Friday, November 16, 2012

Fun Friday Facts #51: Twinkie Edition


Well, the big news today is that Hostess is going out of business. That means there’ll be no more Twinkies, Sno-Balls, Fruit Pies, Mini Muffins, Pudding Pies, Zingers, Ho Hos, Donettes, Chocodiles, Suzy Qs, or Wonder Bread, unless another company buys the brands, which is possible.

I guess people are freaking out and stockpiling Twinkies now. I always thought they were disgusting, so I really couldn’t care less, except that, in less than a generation, the classic film Zombieland will no longer make any sense.

Let's have a moment of silence. ~ (CC) Larry D. Moore

1) In 2004, Americans purchased 47 million dollars’ worth of Twinkies. I’ve only ever eaten one Twinkie and I’ve never seen anyone eat a Twinkie. Who has been buying these things?

2) James Alexander Dewar invented Twinkies in 1930. Dewar baked for the Continental Baking Company, which used to make creamy-center strawberry shortcakes when strawberries were in season. When the berries were out of season, their squirting-cream-into-cakes machines sat idle. Dewar thought the company should use them to make banana-cream-filled sponge cakes, and the Twinkie was born.

Dewar allegedly named his creations after the Twinkle Toe Shoe Company. He feasted on no less than two packets of Twinkies per week until his death, at the age of 88, in 1985.

Oh, so that's who's eating them.

3) In the final days of the Clinton administration, the White House Millennium Council built a time capsule meant to be opened in the year 2100. They included a video of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, a piece of the Berlin Wall, a GI’s helmet from WWII, a picture of Rose Parks and a Twinkie. The Twinkie will presumably still be good to eat.

4) During WWII, banana rations forced the Continental Baking Company to begin using vanilla cream in the Twinkies. The change proved so popular with consumers that the flavoring was never changed back, except for during promotional events, such as the release of the film King Kong in 2005. An attempt to restore strawberry-cream-filled Twinkies in the 1980s was met with dismal failure, but banana cream Twinkies became a regular thing in 2007.

Still sounds disgusting if you ask me.

5) Twinkies are said to have a shelf life of up to 100 years. The original Twinkies had a shelf life of about two days, because, back in the 1930s, they were made with actual dairy products and without chemical preservatives. The use of artificial ingredients extended the shelf life of the Twinkie to 25 days. A Maine professor has allegedly kept the same Twinkie on top of his blackboard for 30 years, and it “still looks good,” although there’s no evidence that anyone’s tried to eat it.

6) There are 39 ingredients in a Twinkie, but only one of those ingredients was intentionally added as a chemical preservative. The other artificial ingredients were added as substitutes for the recipes original dairy ingredients. Their ability to extend the product’s shelf life is a side effect.

7) Before they closed up shop today, Hostess were producing 1,000 Twinkies per minute, for a total of 500 million Twinkies per year. Again, WHO THE HELL IS EATING THESE THINGS?

8) The Twinkies featured in Zombieland were fake. Woody Harrelson is a vegan, so the “Twinkies” used in the shoot were made from cornmeal and other vegan-friendly ingredients.

9) Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi currently holds the world record for Twinkie-eating. On 23 January 2012, he ate 14 Twinkies in one minute.

So THAT'S who's eating the damn things!

10) A single Twinkie contains 150 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. In 2010, nutritionist Mark Haub went on a Twinkie Diet to test his theory that calorie intake, and not the nutritional value of food eaten, is the primary factor in weight loss (or gain). He went on an 1,800-calorie-a-day Twinkie Diet consisting mostly of Oreos, donuts, Doritos, sugary cereals and Twinkies. He lost 27 pounds in two months.  Interestingly, Haub’s “bad” cholesterol levels dropped by one-fifth, while his “good” cholesterol levels increased by the same amount. His triglyceride levels dropped by 39%.

I wonder if he deep-fried them.


6 comments:

  1. I can tell you who's been eating them and they're all probably in line at Walmart right now with shopping carts full of Twinkies. He named them after a shoe? Explains a lot.

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    1. I'm tempted to drive down to WalMart right now just to gawk at the Twinkie shoppers.

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  2. I know someone who used Twinkies for strawberry shortcake. I might marginally miss Ding Dongs, but I have recipes for all those snacks.

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    1. There will still be Little Debbie cupcakes.

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  3. I've seen science shows where they tested the shelf life of Twinkies. They lasted, but they were not edible. How Stuff Works did a piece on Twinkies: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/twinkie2.htm

    I never could stand the taste of them. It's like eating sugar from a bowl.

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