By Bernie on 22 Nov 2012
Until I was about 40 years old I loved Twinkies. Then my taste buds began to change and I started to avoid very salty or very sugary snacks and as a consequence I haven't had them or any other Hostess product for the past 27 years.
Some may want to blame Hostess' problems on the increasing concern about healthy eating in the past few decades, however other companies, non-union companies, who produce sweet junk foods are not having problems at all and may in fact buy the brands from Hostess, see my article Where Will the Stupid, Stupid Hostess Union Workers get Jobs Now?
Now that Hostess is going out of business, it might be time to learn 13 things you didn't know about Twinkies:
How the Twinkie Got its Name
The year was 1930, one year into the depression, and the Continental Baking Company in Indianapolis, the maker of "Wonder Bread," had a snack line where one of the products was a strawberry-filled shortcake. Plant manager James A. Dewar was driving through St. Louis when he came across a billboard ad for shoes from the "Twinkle Toe Shoe Company." A friend suggested the name “Twinkle Fingers” for the snack, but Dewar shortened it to "Twinkies."
Interestingly, in those days, bakers not only made the product but also delivered it to the stores. Today, thanks to unions, drivers who deliver bread cannot also deliver cake products or vice versa, thus ensuring that the company inefficiently and unprofitably hire two drivers where one would have done quite nicely. And certainly bakers today would never be permitted by union rules to deliver the product or stock shelves with products.
Twinkies Are to Die For
You might have heard of the "Twinkie defense," although it is not a recognized legal phrase, it was a term coined by reporters covering the trial of Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone. White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression evidenced by his addiction to Twinkies and other sugary snacks.
Twinkies Can Help You Lose Weight
For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.
His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.
The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months.
For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.
Chicago is the “Twinkie Capital of the World.”
In 2005 alone, Americans spent $47 million on the cream-filled, 150-calorie sponge cake. But in Chicago they eat more Twinkies per capita than anywhere else.
The Twinkie Wasn't Always Cream-Filled
In 1930 the Continental Baking Company was churning out a shortcake with strawberry filling. However, when strawberries were out of season, the machines would sit idle at the bakery. I should mention to my young readers that long ago certain fruits were only available when locally grown.
To keep the lines busy, the previously mentioned James A. Dewar came up with the idea of injecting an elongated sponge cake with banana filling; however when WWII rolled around bananas were rationed and so Hostess changed the flavor of the filling to vanilla cream.
In the 1980s, Hostess introduced strawberry-filled Twinkies but it wasn't popular and was pulled.
Twinkies are Not Diamonds
During the 60's many bomb shelters were stocked with Twinkies because it was believed they would last forever. Although some videos show that Twinkies do indeed last a long time, the official shelf life of a Twinkie is 25 days.
Roger Bennatti, a teacher at the George Stevens Academy, hung a pack of Twinkies on the edge of his blackboard 30 years ago. "It's rather brittle, but if you dusted it off, it's probably still edible," Bennatti said. "It never spoiled."
TV Shows, Films Spur Twinkie Sales
Archie Bunker, a character of the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, loved Twinkies. He even called it “the white man’s soul food.” Twinkies have also made appearances in countless Hollywood movies, like Ghostbusters, Grease, and Die Hard and have been featured in the animated series "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons."
President Clinton Put a Twinkie Away for the Future
In 1999, President Clinton put a Twinkie in the Millennium Time Capsule as “an object of enduring American symbolism.” The capsule is to be opened in the year 2100. I wonder if by then they will even know what a Twinkie is. Who knows, with Obama now in his second term perhaps Twinkies will outlive the United States of America. By then we will know the true shelf life of the iconic snack.
In the 2008 film WALL-E, a Twinkie is sighted completely undecayed in its wrapper on WALL-E's truck 700 years after the Earth was rendered largely uninhabitable for organic life forms due to Obamacare.
King Kong and Twinkies
Despite Nutrition Woes Twinkies are Popular
Hostess, despite the hurdles faced with having union employees, was pumping out 1,000 of these suckers a minute at its bakeries. In any other planet in the universe, except Earth, this should have been a profitable business. How can any business make a thousand of anything a minute (or more than half a billion a year) and still go bankrupt? This is the sheer power of unions.
One Man. One Minute. 24 Twinkies. (3,600 Calories)
See the YouTube video here. I think I'm going to be sick.
Twinkies Ain't Just Cake
Hostess' "The Twinkies Cookbook" has more than 50 recipes including Twinkie-based burritos, lasagna, tiramisu, milkshakes and sushi (with dried fruit rather than fish). I have never had a Deep-fried Twinkie but it is said to be absolutely delicious. ABC News has a recipe here.
“Twinkiegate“ - Twinkies Were Used as Bribes
In 1985 George Belair, a Minneapolis city council candidate, served coffee, Kool-Aid, Twinkies and other refreshments to senior citizens' groups in order to persuade them to vote for him. He was indicted for bribery in what the newspapers dubbed "Twinkiegate." Although the charges were eventually dropped, the case led to the Minnesota fair campaign act, popularly known as the "Twinkie law."
Sadly the law was repealed. I personally believe we should have a Twinkie-type Law in every state but call it the "Obama Money Law." You know, when Obama and the leftists offer bribes in the form of immigration amnesty, Obama money, Obama cellphones, Obamacare, etc. to court votes.
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