Best Place to Be Fondly Reminded of Your S.F. Childhood - 2003
Wonder Bread/Hostess Bakery
Like most urban areas, San Francisco offers some, uh, interesting scents to tickle our metropolitan noses. But one place produces a delightful odor that shocks us right back to our callow youth: the Wonder Bread/Hostess Bakery. Walking past the old brick factory near SOMA on a calm day, we can inhale deeply and catch that delicious synthetic-spongecake-ribbon-of-raspberry-jam-soft-creamy-center waft of a bygone era. It brings us back to our junior high school cafeteria, where the only respite from pre-pubescent politicking was the sweet treat in the bottom of our lunch bag. At the Wonder Bread/Hostess Bakery, the kitchen still makes Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and other pastry-ish delectables. Sure, they're processed to within an inch of edibility and full of (insert disease here)-causing chemicals, but they're also mighty tasty. As adults, we're supposed to practice self-control by not shoving Ho Hos into our mouths by the fistful. Fortunately, the passing aroma of those treats lets us imagine a time when that was not only acceptable, but expected.