Twinkies Fun Facts.

Twinkies [wiki], and American icon, and for some, the symbol of junk food, is the snack food that people love (or love to hate). Today, the "golden sponge cake with creamy filling" snack is ubiquitous: it's virtually in every supermarket, gas station, and snack vending machine - but how much do you really know about Twinkies?

Here're some fun facts to ponder while you munch on one of America's favorite snacks:

The History of Twinkies

Twinkies were invented in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression by James A. Dewar, a plant manager at Continental Baking Company (Hostess' parent company). At the time, Continental was a relatively new company and Dewar was worried that the company might not survive the hard economic times. He noticed that the company had lots of expensive equipments dedicated to baking “Little Short Cake Fingers,” which was baked for only six weeks a year during the strawberry season. During the rest of the year, the equipment laid idle. Dewar thought that the company can make, and sell, shortcake fingers all year long if they only use a different kind of filling. So he mixed a banana-flavored crème and injected it into the shortcake using three syringe-like injection tubes. And so, a new snack was born.

But what to name it? Dewar was having trouble coming up with a name until he drove past a billboard for the Twinkle Toes Shoes factory in St. Louis. A friend suggested the name “Twinkle Fingers” for the snack, and Dewar shortened it to Twinkies.

Remember that banana-flavored filling? During World War II, there was a shortage of banana, so the filling was switched to vanilla.

Twinkies were first sold in packs of two for 5 cents. Now, they still sell ‘em in packs of two, but for more money.

Twinkies Production

There are 17 Hostess bakeries across the countries cranking out 500 million Twinkies every year. It takes 40,000 miles of plastic wrap a year to package them. At 150 Calorie a piece, all those Twinkies have the energy equivalent to nearly 51,500 barrels of crude oil.

If you want to know, that comes out to be about 1,000 Twinkies a minute or 16 a second.

There are 39 ingredients in a Twinkie: yes, there are flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, water, and "trace" of egg. The rest of the ingredient list is, shall we say, less natural.

Twinkies and the Law

In 1986, Twinkies were a central figure in a political scandal known as “Twinkiegate“. 71-year-old George Belair, a Minneapolis City Council candidate was indicted for serving coffee, Kool-Aid, Twinkies and other sweets to court the senior citizen votes. This led to the passage of the Minnesota Campaign Act, more commonly known as Twinkies Law. Belair lost the election, and the charges against him were later dropped.

After San Francisco supervisor Dan White killed the city’s mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk at City Hall in 1978, he argued during his trial of diminished capacity after eating too much junk food. This strategy, dubbed the “Twinkie defense [wiki],” apparently didn’t work - he was found to be guilty.

Twinkies and Science

Twinkie with Digital Multimeter, at the T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. website

In 1995 a now legendary project called Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes in Extreme Situations (or T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S.), Rice University scientists Christopher Scott Gouge and Todd William Stadler conducted a series of experiments to determine the physical properties of a Twinkie.

Gouge and Stadler subjected the snack food to the forces of gravity (Gravitational Response Test), electricity (Resistivity Test), water (Solubility test), flame (Rapid Oxidation Test), and radiation. There was even a Turing test, which concluded that “Twinkies are not sentient in any way we can understand.”

Roger Bennatti, a teacher at the George Stevens Academy, wanted to find out the shelf life of a Twinkie, so he hung a pack on the edge of his blackboard (later on joined by a pack of Fig Newtons). That was some 30 years ago "It's rather brittle, but if you dusted it off, it's probably still edible," Bennatti said. "It never spoiled."

The actual shelf life of a Twinkie is 25 days, which is still long for a "baked" product (baked is in quotation marks because Hostess actually never revealed how Twinkies are made ;) ).

It takes 45 seconds to explode a Twinkie in a microwave. It takes only a second for your mom to get mad over the mess you're making by doing so. In cases where the Twinkie doesn't explode, it will emit a burnt plastic smell instead. Either way, your mom will get mad for sure.

Twinkies: an American Icon.

In 1947, Hostess introduced Twinkie the Kid, a Western cowboy cartoon to sell the snack.

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.

Americans love Twinkies, too. In 2005 alone, they spent $47 million on the stuff. Actually, most of 'em probably live in Chicago: they eat more Twinkies per capita than anywhere else, earning Chicago the title of “Twinkie Capital of the World.”

The White House put a Twinkie in their time capsule for the new millennium, as “an object of enduring American symbolism.”

Twinkies: a Healthy Food?

Before he died in 1985, Dewar said that Twinkies was “the best darn-tootin’ idea I ever had.” He said that the key to his long life (Dewar lived to a ripe old age of 88) is to “eat Twinkies every day and smoke a pack of cigarettes.”

Maybe eating Twinkies does lead to a long life: another guy that really likes Twinkies is Lewis Browning. The 89-year-old retired milk-truck driver is the undisputed "Twinkie King of the World" for eating at least one Twinkie every day for 64 years! By rough calculation, he has eaten more than 22,000 Twinkies so far. He now has a lifetime supply of Twinkies from Hostess.

Deep fried Twinkies, invented by Christopher Sell and popularized by Chris Mullen, on the other hand, is definitely not healthy. It is made by freezing a Twinkie, then dipping it into a batter and deep frying it.

Do you have any idea when and why they started making the creme more watery? It seems like sometime in the early 90's. Im not sure why they changed the classic forumula. Any ideas??
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"I’m English, so I’ve never even had one. They look pretty nice though."

Well, as the consumer of numerous Twinkies in my younger days, let me assure you that while they are perfectly edible, they do look better than they taste, LOL.
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look i m sorry but twinkies are bad for the enironment 40000 miles of plastic wrap?Dont those people who eat twinkies every day get fat?isnt it ENCOURAGING KIDS TO SMOKE BY SAYING THE KEY TO A LONG LIFE IS TWINKIES AND A PACK A CIGARATES A DAY?????THATS THE KEY TO A SHORT, UNHEALTY ,LARGE ,LIFE WITH LUNG CANCER AND AN ADDICTION.
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How can you people talk about twinkies like they are a decadent dessert!? They are discgusting! And I think they definatly taste worse than they look. EWWW!
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In my opinion, twinkies should not be allowed to be sold. I do not care if people think they taste good, just look around. Do you see all the obece people in the world today! Well now you know why they are like that! And by the way, Anon, you should be happy that you have never had a twinkie, the picture on a computer, truck, or a commercial isn't even a real twinkie anyway. It's just styrofoam that has been spray painted and/or is computer generated. Take that into consideration miss I want a pool of twinkies.
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I totally disagree with Sam!In my opinion twinkies are the best at the fairs and theme parks. The are a very good snack,but I DO agree with Sam because they are bad for you so only eat then once in a while! That goes for you Shelby! They are not as good as they used to be. Well anyway, Miss Sam is my older sister! And she is a girl who likes the following: Star Wars,Eragon,Harry Potter,Dragons,Horses, and her boyfriend Drew! so anyway i disagree with my oblivious, and quite odd sister! so My point is dont eat to many twinkies or it could be the DEAD END of YOU!
Thanks for reading!
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As a result of the greed mad industries out there , sadly Twinkies are no longer even worth the plastic they are in. Like , where is the filling these days ?
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i have a theory.. and the dude who eats a crap-ton of twinkies might be proof of it... i find it odd that the rate of obesity and heart disease has raised significantly in last decades, but so has life expectancy. so has the use of preservatives and fake ingredients in our food. i think that because of the overuse of these products are LITERALLY preserving our bodies and halping us live longer.. anyone? not saying i'm right, but it seems realistic.
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Twinkies are awsome. I mean come on it has been around for generations. As for it being non nutritional fuck it... anything good is either bad for you or not moral. But you know what....... twinkies rock.
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first twinkies are the best... i dont know how you can all diss twinkies they taste great

second, the idea behind industry is to earn a profit and they do that by finding cheaper ingredients that replace the role of more expensive ingredients that are more likely to spoil, would you pay for a twinkie if it cost more and spoiled in three days?

third, preservatives dont make you live longer, they are primarly there as antimicrobial agents and most are digested by your body and are neiher harmful or beneficial for your body, but it is good for the twinkie because it stops the growth of mold and bacteria that can harm you... the reason we are living longer is we have access to better diets and better medicine available in first world nations

fourth, im not fat and i eat plenty of twinkies, in fact i wrestle so i need to make weight and... being obese is a choice, it is in no stretch of the imagination forced down your throat, yes some genes have been proven to play a role in obesity but there are plenty of nutritous foods and diet plans as well as simple exercise will keep your body metabolizing your food and burning calories keeping you in shape and the proper weight so every once in awhile you can have a comfort food like a twinkie in MODERATION

and lastly you should be more informed before making such comments... if you want some good reading on what is in your twinkie i highly reccommend "Twinkie, Deconstructed" by Steve Ettlinger, it is worth sitting down and reading...
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Twinkies are a gift of the Gods. I also loved Hostess "Lil' Angels." There was only one better than the aforementioned...Hostess "King Dons." Oh man, I loved those little chocolate enrobed gems. I once ate eight two-packs of those at one sitting. (drunk) I also loved Tastykake Coconut Juniors.
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I agree with All of you. Sometimes they taste good sometimes they taste bad. Depends on what kind of mood I'm in. As for being unhealthy ..Yes.. Most junk food is. If you want something sweet to eat that is healthy dont go in the snack isle looking for it. As for the comment on cigarettes, they ARE disgusting! And people who smoke em smell really bad! No matter HOW many times they bathe. The smell is always there with them when they smoke. and so is that disgusting yellowish stain that comes with it. Enough of cigerette bashing. Twinkies are the subject. Like cigs everyone has their own opinions about em but mine is the best!LOL
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People, Twinkies aren't the #1 cause of obese. EVER HEARD OF MCDONALDS?!?!? And....they are DELICIOUS. I do agree that Twinkies are unhealthy though. They are good to eat though every once in a while...
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My wife and I are going to the Chicago area next week. We saw Twinkies being made on "Good Eatd". Would like to take our granddaughters to see the plant. Can you give us any details as to tours and address?
Thank you.
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TWINKIES ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I don't care who you are, twinkies are delicious. If I could, I would eat 20 twinkies a day for the rest of my life!! Oh, and you can't forget about the chocodiles, which are chocolate covered twinkies, and they're freakin awesome. So a little advice to everybody: eat as many twinkies as possible!!, and chocodiles
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I am 6 foot one 1 195 pounds and i eat two every day and i am hella healthy and ahtletic and play football and basketball so if your worried about eating them to much dont worry dawg u jus gotta make sure u get 1 hour of excercis a weak
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Oh my goodnes, please, you people who are all like "oh, twinkies are bad for you"..they really aren't! Have you ever looked at the nutrition label? They are only 150 calories and 5 grams of fat..not that bad if you are in need of some cake! Sure, they have some perservatives, but I don't think eating one twinkie is going to kill you.
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Why do you all care... just live life like God made us for... eat all the damn twinkies you want or not.. just gotta live life...i mean does anyone remember when the ninja turtles were cool? just think about that question.. by the way im kinda high right nah nah nah.. lol thats the song akon mad lol any way cya later man..
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I just went to a trivia party where they asked the question "what did Continental Bakery Co. create that was 10 foot long and weigh over 2000 lbs?"
My arguement was there is no way a 10 foot long twinkie could weigh that much. What's the scoup?
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Oh come on ppl...I highly doubt that Twinkies are souly to blame for our obesity problem in the U.S. Try blaming "parents" that are too lazy to "cook" a healthy meal, Instead, it's so much easier to run through a drive thru and get a Happy Meal...or fast food of any kind.
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I worked in a shipyard years back and we had to clean out lockers that were chained up and their before I worked thier. An old timer that had been with the company for 15 years said that that locker was never opened during his employment their. We had to open the locker, when we did, we found a twinkie inside still wrapped and covered with layer of oilly dust on the wrapper. We determined it had to be close to 20 years that it was inside the locker untouched. A biker friend and co-worker decided to tear the wrapper and eat the 20 year old twinkie. He said it was as tasty as one that could have been bought that day. So , the saga goes, the new discovery sent many a fine lads to breaking into old chests and strong boxes in hopes of the Golden Surprise that lays within.

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