Twinkies got a bad rep ’cause we find the name irresistable

October 23, 2009

in random

In the American Pop culture conscious, there is this curious obsession with Twinkies.  One of the new exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is about Twinkies.  Putting our obsession with this oddity on view.


A Twinkie was born

For once, let’s scientifically study the myth that Twinkies will never die.  Observe and report.  (I will visit MSI later again to check on the Twinkie that is on view there).

Of course, Twinkies are not the only food that are believed to be evil-incarnate.  Why such revilement?

My theory is that half of that ill-begotten fame came from the name, Twinkie.  What’s in a name? If it were called “Hostess Cream-filled Yellow Cake”, or, let’s say, Snow Puff, it would not have become such a legend, warts and all. Kudos to the marketing team that came up with this name that is now a major part of American pop culture.

Upon further investigation, I learned that the name Twinkie came from a chance encounter with a billboard:

In 1933, James Dewar, a baker at Continental Baking Company in Indiana, was inspired and came up with this name when driving by a billboard advertising shoes from the “Twinkle Toe Shoe Company”.

This is serendipity!  In our collective consciousness for food, Twinkies share a significant space with the shoe in Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush…  Ok. Maybe it is proven once again that I am easily amused. TOO easily.

Ode to Twinkies

‘Tis but thy name that makes thou irresistible;

Thou art thyself, though not a Twinkie.

What’s Twinkie? it is nor Monoglycerides nor diglycerides

Nor Polysorbate 60, nor Hydrogenated shortening, nor any other part

Belonging to proper CAKE. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a Twinkie

By any other name would induce as much grimace??

So Twinkie would, were it not Twinkie call’d,

Retain that dear longevity which it owes

Without that title. Twinkie, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all the cream.


Jane October 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Oh my gosh! I loved twinkies as a kid. So I got some for MY kids. And……eh. Not so great. Must be a kid thing!
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Operation Beautiful Dot Com =-.

Absence Alternatives October 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm

@ Jane
When I first got to this country, with no family, not knowing how to cook, living in the dorm, I ate a lot of that stuff and other Hostess products. My body will not rot ever when I die.

Jessica October 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Have you seen that website?…the Twinkie project or something…they like…can survive a fall from a fifty million story building…
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..rite of passage. as long as you don’t, like, kill the teacher. =-.

Jennifer Lynn October 26, 2009 at 8:01 am

I was once cleaning out my fieldwork truck…..and found a Twinkie that was AT LEAST 7 years old….It looked perfect. One of my technicians saw it and was all “Yummy!!! A TWINKIE!!!! CAN I HAVE IT?”…..I said sure but it is ancient……he relished it and deemed it good as new……ewwwww.
.-= Jennifer Lynn´s last blog ..Insanity Update: Fit Test 2 =-.

Robin October 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

Yeah I think the name “twinkie” it was always doomed.
.-= Robin´s last blog ..Boston Facts =-.

Absence Alternatives October 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

@ Jessica
Oh. THAT website is really funny! Thanks for sharing

Absence Alternatives October 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

@ Jennifer Lynn
This just goes to prove 1) Twinkies can last forever so good food to have around for when the flood comes, 2) Men have twinkies for brains. 😉

Absence Alternatives October 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm

@ Robin
Thank YOU for agreeing with me so I don’t feel so crazy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: