The Return of an American Icon

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

There was once an American marvel which was “born” in 1930 and affected millions upon millions of people world-wide each year until it met its untimely end last year. What was the name of this wonderful item? It was called…the Twinkie.

The world was saddened to hear that this popular, tasty treat was going to be discontinued (along with all of the other snacks that were being made from this company) because the Hostess Company had gone bankrupt and would no longer grace us with their little, cream,-filled, golden yellow cakes of white deliciousness.


The Twinkie was invented in 1930 by James Dewar. He got the idea for the name of the little cakes from billboards that advertised “Twinkle Toe Shoes” around the St. Louis area in which he lived. He shortened the name to of “Twinkie.” The Twinkie began to grow into a National symbol of a great tasting dessert in the 1950’s. The Hostess Company used to sponsor the nationally televised and VERY popular TV show “Howdy Doody” and featured the Twinkie.

The Twinkie looks like little golden brown “lady fingers” and are filled with a sugary filling. In 1930 and up until the 1940’s this little cake had banana filling but during World War 2, there became a shortage of bananas, do Hostess decided to create a sweet, vanilla filling. If you wanted to but Twinkies back in the day, you would be happy for two reasons…you would get TWO desserts instead of one AND you could buy them both for a nickel!

How popular was the Twinkie? It would take one million eggs, seven million pounds of flour and eight million pounds of sugar to sell the 500 million Twinkies every year!

There have been many legends and rumors passed around through the years that the sweet filling inside Twinkies had an indefinite shelf life because of a “secret ingredient” that Hostess had included in the recipe. Some people said that the filling could last 50-100 years…others said that the middle wouldn’t get bad for 2, 5, 10 or even 40 years. One legend going around was that the company was selling off the original batch made in 1930, still fresh almost 80 years. Actually, according to Snopes, the Twinkie and the filling won’t get bad until a minimum of 25 days. Why? Because there is absolutely no dairy ingredients used in the making of this cake and for the air packed wrapper in which it is sold.

Here are several interesting and entertaining facts about these treats…

1. According to Hostess, it takes 45 seconds for a Twinkie to explode in a microwave.

2. In 1999, President Clinton even put one into the nation’s millennial time capsule because he thought that the Twinkie was such an important American icon.

3. In 2006, Hostess celebrated its 75th year Anniversary by publishing a “Twinkie Cookbook” which included over 50 recipes using Twinkies that were chosen from hundreds of Twinkie fans.

4. The 89-year-old Lewis Browning of Shelbyville, Indiana, has been eating a minimum of one Twinkie every day since 1941, consuming more than 22,000 Twinkies in his lifetime. Compare that with Twinkie founder Dewar who reportedly ate more than 40,000. Today 500 million Twinkies are baked each year!

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