I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Route 66: Illinois and Twinkies

Currently I'm traveling down Route 66 with the odd side trip here and there...I'm blogging about my Mother Road adventure at The Grateful Muses blog but side trips and odd things that don't quite fit the travel log will get posted up here...like this one about Twinkies...

Old Twinkies advertisement tin

As Route 66 is America's Main Street, so are Twinkies America's snack cake. And guess what? Twinkies were invented in Illinois...

Schiller Park in the 1930's. The inventor James Dewar realized that several machines used to make cream filled strawberry shortcake sat idle when the berries weren't in season. That's when he conceived a snack cake filled with a banana cream filling. He came up with the name Twinkies when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for 'Twinkle Toe Shoes....giving birth to 'Twinkies'.

Due to the rationing of bananas during WWII, the company was forced to change the filling to vanilla cream...making them even more popular. Twinkies also did limited time promotions with other fillings including hot dog like meats...vanilla cream however dominated the market even today.

On May 4, 2012 Hostess Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and ceased making Twinkies...fortunately Twinkies, along with other famed Hostess Brands, were purchased out of bankruptcy by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co.  A reduced sized Twinkies was returned to US shelves on July 15, 2013. They 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. So Twinkies junkies can rejoice...as their fix remains available...

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