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April 15, 2005

What you look like after eating a Twinkie a day for 64 years (and counting)


Above, Mr. Louis Browning of Shelbyville, Indiana.

In 1941, when he was a little boy, he started enjoying a daily Twinkie or two and just never stopped.

Now retired from his job as a milkman, he's consumed over 22,000 of the delectable delights and even appeared on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Which is more than I can say for myself.

Twinkie manufacturer Hostess, recognizing the magnitude of Browning's achievement, has generously provided for a lifetime supply for the Twinkie's greatest fan.

You do realize, of course, that this month marks the 75th anniversary of the Twinkie.

Why else would Candy Sagon's story about the iconic treat have been featured on the front page of this past Wednesday's Washington Post Food section — above the fold — along with pictures of both Mr. Browning and Twinkies?


• Back in 1930, James Dewar, manager of Chicago's Continental Bakery, wanted to find another use for the company's shortcake pans. He decided to fill the small, oblong cakes that resulted with banana-cream filling and named them after the "Twinkle Toes" shoes he had seen advertised on a billboard in St. Louis.

From such serendipitous associations do wonderful things result.

• Twinkies debuted as part of the Hostess baked-goods line, selling two for a nickel.

• During World War II, when there was a banana shortage, the filling flavor was changed to vanilla.

• The Twinkie has been manufactured in the same Chicago factory since 1930.

• Chicago also happens to be the city with the highest per capita consumption of Twinkies.


• Hostess turns out 1,000 Twinkies every minute, which amounts to 500 million — yes, half a billion — Twinkies every year. And sales are increasing.

• 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.

• Roger Bennatti, a science teacher at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, kept a Twinkie perched atop his chalkboard for 30 years. "It's rather brittle, but if you dusted it off, it's probably still edible," he told the Associated Press when he retired last year.

• Theresa Cogswell, who calls herself "the Twinkie guru," is vice president for research and development at Interstate Bakeries Corp., the parent company of Hostess. She says she wouldn't want to eat Bennatti's 30-year-old Twinkie. "You can eat older Twinkies, but they're just not as good as when they're fresh. Then they're awesome." [Agreed. So stipulated. In fact, I've gotten such a hankering for one I'm stopping for a moment and taking a short trip down to the 7-11 for a package — or three]

• OK, where was I? Oh, yeah, Twinkie FunFacts.

• Cogswell stated that the shelf life of Twinkies is 25 days.

• Twinkies contain no dairy-based ingredients that could quickly go bad; they are basically flour, sugar (three types), oil, eggs and chemicals (preservatives and stabilizers).

• Twinkies contain 150 calories each — but what superb, exquisite, finger-licking good ones!

Twinkies fascinate me.

I have written about them three times previously in the past eight months: on September 5, December 7, and December 31 of last year.

The proof of the filling is in the reading.

After this post goes up I'm going to email Google with the link and request a Twinkie Google icon for sometime in the next two weeks.

I bet they do it.


Keep your eyes peeled, what?

[via Candy Sagon and the Washington Post]

April 15, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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=HA HA HA HA HA HA HA................HA
U LOOK UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...HA

Posted by: hawaiian | Dec 6, 2007 1:15:07 PM

YUMMY!! Can I have one of your twinkies babeah??? They so nice and big and twinkielishous!!! YUM!!!

Posted by: Trish | Sep 11, 2006 10:22:36 AM


Posted by: becky | Sep 11, 2006 10:21:01 AM

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