After listening to the Stuff You Should Know podcast all about Twinkies - I know, nerd alert - I found a whole new appreciation for the iconic Hostess cake. Since the 1930s, Twinkies have been putting smiles on faces and satisfying cravings across the nation. For those of you who love Twinkies as much as Tallahassee does, here's what I learned.
Spoiler alert, Twinkies don't last forever. So when you dig up those time capsules, do not eat the Twinkies.
1. They Release Holiday Flavors Through the Year
I love Twinkies and it's hard to say anything is more American than these snack cakes with the creamy filling. And guess what? New limited-edition Mint Chocolate Twinkies are hitting stores this holiday season! According to Yahoo!, the holiday Twinkies feature 10 individually-wrapped chocolate sponge cakes, complete with a mint creme filling. Look for them on store shelves in individual boxes or with other Hostess Brands cakes.
But that's not all. Throughout the year Twinkies release seasonal flavors including pumpkin spice, chocolate peanut butter, and strawberry.
2. The Original Filling was Banana Flavored
Twinkies have done a run on specialty-flavored fillings, but the original filling was not the vanilla cream we know and love today - it was banana.
That all changed, however, when there was a banana shortage during WWII. The lack of supplies to make a banana cream filing left the Twinkie to become none other than vanilla based.
As someone who finds all artificial banana flavorings in junk food unpalatable, I for one am happy that they had a shortage and Hostess Twinkies are no longer banana flavored.
3. Twinkies Were Named After a Shoe
When creator James Dewar got the idea for Twinkies, he happened to pass by a billboard for Twinkle Toe Shoes.
As he just so happened to be on the way to a marketing meeting, the name Twinkies was born.
4. Twinkies Have Their Own Mascot
He's called Twinkies the Kid, and he wears a cowboy hat.
5. They're Instrumental in Scientific Experiments
Are Twinkies affected by gravity? The answer is yes.
When T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. - or the Test With Inorganic Noxious Kakes in Extreme Situations - was conducted by two college students avoiding finals, they came to the conclusion Twinkies are affected by gravity when dropped off a building.
6. Deep-Fried Twinkies are Available in Two Flavors
You don't need to go to the fair, or a casino in Vegas, to get your hands on the beloved Deep Fried Twinkies.
Sold in the frozen section of Walmart, you can pick up deep-fried Twinkies in either a golden brown or chocolate flavor.
7. THE "TWINKIE DEFENSE" IS A THING
After Supervisor Harvey Milk was shot, defendant Dan White used the "Twinkies Defense".
Supposedly it was his diet of Twinkies and junk food that altered his state of mind into a period of depression.
8. Bill Clinton Loves Twinkies Enough to Put Them in a Time Capsule
Right alongside a piece of the Berlin wall, Twinkies will stand the test of time in a millennium time capsule.
Which brings me to my next fact. . .
9. The Original Shelf Life of Twinkies Was Only a Few Days
When Twinkies were first invented, they didn't contain preservatives. Being made as a cake with fresh, whole ingredients, the cake couldn't be stocked on the shelves like they are today.
Could you imagine what the original Twinkies tasted like? I'm feeling some baking inspiration coming on.
10. Twinkies do Have a Self Life
Despite the sorbic acid used as a preservative, Twinkies can and do go bad. So what is the shelf life? Twenty-five days. Sorry urban legends, this American Icon cannot outlive us all.
That's not quite the post-apocalyptic hopes we had for Twinkies.