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I’m in a Twinkie funk

I like Twinkies. I really do.

I’m not saying I buy boxes of them every time I go to the grocery store, but every once in a while, I get a craving for one. Or two, I guess, because they do come two to a package so that’s kind of a nice thing, too, right? Two little golden sponge pillows filled with cream (no, I don’t want to know what’s in there).

And after I woke up this morning and saw the twitter-chatter about the closing of Hostess,  I admit, I started to get one of those Twinkie cravings.

You’ve got to hand it to the Twinkie, too – it’s lasted much like one of its sister treats. As the Tootsie Roll Pop’s tagline says: “a long, l-o-n-g time.”

James Alexander Dewar of Schiller Park, Ill., came up with the idea in 1930, according to Wikipedia. Dewar, a baker at the Continental Baking Company, first used banana cream as the filling for his Twinkie treats, which he named after a billboard he saw in St. Louis for “Twinkle Toe Shoes.”  When bananas were rationed in World War II, the filling was changed to vanilla cream.

Over the years, the Continental Baking Company evolved to become Hostess. And the Twinkie became iconic and, at times, ubiquitous, and both famous and infamous. Like that lovable rascal Archie Bunker, I always felt like a lucky kiddo when I discovered a Twinkie in my lunch. There are urban legends about how long a Twinkie can last. There are stories about its shelf life and experiments surrounding it – including one I remember where freshmen stuck a pin through one and stabbed it to a corkboard. Four years later, they graduated – and the Twinkie was as fresh as the day it was bought.

There’s “the Twinkie Defense,” courthouse slang for going temporarily crazy due to a sugar overload from junk food.  John McClane choked down a “thousand-year-old Twinkie” in Die Hard and in the animated movie WALL-E there was an 800-year-old Twinkie, again, fresh as a daisy.

I once had a deep-fried Twinkie at the Western Idaho Fair. I wonder if I’ll ever have one again?

Since the company announced Nov. 16 it is winding down operations, there has been a run on Ding-Dongs, Hostess Cupcakes, Ho-Hos – and Twinkies. On e-bay, as of this moment, there seem to be a few bargains left – boxes of 10 Twinkies for about $10. There are also some going for $100 and for $500 I could get “20 boxes of fresh Hostess Twinkies fresh off the Hostess truck.”

What happens when the Hostess Twinkies are all gone?

In a way, I hope the urban legends are true. And when I pull my 20-year-old box of Twinkies off the shelf in my closet, they’ll taste just like “fresh Hostess Twinkies fresh off the Hostess truck.”

Jeanne Huff is special publications editor at Idaho Business Review.

About Jeanne Huff

Jeanne Huff is the special sections editor at IBR, editor of Women of the Year, Accomplished Under 40, CEOs of Influence, Money Makers, Leaders in Law, Corporate Guide to Event Planning as well as editor of custom publications including Welcome to Boise, Dining Decisions, Idaho Heartland Living and Travelog.
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