In the classic 1988 action movie “Die Hard,” besieged NYPD officer John McClane, trapped in a Los Angeles skyscraper with murderous thieves and hostages, is talking to his police-radio buddy on the outside, LAPD Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson).
McClane is trying to fortify himself by eating a “1,000-year-old Twinkie,” and he asks Powell – seen buying the snack cakes earlier in the movie, allegedly for his pregnant wife – “What do they put in these things, anyway?”
Says Powell: “Sugar, enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate-60 and Yellow Dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs.”
Whatever the ingredients of the current iteration of the Twinkie, the ingredients and manufacturing process of our favorite snack foods retain an air of mystery, making one wonder if they can be reproduced in a home kitchen.
That question gets answered Monday, April 21, on Food Network with the premiere of “Rewrapped.” It’s a spinoff of the network’s long-running show “Unwrapped,” which digs into the origins of commercial foods.
That show’s host, Marc Summers, is the head judge on “Rewrapped,” and Joey Fatone is the host.
“I thought Joey would make a great host,” says Summers to Zap2it, “which he is, and they wanted to make me head judge because I am the king of all food such as Twinkies and chocolate chip cookies and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and stuff like that.”
In Round 1, contestants have to re-create the chosen snack food of the day with the goal of making theirs as close as possible to the original in taste, texture and appearance.
“One guy,” says Summers, “one guy made a Hostess cupcake that looked like it just came off the assembly line. I wondered how it got made. He knew the amount of squiggles, and he had it absolutely perfect.
“The taste was 89.6 percent right on the money. Obviously, they’re using different kinds of chocolate or whatever, but not only trying to make it look exactly like it but then making it taste exactly like the product — that was fascinating.”
Then in the second round, the cooks must use the packaged product to make an innovative dish of their own.
“On many episodes,” says Summers, “the people who were in the basement at the end of Round 1 came back and won the thing, because now you have to take that item and do something that’s creative, either sweet or savory.
“When you find out what this guy did with the Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, or what the person did with the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, you go, ‘How did you think of that?’ “