Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twinkies

Will another American icon become a victim of our economy? Yesterday Hostess, maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies,  announced that it is seeking bankruptcy protection. 


Although I'm not a fan of Twinkies or Hostess Cakes... and Wonder Bread makes me shudder, I do have fond memories of enjoying them all as a kid.

I've put together a compendium of information about Twinkies that I'm sure will entertain, if not astound you!

First, Twinkies in the news. Here is the announcement that Hostess is seeking bankruptcy protection from Tuesday evening. The serious story takes a rather funny turn, as the news anchors of ABC World News Now have trouble maintaining their composure:



OK, let's get a bit serious... here's a bit of history:


1933 - Twinkies were introduced by The Continental Baking Company in Indianapolis, which also made "Wonder Bread" and had a snack line you're probably familiar with called Hostess. One of their bakers named James A. Dewar got the idea for the "Twinkie" while he delivered one of their products, a cream filled strawberry shortcake. The machines to make these sat idle when the strawberry season was over so he came up with an idea to use them to make a snack cake filled with a banana filling, and only charge a nickel for a package of 2. It was good idea as money was tight for people during the great depression. Dewar came up with the name for these tasty cakes (that may be a matter of opinion) when driving by a billboard that had an ad for shoes from the "Twinkle Toe Shoe Company". He shortened the name to ....Twinkies....
1940's -
Just like the song went "Yes We Have No Banana's " popular during the WWII because bananas were rationed, Hostess had to come up with a different filling.
They switched to vanilla creme and it was popular so they never changed back.
Source: http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/twinkie.htm


Several years ago I ran across the The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S Project. Students at Rice University conducted tests during finals week. Yes, I do remember the stress of finals week in college having strange effects on people! The scientific approach used in conducting tests on Twinkies, and the website itself, always made me smile. I shared these experiments with my students to demonstrate the scientific method!


T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. stands for Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes In Extreme Situations. 


One of the tests was the Gravitational Response Test. Visit the link to the project above for more Twinkies tests!

And another historical Twinkies tidbit: Twinkies were used (loosely) as a defense for murder and since that trial the Twinkie defense is a derogatory term for a criminal defendant's claim that some unusual factor (such as allergies, coffee, or sugar) diminished the defendant's responsibility for the crime.

And finally, other Twinkies trivia:
• Twinkies have been featured in major movies, including "Ghostbusters," "Grease," and "Sleepless in Seattle."
• In the TV series "All In The Family," Edith put a Twinkie in Archie's lunchbox each day.
• In 1999, President Clinton and the White House Millennium Council selected the Twinkie to be included in the nation's Millennium Time Capsule, representing "an object of enduring American symbolism."
• Chicago consumes more Twinkies per capita than any other city in the US.
• It takes 10 minutes to bake a Twinkie.
• Interstate Baking Corp. bakeries can produce 1,000 Twinkies in a minute.
• When Twinkies were first introduced, the price was two for a nickel. In 1951, a package of two cost 10 cents; in 1966, 12 cents. Today, the price ranges from two for 99 cents to two for $1.29.

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0504/p11s02-lifo.html

Can you recall the last time you ate a Twinkie? And.... did you eat just one?!!


7 comments:

  1. I've never had a Twinkie. Is that un-American?

    I tried to comment on the chickens, but blogger wouldn't let me.

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  2. I admit, I do have twinkie-bouts every now and then. If they went out of business, it would be a sad day. My Twinkie story is when I was giving birth to my first child; I was in a foreign country, no family, in hard labor without pain medications and I turn to catch my husband with his head down...stuffing an ENTIRE Twinkie in his mouth cause he was trying to keep me from seeing him eat it. The look on his face with that entire Twinkie stuffed inside his mouth was precious and I'll never forget it. I'd been having huge cravings for Twinkies during my pregnancy, so we'd packed them in my bag...good thing we had them because he'd missed chow and was low on energy. I was jealous, but he sure was cute.

    Lana

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heard this on the news last night....so sad! I loved them when I was growing up. I may be wrong, but I believe it's only the U.S. company/bakery that is filing and that we are OK here in Canada because they are made in Ontario(?) and shipped across the country for Canadian consumption. If you need your Twinkie fix, you may have to cross the border! :-)

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  4. I tried one once..anything with cream filling makes me gag..so I am not a Twinkie person.. Kodak and now Twinkies ..who is next? :(

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  5. No more Twinkies? No!!!

    Between Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Ding Dongs, Big Wheels, and those creme filled chocolate cupcakes with the white swirls on top, my lunches always had something yummy in them for lunch every day. But I've never been a fan of Twinkies because vanilla cake isn't my favorite flavor. Still, they are a pop icon and deserve to stick around for future generations. :)

    ~Lisa

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  6. That video was hilarious. OK - so on NYE in 2000 we had a party. We made a time capsule. We put a twinkie in the little survival kit. We haven't opened it since. But I just went down in our basement, took the time capsule down, opened it and guess what....the twinkie is still there! In it's unopened package. Looks pretty much the same!

    Cindy bee

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  7. I don't eat twinkies. But my husband loves the weight watches one. And he doesn't even do weight watches. I do like Ho Hos. They were always a part of my childhood.

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