Praise To The Twinkie

I wanted to buy some Twinkies the other day but my local CVS had been cleaned out! With the latest news about Twinkies going out of business there have been a slew of articles about the company, their products and of course their health benefits, or lack thereof. Yes I agree, Twinkies are not really all that healthy and my mom never bought me any, but I still respect them for the work of food science art that they are and would like at least honor the food scientists over the years who have perfected this shelf stable cream filled cake.

twinkie

Steve Ettinger wrote a book about all the ingredients in a Twinkie and Dwight Eschliman took a picture of each of the 37 individual ingredients in a very artistic way. Both of these artists used the Twinkie to promote their own agenda of condemning the food industry and demonstrating to the public the Twinkie’s long and “unclean” label.

I am not here to debate on the health merits of the Twinkie but I do think that anyone who can take 37 ingredients and combine them in a way that creates a great tasting long lasting product that has managed to stay on the market since 1930 deserves some praise and recognition. How bad can they be if people kept buying them and now they are selling on E-bay for hundreds of dollars!

So I would like to honor James Alexander Dewar and the many food scientists after him at Hostess that perfected his original work of art. Dewar started as a delivery boy at the Continental Baking Company (which later became Hostess) in 1920. Dewar worked his way through the ranks and eventually became the plant manager. In 1930 he was trying to figure out a way to use the strawberry short bread pans while strawberries were out of season and came up with a banana cream filled cake idea.  Banana rations in WW2 forced the company to switch to a vanilla filling.  There is very little on the life of this man- this inventor and artist who managed to manipulate 37 ingredients in such a way that it resulted in a cake that according to legend can last 100 years in a landfill (right next to the hot dog).  Undocumented sources online claim that Dewar ate 3 Twinkies a night before he went to bed and he died at 88!

So how bad can a Twinkie be for us if the inventor ate three a day and still lived to be 88? According to Dwight and Steve, you are what you eat—if that’s the case, I want what he’s having!

 

About rachel zemser