An entrenched part of our society returns July 15th. The Hostess corporation, baker of the creamed filled Twinkie snack cake, emerges from bankruptcy a new and improved snack food manufacturer in less than two weeks. Twinkies have been around since 1930, but Hostess ceased production for the first time in 82 years when the company closed last year.
The Golden Sponge Cake came to life in River Forest, Illinois on April 6, 1930, by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company. The 150 calorie Twinkie has an infamous past. Inventor Dewar ate two a day and lived until 1985, No one but God I suppose knows how many Twinkies have been consumed, but in 2005 Hostess was baking one thousand cakes a minute according to the Chicago Tribune and in 2006 Americans bought $47,000,000,00 worth of the cakes nutritionist love to loathe. Let’s see at $3.99 for a box of ten packages of two , that is 235,588,972 Twinkies eaten in one year. Preferring meat and potatoes, I doubt if I have eaten a half dozen of the “snack with a snack in the middle” containing enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable shortening – containing one or more of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40.
President Clinton suggested a Twinkie should be one of the items included in a time capsule. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me, I guess he knew a Quarter Pounder with cheese wouldn’t keep. The mythic Twinkie is responsible for countless urban legends. Clinton/time capsule is true. Twinkies shelf life is legendary. What will remain after a nuclear holocaust? Roaches and Twinkies. Hostess claimed no more than 25 days then their marketing department thought better of promoting a month old product and stated 7-10 days. However, a Maine college professor kept a package of Twinkies perched atop his blackboard for 30 years. Upon his retirement he said they still looked good. No reports of the professor eating them.
True, Twinkies have been successfully argued as a defense in a murder trial. The trial of San Francisco city supervisor Dan White, who fatally shot the mayor and another supervisor in 1978, gave rise to what came to be known as the “Twinkie defense.” The attorneys for Mr. White claimed their client went off a healthy diet and began gorging himself with a junk food subsistence including Twinkies. The jury bought the defense and only gave White five years for voluntary manslaughter. Of course of course of course this was a California jury.
Twinkies have a long and distinguished TV and movie career. All In The Family’s Edith Bunker packed Twinkies in Archie’s lunch every day. In the movie Ghostbusters the normal “psychokinetic energy” of New York City would be the size of a Twinkie, but the scientist said the snack cake would have to be 35 feet tall.
Finally, the Twinkie diet, true. iIn 2010, Kansas State University professor Mark Haub went on a “convenience store” diet consisting mainly of Twinkies, Oreos, and Doritos in his effort to demonstrate to his students that dieting was purely caloric consumption. The professor lost 27 pounds in two months.
Granted, Twinkies are not going to satisfy many of the food groups, kind of like Bill Cosby justifying cake for breakfast. When these artificial wonders return to store shortly I am saddened thinking of the people this will please most and the lifestyle Twinkies’ typically enable. Just enjoy in moderation. Thanks for reading. Have a great day! dj