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Will the real Twinkie please stand up?

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Twinkie should feel adored. A group tasted seven cream-filled sponge cakes to determine if they could identify the real thing. “Trying to knock off a Twinkie is like trying to copy the Mona Lisa,” Hannah Arnold of Hostess Brands wrote in an e-mail. Two in the group could identify the real thing. “It’s funny how they all seemed too sweet to me,” said taster Gail Munroe. “I always loved Twinkies, but maybe my taste is maturing.”

HOSTESS TWINKIES

$3.99 for 10

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“Love the extra cream. Possible Twinkie,” “good but not the real one,” “sweet,” “bad aftertaste.”

LITTLE DEBBIE CLOUD CAKES

$2.99 for 10

These came onto the market in 2011. “Lemon moist and creamy,” “the real one,” “a little chewy but soft,” “strong taste — don’t like.”

MARKET BASKET GOLDEN CREME CAKES

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$2 for 6

“Nice and creamy, soft, a little lemony,” “not too sweet — good,” “dry,” “old.”

MRS. FRESHLEY’S DREAMIES CREME-FILLED CAKES

$1 for 2

“Eew,” “yuck-awful taste,” “dry,” “old.”

SARA LEE GOLDEN CREME CAKES

$3.99 for 8

Out since August. “Lemon flavor, good,” “not too sweet, soft, and not a lot of cream; the real one,” “creamy cake is OK but not a real Twinkie.”

TASTYKAKE DREAMIES CREME KAKES

$4.49 for 10

“Too dry, weird texture, not too sweet, and hard to swallow,” “harsh flavor,” “bad tasting cake, not good.”

WEIGHT WATCHERS GOLDEN SPONGE CAKE

$2.99 for 6

Small rectangles are 90 calories (2 points). “Tasted coconut, didn’t like,” “vanilla flavor,” “bad taste and stale,” “yuck; tastes imitation.”

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