John Denny has a list of his favorite Pittsburgh lists, and at the very top is this gem:
Pittsburgh ranks #1 In Ho Ho consumption. That's right; Pittsburghers love our Hostess Ho Hos. According to the makers of this wonderful chocolate cake treat, Pittsburgh leads the nation in the shortest shelf life for Ho Ho's. We consume about 1.5 Ho Ho's per person, per day! Buffalo, Cincinnati and Cleveland follow right behind us.Now John's data are a little out of date (the PG reports that the Ho Ho news came out in 2007), and I have to wonder -- wannabe pastry economist that I am -- how the post-2007 surge in cupcake consumption (not to mention the resurgence of Dunkin Donuts in the region) has affected Pittsburgh's Ho Ho affection. Did the Cupcake Class emerge from the end of the Hostess Club? Ho Hos were invented in San Francisco, after all, so perhaps there's a group that is grazing from one high-end pastry to another. Or -- alternatively -- perhaps the Cupcake Class expanded the pie, as it were, building and filling a new market niche (and filling out some waistlines). Does Pittsburgh have a pastry equilibrium, as I suggested earlier this Fall? Or is the region still in transition?
If this is really a Renaissance, then we should expect cannoli to go mainstream.