Wonder Bread, that squishy, snowy miracle of engineering both gastronomic and financial – the company that originally made it, Hostess, recently emerged from bankruptcy and sold the brand to another company – is getting kosher certification in the New York area by no less an authority than the Orthodox Union, according to a bulletin from the agency.
Here's how it happened. Flowers Foods, which bought Wonder Bread in the Hostess Brands bankruptcy fire sale, is a "very old and important OU account," said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the Chief Operating Officer of Orthodox Union’s Kashruth Department. Flowers contacted the OU as soon as the deal was done to explore the possibility of securing certification for Wonder Bread and after making sure the product wasn't dairy, which would have been a halachic, or legal, problem, the OU agreed.
Previously, the "Triangle-K" certified the bread, OU spokesman Mayer Fertig said in an e-mail.
So far, it's certified only the bakery that serves this part of the country, but the plan is to certify them all eventually, Rabbi Elefant said.
"The way I look at Wonder Bread -- maybe I'm dating myself -- is that there are certain foods that are iconic American foods," Rabbi Elefant said. "You look at an Oreo cookie. You look at a Tootsie Roll. Wonder Bread is in that group. It represents a very significant recognition of where kosher is at in America and in the United States that all of these iconic gentile foods are becoming kosher."
Flowers Foods could not be reached for comment.