rich, devil's food cake filled with cream, covered |
in a layer of marshmallow and dusted with bright PINK coconut.
Don't get me wrong Mr. Presley, your "Blue Christmas" may be second only in colorful, yuletide magic to Mr. Crosby's "White Christmas," but I think that I have forever been converted to a PINK Christmas!
|My Sno Ball is a three-layer, devil's food cake with whipped-cream filling. |
The icing is a pink-tinted, marshmallow buttercream with dyed-to-match coconut.
Now is the time when I must admit that I still have not had an official Sno Ball snack cake; I didn't save any room after indulging in a hefty slice of my own creation. Beyond their 1940's provenance and ultra-kooky aesthetic (immortalized in John Waters' Hairspray), I think Sno Ball's are best appreciated from afar (or in the form of a homemade dessert).
"It's A Marshmallow World" - Darlene Love
Have you ever had a Sno Ball or Rice-A-Roni for that matter? In what color do you dream your Christmases?
p.s. If you've got a hankering for a Sno Ball, you're welcome to come over. I have a dozen with your name on them! Ho-Ho-Hostess, Merry Christmas!