Junk Food Sunday: Twinkies

Twinkies have been part of the fat and furious diet since the 1930’s. If you’ve been a coinsure of twinkies throughout your life like I have you will obviously know that the rich creamy filling was not the first filling for twinkies.

Actually, Twinkies originally contained a banana cream filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla cream filling because of a banana shortage during World War II. Since then, 500 million of these tasty treats have been baked each year.

Twinkies in the factory are baked for 10 minutes, then the cream filling is injected through three holes in the top of the cake which becomes browned from baking. The cake is then flipped before packaging, so the rounded yellow bottom becomes the top and the 3 holes are nicely nestled under the cardboard bottom of the cellophane packaging.

Throughout history, people have surmised that Twinkies have an indefinite shelf life. If you’ve ever seen the first Die Hard movie or visited Snopes.com you’ll know that is not the case.

But did you know that your favorite snack cake will explode in a microwave? According to Hostess, it takes 45 seconds to explode a Twinkie. Try it for yourself at home.

A single Twinkie has between 150 and 160 calories. Packed in there is 4.5 grams of fat, which has 2.5 grams of saturated fat. Not bad for single serving snack, but lets be realistic. You’re not having one of the double packs, so that’s 300+ calories.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Twinkie the Kid, the loveable mascot introduced by twinkie in 1947. Twinkie the Kid was a Western cowboy cartoon to sell the snack.

Twinkie the kid was one of seven fun characters created by Don Duga, representing Hostess Cakes starting in the 1970s, along with Captain Cupcake (Cupcakes), Happy Ho Ho (Ho-Hos), Chief Big Wheels (Big Wheels), Chauncey Choco-dile (Chocodiles) Fruit Pie The Magician (Fruit Pies) and King Ding Dong (Ding Dongs). All have been retired except for Twinkie The Kid.

Twinkies have become a part of the American Experience in movies and tv as well as our stomachs. Archie Bunker, from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, loved Twinkies. He even called it the white man’s soul food, offering it to Sammy Davis Jr. when he visited his humble home. In a pivotal episode of Family Guy, Peter leaves his loved Cohog after a nuclear event in search of the twinkie factory to survive. And in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Xander teaches the Mummy Girl about this essential American food. twinkies have also made appearances in countless Hollywood movies, like Ghostbusters, Grease, and Die Hard.

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