Whole and split Twinkies
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||River Forest, Illinois|
|Creator(s)||James Alexander Dewar|
|Main ingredient(s)||Wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, shortening, and others|
The Twinkie is an American snack cake, marketed as a "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling". It was formerly made and distributed by Hostess Brands and is again being sold under the Hostess Brands name. The brand is currently owned by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. Twinkie production in the United States resumed after an absence on American store shelves, becoming available again nationwide on July 15, 2013. Twinkies are produced in Canada by Saputo Incorporated's Vachon Inc. (at a bakery in Montreal) which owns the Canadian rights for the product and were still available during the absence in the US market.[full citation needed] Twinkies are also available in Mexican stores, made by Marinela, a subsidiary of Mexican bread company Grupo Bimbo.
Twinkies were invented in River Forest, Illinois on April 6, 1930, by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company. Realizing that several machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sat idle when strawberries were out of season, Dewar conceived a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he dubbed the Twinkie. He said he came up with the name when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for "Twinkle Toe Shoes". During World War II, bananas were rationed and the company was forced to switch to vanilla cream. This change proved popular, and banana-cream Twinkies were not widely re-introduced. The original flavor was occasionally found in limited-time promotions, but the company used vanilla cream for most Twinkies. In 1988, Fruit and Cream Twinkies were introduced with a strawberry filling swirled into the cream. The product was soon dropped. Vanilla's dominance over banana flavoring would be challenged in 2005, following a month-long promotion of the movie King Kong. Hostess saw its Twinkie sales rise 20 percent during the promotion, and in 2007 restored the banana-cream Twinkie to its snack lineup.
On May 4, 2012, parent company Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Twinkie sales for the year ended December 25, 2011, were 36 million packages, down almost 2% from a year earlier. Hostess said customers have migrated to healthier foods. On November 16, 2012 at 7:00am (EST), Hostess officially announced that it "will be winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. Bakery operations were suspended at all plants.
On November 19, 2012, Hostess and the Bakers Union agreed to mediation, delaying the shutdown for two days. On November 21, 2012, US Bankruptcy judge Robert Drain approved Hostess' request to shutdown, temporarily ending Twinkie production in the United States.
Return of Twinkies to US market
On March 12, 2013, it was reported that Twinkies would return to store shelves in May of that year. Twinkies, along with other famed Hostess Brands, were purchased out of bankruptcy by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co for $410 million. Twinkies returned to US shelves on July 15, 2013.
The new Twinkies, which contrary to popular belief, were made smaller before Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy and not afterwards, now contain 135 calories and have a mass of 38.5 grams; while the original Twinkies contained 150 calories and had a mass of 42.5 grams. The new Twinkies also have a longer shelf life of 45 days, which was also a change made before bankruptcy, compared to the 26 days of the original Twinkies.
A deep-fried Twinkie involves freezing the cake, dipping it into batter, and deep-frying it to create a variation on the traditional snack cake. In a story in The New York Times speaking of the Deep Fried Twinkie with its inventor, Christopher Sell, who is originally from Rugby, England, it was described in this way: "Something magical occurs when the pastry hits the hot oil. The creamy white vegetable shortening filling liquefies, impregnating the sponge cake with its luscious vanilla flavor.... The cake itself softens and warms, nearly melting, contrasting with the crisp, deep-fried crust in a buttery and suave way. The pièce de résistance, however, is a ruby-hued berry sauce, adding a tart sophistication to all that airy sugary goodness". The Texas State Fair had introduced the fried Twinkie to great popular acclaim, and the notion spread to other state fairs across the U.S., as well as some establishments that specialize in fried foods. Fried Twinkies are sold throughout the U.S. in fairs as well as ball games, and in various restaurants.
The Twinkie defense is a derogatory term for a criminal defendant's claim that some unusual factor (such as allergies, coffee, nicotine, or sugar) diminished the defendant's responsibility for the alleged crime. The term arose from Herb Caen's description of the trial of Dan White, who was convicted in the fatal shootings of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. During the trial, psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had suffered from depression, causing diminished capacity. As an example of this, he mentioned that White, formerly a health food advocate, had begun eating junk food.
A common urban legend claims that Twinkies have an infinite shelf life or can last unspoiled for a relatively long time of ten, fifty, or one hundred years due to the chemicals used in their production. This urban legend is not true, although Twinkies can last a relatively long time. In reality, Twinkies are on the shelf for a short time; a company executive told the New York Times in 2000 that the "Twinkie is on the shelf no more than 7 to 10 days." Twinkies' myth of having a long shelf life has been referenced in films and television shows such as Die Hard, WALL-E, Zombieland, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Simpsons, Wizard of Id, Lost, Family Guy, Hollow Man, and Scrubs.
In 2010, Kansas State University professor Mark Haub went on a "convenience store" diet consisting mainly of Twinkies, Oreos, and Doritos in an attempt to demonstrate to his students "that in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most, not the nutritional value of the food". He lost 27 pounds over a two-month period, returning his body mass index (BMI) to within normal range.
- Parija Kavilanz (July 12, 2013). "'First batch' Twinkies go on sale at Walmart". CNN. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Staff and wire reports (July 12, 2013). "Hostess Twinkies make an early return to Southland shelves". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- Marotte, Bertrand (2012-11-16). "As Hostess winds up, who will bite on Twinkies?". The Globe and Mail.
- "Twinkie the Kid Is Alive and Well and Living in Canada". Geekosystem.com. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Biemer, John (April 30, 2006). "Homeowner Discovers That Mr. Twinkie Slept There". U-T San Diego. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- Belcher, Jerry (June 3, 1985). "Man Who Concocted the Twinkie Dies : James A. Dewar's Treat Is Part of America's Diet and Folklore". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-03. "It was Dewar's inspiration to fill the cakes with a sugar-cream mixture, the formula for which is still a tightly held secret."
- Ovide, Shira (September 2, 2011). "Great Moments in Twinkies History". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "The History of the Hostess Twinkie". Kitchenproject.com. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Continental Baking Company (1988). "Fruit and Cream Twinkies commercial". Continental Baking Company. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
- Shepherd, Lauren (June 13, 2007). "Hostess selling banana-creme Twinkies". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Knipp, Christopher. "City of Saginaw, Michigan; Nocite of Chapter 11". Hostess Brands, LLC. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Erik_Halvorson, Blynn Austin. "Hostess Brands is closed; HOSTESS BRANDS TO WIND DOWN COMPANY AFTER BCTGM UNION STRIKE CRIPPLES OPERATIONS". Hostess Brands, LLC. Media_Division. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
- "Twinkie maker Hostess to ‘immediately’ fire 15,000 workers as liquidation approved". Business.financialpost.com. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Chris Isidore (March 13, 2013). "Twinkies due on shelves by summer as $410 million bid OK'd". CNNMoney.
- Mark Lacter (March 12, 2013). "Hooray, Twinkies are coming back". LA Observed.
- "Twinkies, Hostess snacks back in stores today". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- Choi, Candace (July 15, 2013). "New Twinkies weigh less, have fewer calories". USA Today. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- "Fry That Twinkie, But Hold the Chips". The New York Times. May 15, 2002. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "New junk food fad: Deep-fried Twinkies". CNN. September 18, 2002. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Forever Twinkies". Snopes – Urban Legends Reference Pages. May 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Kelley, Tina (March 23, 2000). "Twinkie Strike Afflicts Fans With Snack Famine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Park, Madison (November 8, 2010). "Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds". CNN. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- "Exclusive Interview with Prof. Mark Haub". evilcyber.com. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Twinkies.|
- Products Page on Hostess' website
- The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project
- Twinkies at 75: munch 'em, fry 'em, save 'em for years, The Christian Science Monitor