This was first posted in November 2012 and since that time, Twinkies once again resumed production on July 2013 in the United States under the Hostess Brand. In Canada, Twinkies never stopped producing as it was made by a Montreal bakery.
I can’t believe I’m actually writing about “Twinkies,”–that rounded, rectangular sponge cake with the cream centre. None of my coffee group have eaten it in decades, but some of us actually mourned this sweet confection’s demise as we sipped our lattes and savoured our buttery, apple/pecan Danishes.
It did bring back a flood of memories for all of us. I remember studying for exams with my best friend. She firmly believed food–specifically a dozen Twinkies–would help us retain the information crammed in 4-hours that we had supposedly learned over the school year. It must have helped as we both passed.
Marlena loves to collect bits of fascinating trivia, then tossing it out to catch our reactions. One tidbit, appropriately named “Twinkiegate” happened in 1986 when George Belair, a Minneapolis candidate for city council was accused of trying to bribe seniors for their votes with coffee, cool-aid and $34 worth of Twinkies. This actually resulted in a fair campaign act known as the “Twinkie Law” which was later repealed in Minnesota. And who could forget the “Twinkie Defense?” In May 1979, San Francisco supervisor, Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor, Harvey Milk. White’s lawyers claimed that their client had indulged in a poor diet of Twinkies, became depressed and it drove him to commit murder.
Barb remembered her mother telling her that the original Twinkies had a banana cream filling, but there was a banana shortage during the second world war, so in 1945 Twinkies got a make-over using a vanilla cream filling. Apparently the original Twinkies were made of butter, milk and eggs with a shelf life of 2-days. Today, the sponge cake has 8 of its 39 ingredients derived from corn, is non-dairy and has a shelf-life of 25 days.
How did Twinkies come about? I thought you’d never ask. I did my Google bit and found out that in 1930, Continental Bakery Company’s vice-prez, James Dewar was inspired when he saw a pair of “Twinkle Toe Shoes.” At that time, his bakery was selling shortbread fingers filled with strawberries under the Hostess Brand name. “Little Shortbread Fingers” was reborn with the new name of “Twinkies.”
I am sorry to see the passing of another food icon, but in this 21st century, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another country buying the Twinkie name and bringing it back. China is building European cars so why not a restructured Twinkie? I can see it now–a delicate sponge cake with a choice of fillings: coconut cream, sweet red bean filling or a light green tea butter cream. Owner/chef, Christopher Sell of a fish n’ chips eatery, was the first to deep-fry Twinkies–the result being similar to the Mexican doughnut, “churros.”
Hey, the possibilities goes on. Twinkies will never die–it’ll just be reborn with a new face and flavour to catch a new generation. Life goes on and so does Twinkies.