Every weekday morning in the early 1990s, my parents would stop at the gas station before dropping me off at school. I always went straight for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Puddin’ Pies from Hostess. These snacks disguised as breakfast were filled with mutagen goo and covered in a radioactive green color coating. Each pie came with a yellow TMNT sticker, as well. It was basically the best thing ever to a kid at the time.
Singing this song endlessly is a requirement of making Turtle Pies.
As was the fate of Ecto-Cooler, the marketing tie-in eventually faded away and with it a delicious piece of junk food history. For years, I’ve been craving the taste, still assuming it was a magical delight. Why couldn’t Hostess just bring back vanilla pudding pies that weren’t TMNT branded? They make a chocolate pudding variety. Would it really be such a stretch?
No one can ever rightfully accuse me of bring unfair. After all, I gave Hostess more than two decades to make this happen, but could wait no more. That’s when I commissioned a round of fresh baked Turtle Pies.
The ingredients were simple: pie crust, powdered sugar, a can of pudding, and food coloring. The results? Well… Let’s come back to that.
According to Wikipedia, pies started showing up at 9500 BC. Since then, pies have been home baked, grease fried, packaged for your grocer’s freezer, stuffed with preservatives for road food, and beyond.
Sadly, my commissioned homemade variant of Turtle Pies were a let down. The form turned out better than expected, however, employing a special foil-in-a-tiny-pan method.
Upon cooking, most of the mutagen goo seeped out of the pies and all over the aluminum oven tray. Luckily, the applied glaze added the special toxic green glow I had hoped, building excitement until the moment of truth. The pudding mishap aside, they looked beautiful.
I picked a side of the taco-shaped pie and took a bite. That’s when my world shattered. These Turtle Pies, unfortunately, were not good.
In the last 11,514 years, not ever once has any restaurant served up a fresh baked version of the classic snack pie we have grown accustomed to seeing at convenience stores. I think this is pretty revealing information in and of itself.
Perhaps, this style of pie is not meant to be enjoyed freshly made. Maybe the charm comes in tearing apart wrapping to discover whether or not you purchased a smashed pie.
Of course, there’s a more distressing way to interpret these results: facing the facts that the Turtle Pies I fondly remember were actually never good and these commissioned pies were a spot-on recreation of the original. Usually, homemade pies are better than anything purchased at a store. Could these have actually been an improvement upon the original?
Was this a case of Turtle Pie FAIL or was it a much needed wake-up call? The truth is in the shine.
How about you? Have you ever tried to recreate a snack from the past? Or do you just live off the memories of Turtle Pies?