Top 10 iconic junk foods

US food company, Hostess, the maker of the famous/infamous Twinkie, has been much in the headlines as it announced it would be filing for bankruptcy, a victim as much of its own business problems as well as changing consumer tastes. This TIME Top 10 list takes a look at the Twinkie and other American snack icons.

The Twinkie

When the manufacturer of the classic Twinkie snack cake filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a little part of America died. Hostess Brands’ Twinkies have not only been a mainstay on its supermarket shelves and American bellies, they’ve been a staple in its popular culture and, above all, in America’s collective heart. Often criticised for its lack of any nutritional value whatsoever, the Twinkie has managed to persevere as a cultural and gastronomical icon.

Harold Ramis’ character in Ghostbusters famously used a Twinkie to explain psychokinetic energy, and Woody Harrelson’s character in Zombieland willfully tracked down the “spongy, yellow, delicious bastards” throughout the film. An urban legend even claims that Twinkies are so packed with preservatives, they’ll last forever.

Unfortunately, they don’t really have an infinite shelf life, but that doesn’t matter, because Hostess says they’ll continue selling the Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling despite their recent financial woes.

Cheese puffsCheese Puffs

There are few experiences more quintessentially American than finding one’s fingers covered in sticky orange dust, the inevitable result of a cheesy-puff snack attack. Cheese puffs are a puffed-corn snack that also comes in ball and curl varieties. Most famous are Cheetos…


This form of fried dough is beloved the world over. Often glazed or topped with sugar, sometimes filled with jam or custard, their most iconic shape is the round ring (though the holes themselves have become independently popular). Their history is murky…

McDonald’s French Fries

There’s something magical about those golden tubers extending from the bright red McDonald’s fry box. Indeed, the iconic golden arches themselves are reminiscent of those delectable fries. They’ve never pretended to be healthy…

Pork Rinds

Take the fatty skin of a pig and fry it in yet more fat. Pork rinds leave no illusion of health consciousness. The crunchy, puffed snack is crafted from a pig’s undesirable leftovers and spun into something irresistible… Read the full article here