In 2012 and 2013, it looked like National Twinkies Day, April 6th, might be in jeopardy. Hostess Brands, the manufacturer, closed 33 bakeries in November 2012, declaring bankruptcy.
But thanks to an investment by two private equity firms, the golden snacks were back on the shelf in July 2013.
And a number of fans don’t ever want to be caught without their Twinkies: They’ve developed homemade versions. Here’s a recipe posted on Epicurious.com (presented as “vanilla snack cakes”).
So buy them or bake them, and enjoy this Twinkie Trivia while you snack.
Birth. Twinkies snack cakes were invented in 1930 by James Dewar, manager of the Continental Baking Company (now Hostess Brands) in Chicago. The product was conceived as a way to use the company’s thousands of shortcake pans, which were employed only during strawberry season.
Make your own Twinkies. Photo by Lara Ferroni | Epicurious.
Name. Twinkies were originally called Little Shortcake Fingers. They were subsequently renamed Twinkie Fingers, inspired by a billboard that advertised the Twinkle Toe Shoe; and finally were renamed Twinkies. The third time’s a charm!
Price. Twinkies originally cost a nickel for two and had banana creme filling. The filling was changed to vanilla creme because there was a banana shortage during World War II. In 1999, Hostess reintroduced a limited-edition banana-creme Twinkie, but Americans refused to bite and it has not returned.
Science. In 1995, a group of Rice University students conducted experiments on Twinkies. See the results on here. One finding: When microwaved, Twinkies gave off noxious fumes.
Shelf Life. Twinkies currently have a shelf life of 45 days. The secret to their longevity is the lack of dairy ingredients, which spoil more quickly than other ingredients; not to mention, lots of preservatives.
Quantity. Hostess produced more than 500 million Twinkies a year, almost enough for each American to eat two Twinkies a year. Chicago, the birthplace of Twinkies, consumes more per capita than any other city.
Honor. In 1999, the White House Millennium Council selected the Twinkie as one of the items to be preserved in the Nation’s Millennium Time Capsule, representing an object of enduring American symbolism. (Hmm…)