Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Watervliet Wonder Bakery Thriftshop. Wonderous Breaderous.

I love this picture. The Wonder brand sign against the backdrop of a cemetery, it is somehow fitting. As if the sign is lording over its victims. Multitudes of people, arteries clogged with Twinkie filling, are shaking their bony fists from their graves at the sign's primary colored cheeriness. I can hear their ghostly muttering.

This particular Watervliet Wonder Bakery Thriftshop is located on the Troy Schenectady Road. Me and the wife were tooling around when we passed the establishment and we had to make a stop and sightsee.

I spied Captain Cupcake and Twinkie the Kid through the plate glass.

The store is frankly, surreal.

It is colors, oh so many colors. I can taste them.

In Soviet Watervliet, Wonder Bread eats you! I don't really know what to say about this place. Me and the wife and child wandered around this wonderland of artificial flavors, corn syrup, and processed wheat with bemused horror. I almost felt the need to pick up me wee 'un and hold her close. I have spoken about my survivalist tendencies before, but for some reason, that tickle at the base of my spine which urges me to grab the guns, ammunition, and knowledge of old timey methods of food preservation and head for the hills kicked in in this place. The wrongness of what we have done to ourselves by industrializing food production made the blood throb in my temples. Images of wavering fields of genetically modified corn and wheat under clear blue skies shot through my head. Miserable herds of zombie cows in Texas danced across my brain.

I don't often wax political or waste much effort on food activism, but one thing kept occurring to me. The stuff peddled at this location is seriously, shockingly cheap. If my nose was against the grindstone and I had hungry children to feed, would I be able to resist shopping here? If I was not brought up in a pseudo-foody household with hundreds of cookbooks would I even have the knowledge or inclination not to accept Wonder/Hostess products as normal? Fresh meat and produce is expensive, and preparation is time consuming and requires knowledge and equipment. I am not bringing up any new concepts here, but it is not often that the high fallutin' food philosophy that my economic status allows me to maintain is shaken to its core. So much for a nice Sunday drive through the river towns, I was left thoroughly depressed after leaving this joint.

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  1. Yodels and Fruit Pies? Mmmm. Sweeet.

    What is all of that double fiber bread doing in the same store! Clearly some merchandising error.

    I remembering the first time I ever looked at the nutritional information of a fruit pie. Sure they are a treat. But not THAT much of a treat.

    Still, they bring me back. Not that I've had one in the past decade, but now that I know where to get them for even cheaper in the area... I might be just a wee bit tempted.

  2. I used to have a Twinkie th Kid T-Shirt. Good times. Remember Fruit Pie the Magician?

    BTW, there's a Freihofer's outlet on Delaware Ave. Same deal except no Hostess Cupcakes

  3. Have you been to the Freihofer's outlets? I wonder how this place ranks in terms of how stale the items are.

    I like to hop in for the occasional sweet, but I don't think they're that bad.

  4. Whoa. I was in one of these once, in Colorado Springs, CO. Surreal is a good word for it.

    Did they have Oatmeal Pies? I don't remember who makes them, but they are a serious weakness of mine. I only have them once every year or two, but I was contemplating how disturbing they are the other day. I'm a CSA member. I grew up vegetarian (no more!), on whole grains. I'm well versed on the evils of the industrialized food system... and still, I will eat the fu*k out of an Oatmeal Pie.

  5. The Freihofer's outlet on Delaware has some great whole wheat stuff- you just need to know what to look for and read your labels. Also the occasional Corn Toastie never killed anybody.

    Dave it seems to me a fair number of folks in that cemetery may have had a few too many $1 Banquet meals along with their Twinkies...


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