Twinkie

Twinkie

A Twinkie is a "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling" popular in North America. It is distributed by Continental Baking Co., which is owned by Kansas City-based Interstate Bakeries Corporation.

Background

Twinkies measure 4" x 1.5" (10 cm x 3.75 cm) and are usually sold in packages of two (though they can be sold in packages of three) or boxed in groups of ten individually-wrapped cakes. Each Twinkie contains about 150 Calories (627 kilojoules). Five hundred million are produced each year.

"Twinkie the Kid" is the advertising mascot for Twinkies and can be found on packaging and related merchandise.

In Latin America and Mexico, Twinkies are sold under the name "Submarinos" ("submarines" in Spanish due to their shape roughly resembling said vessel) by the Grupo Bimbo brand of products in both traditional and strawberry-flavored filling versions; in Spanish America, under their Wonder brand, in packages of three; in Brazil, under Ana Maria brand, typically in packages of two.

Additionally, Singaporean company Gardenia also produces a variation of the Twinkie, known as Twiggies. These are available in vanilla or chocolate flavors in Singapore and Malaysia, while two additional flavors, choco-vanilla and strawberry, are available in the Philippines.

Twinkie production

Ingredients

2% or less of:


The Twinkie was invented on April 6, 1930 by bakery manager James Dewar, making thrifty use of pans that were used for shortcake production only during the strawberry season. Twinkies originally contained a banana cream filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla cream filling during a banana shortage during World War II. The original flavor would be revisited more than half a century later as an alternative flavor.

In June 2007, Hostess announced the return of the banana-creme Twinkie. In the past, the banana-flavored version was offered as a limited-time promotion. Due in part to sales increasing by 20% when the banana version was offered, the banana Twinkie will now be produced permanently.

Continental Foods admitted on a 2006 episode of television's How It's Made that Twinkies are, in fact, baked, ending years of speculation. The Washington Post reported on April 13, 2005 that "the cakes are baked for 10 minutes, then the cream filling is injected through three holes in the top, which is browned from baking. The cake is flipped before packaging, so the rounded yellow bottom becomes the top." Hostess was the implied source of this information. A 2007 book, Twinkie, Deconstructed, examines where all the ingredients come from and how they are made.

Fried twinkies

According to the Hostess website, Christopher Sell invented the "fried Twinkie" at the Chip Shop, his restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. It was described by the New York Times 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 shop adds its own ruby-hued berry sauce, which provides a bit of tart sophistication."

By 2000, the Arkansas State Fair had introduced the deep-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 delicacies.

Cultural references

Twinkie defense

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. 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 Twinkies. Caen misrepresented Blinder's statement as alleging that White's depression had been caused by eating Twinkies.

Twinking

The term "twink" is used to describe someone who, within the confines and restrictions that a game provides, attempts to maximize the effectiveness of his character in one or more categories. The process is called twinking and a character made in this fashion is considered "twinked" or "twinked out". The term "Twinkie" was used in Everquest in 1999, where players could acquire a bronze plate armor that could be equipped by lower level characters. The low level characters were completely clad in golden bronze armor with a high armor value but still only had a handful of hitpoints, hence the referral to a "Hostess Twinkie" - bright golden outside, soft and squishy inside.

Slang

Twink and twinkie are gay slang terms describing an attractive young or young-looking gay man (usually in his late teens or early twenties) with a slender build and little or no body hair. A twink is "memorable for his outer packaging," not his "inner depth." The golden-color also referred to those who are tanned from too much time in the sun.

The slang "Twinkies" used by Asians describes other Asians with very little difference in lifestyle and/or mannerisms to caucasian or "white" people. The term is further described as being "yellow" on the outside and "white" on the inside, identical to the composition of the Twinkie snack. The term Twinkie generally has very negative connotations and most Asians use it in a derogatory manner to put down those Asians they perceive as "self hating" or not being able to maintain their heritage (e.g., they do not speak their parents' native language or practice certain customs expected of Asians). It is akin to calling a Black person an Uncle Tom.

Other uses

The Minnesota Twins baseball team is sometimes called the "Twinkies" by fans of the team, although not by the team itself.

Archie Bunker, on the popular 1970s television series All in the Family liked Twinkies and became irate whenever his wife, Edith, forgot to put one into his lunchbox.

The 1975-1976 novelty song "Junk Food Junkie", written and recorded by Larry Groce, mentions the Hostess Twinkie in its opening lines.

Urban Legend

A common urban legend claims that Twinkies have an indefinite shelf life, or can last for a relatively long time due to chemicals used in production. In reality, Twinkies have a shelf life of 25 days. The myth probably originated from the fact that Twinkies are made without dairy products and thus spoil more slowly than most bakery items. The urban legend is a major plot line in the Family Guy episode Da Boom. This was also referenced, visually, in the 2008 animated film WALL-E.

See also

Notes

External links

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