Friday, November 16, 2012

Twinkies Revisited

How sad that Hostess will be closing. I don't have all of the facts, but it seems terrible that the actions of the bakery union will cause the entire company to shut down, impacting 18,500 people - not to mention the ripple effect for their suppliers, marketing agencies, transportation companies, and on...

In January Hostess announced that it was seeking bankruptcy protection. I wrote a blog post at that time. Just in case you missed it.... I've reposted it here:

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:
(This news clip originally aired on January 10, 2012, was removed by ABC. I'm thinking they were a little embarrassed by their news anchors! You'll have to click on the video, then click on the link to navigate to the video on YouTube.)

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.

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 IExtreme 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.


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


  1. How sad. But, Twinkies. . .yuck! I much prefer the Hostess cupcake!

  2. Life without twinkies.......sad!

  3. Shoot it's been many years since I've had a Twinkie. Though suddenly I'm craving one!!! Feel so bad for the workers losing their jobs.

  4. It is sad because this is a company that employs a lot of people. It's terrible for these people and it's such a big company. I haven't had any of their cakes and things in forever (although I can't really say I dislike them, my waistline does) but still I hate to think of the entire company having to shut down.

  5. I ate part of a Twinkie once..I did not like husband does:)


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