THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND
A yellow sponge cake that hides a white cream filling inside.
We are talking about Twinkie, the American-born snack famous all over the world as one of the classics on the shelves of the nation with stars and stripes, as well as other countries.
Some people question about its too sweet savor and categorize as another of the many junk food we are used to eat in hasty days with little time to engage in more healthy snacks, but one that surely no one can deny is the dominant relevance this simple-looking snack has had not only in the United States, but in the global collective imagination of the whole America.
Twinkies are born just as most brilliant things are born: for a convenience that proves to be a stroke of genius.
The sweet company called at that time Continental Baking, which had already gained considerable popularity with other products such as the Hostess brand strawberry shortcake, found itself facing the end of the strawberry season around the 1920s and 1930s, and so it was impossible to use the machines for the production of sweets made with this fruit, which influenced the total earnings and did not bring any benefits in those periods of inactivity.
To optimize the machines as much as possible, the pastry chef James Alexander Dewar came up with the idea of designing a pastry filled with a banana cream, thus using the equipment for the cream of shortcakes.
He took the name from an advertising billboard for “Twinkie Toe Shoes”, not wanting to try too hard in creativity for a product that was only a “filling”.
Unfortunately, what happened shortly afterwards would have upset the life of half the world: the Second World War. And with it a number of limitations and of unavailability of resources due to the war itself.
Bananas proved to be an arduous food to be found in those periods of confrontation, and therefore they had to modify the recipe of the cream out of necessity, exchanging it with the always reliable and accessible vanilla, which will never abandon the world of sweets.
When it was possible to return to the original banana, the vanilla version liked so much that it surpassed the first and for this reason the recipe was left like this, because when something works better leave it alone.
Although there were other experiments in the tastes, the classic vanilla version took its predominant position above all thanks to the promotion it had in America with the award-winning and recognized film King Kong (2005) with Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts and Jack Black in the iconic characters of the adventure film.
Unfortunately, the Twinkies, after the great social and economic climb in supermarkets in all the States of America, had an epoch-making fallout in the years to come.
In fact, it was in 2012 when, after the Hostess was unable to manage the organization of the company, the competition and the enormous debt that fell on it for the new regulations and the salary expenses of the workers who went on strike because of the new contracts, it was forced to request the protection granted to companies in the event of bankruptcy which led to the cessation of Twinkies production, among many other packaged sweets produced by the company.
What they did not foresee, however, was the great crisis that this caused in the sweet-toothed hearts of many Americans who found themselves protesting and demanding the return of the legendary sweets on which the childhood of entire generations had been based, as well as plundering the last Twinkies stocks still available for a short time in the national markets.
Seeing the enormous repercussions that this product had generated, the Apollo Management, a company dedicated to investing in companies in difficulty, and Metropoulos & Co, both known for the revaluation of classic American brands, paid 410 million dollars to be able to restore the brand and reorganize the Hostess in order to make it efficient and functional again.
And it is thanks to this that in 2013, after about a year of abstinence from the golden pastry, that the Americans were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
A story that ends with a nice happy ending, with a sugary flavor.
The Twinkies are not only dear to Americans for the nostalgia that brings them back to the time of their youth where these snacks were so popular in all the houses, but now are also a world icon of reference of the American symbol, both for the questionable health theme linked to this confectionery product, that for its incredible notoriety in cinematographic terms, so much so as to become part of the American culture reflected in the world.
An example is the iconic scene of the most nostalgic movie ever which contains part of the essence of this country in which it is set: Ghostbusters (1984).
I know, it will have come spontaneously to hum the homonymous song, and it is normal because it is now an unrivaled classic of the old generation impossible to forget.
And as you will remember, even in this movie our Twinkie takes on an interesting role:
Egon, the geek in the group, in an attempt to explain the scientific technicalities to his colleagues, makes use of a Twinkie as a model:
“ Well, let’s say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. According to this morning’s sample it would be a Twinkie… thirty-five feet long weighing approximately six-hundred pounds. “
To which Winston responds with the famous phrase worthy of the meme: “That’s a big Twinkie”.
Another movie that is a bit of a reminder of the generational nostalgia that this treat brings back to the Americans, as well as the existential crisis of their temporary interruption is Zombieland, a comic parody of the post apocalyptic genre, where a group of survivors finds themselves living in an America infested with zombies. In particular one of these survivors, Tallahasee (played by Woody Harrelson), takes on a personal challenge in search of his beloved Twinkies, who by chance and spirit of comedy, will always find destroyed or inedible for most of the trip.
THE TWINKIES IN THE WORLD
The relatively basic appearance and composition of the Twinkies makes them linked to many products and snacks from many countries (there are even similar American versions such as the Zingers, which many prefer for the more consistent and tasty flavor).
These sweets, both for the purpose of reproducing the brand in its national version and for indirect affinity of some products known locally, it is possible to define them as “international versions” of American Twinkies.
Being geographically close, the United States and Mexico have always exchanged the gastronomic cultures and flavors of their lands, and as it has been for the burritos, las tortillas and much more from the Latin country, the USA has distinguished itself offering one of the symbolic products together with fried potatoes, hamburgers and many others, with the so- called “Submarinos”, that is the Mexican version of the Twinkies.
Furthermore, there is always in Mexico but also in Colombia, a packaged sweet with a similar appearance called “Gansito”, a name that would literally mean “little goose”.
Among the various products that resemble the Hostess brand, the Mexican multinational Grupo Bimbo in Spain is the one that has the most correlations with our sweet darlings, also because rumors existed at the time that it was one of the companies that wanted to acquire the brand, before Apollo and Metropoulos took the deal.
Among the popular snacks of the Spanish tradition, at least in the packaged sweets section, there are La Pantera Rosa, which are the most similar version of the Twinkies and covered with a pink cover glaze, named after the cartoon Pink Panther.
There is also the popular although discontinued sweet Bucaneros, famous in the 1970’s that is the most similar spanish version of Twinkies.
Together with these there are also Los Bollycaos, filled with cocoa cream. Among those who come closest to it there are certainly alsolos Bony, a sweet cream filling with a layer of strawberry jam and cocoa coating.
Since the Twinkies are made with sponge cake which contains a heart filled with a soft milk cream, the most similar sweets in Italy in terms of flavor but not in shape, are the snacks from Ferreno, the Kinder Brioss, which they have a thin double layer of cream and are rectangular, but specially the Flauti of Mulino Bianco are the similar version with milk cream.
As for the French nation, the Eclair or “petisús”, the sweet symbol of the country, is very reminiscent of a more sophisticated and elegant version of the mundane Twinkies, in all its infinite combinations of creams, toppings, fillings and various glazes.
RUSSIA AND THE BALTIC STATES
What for some countries is the syrok and for others it is the kohuke (and other complex names that I am not here to list) are the chocolate versions very similar to our golden snack, with the variation of the filling consisting of cheese quark, then combined with cocoa, jam, vanilla or even banana as for our Twinkies in the original version.
CURIOSITIES ABOUT THE RENOWNED “GOLDEN CAKE”
The Twinkie has gone through bizarre moments and really curious anecdotes given its reputation as an American symbol in the world.
In addition to the Ghostbusters meme, there are two that have marked it particularly as an influential element in the culture of the country.
THE ETERNITY OF TWINKIES
In its sugary and creamy nature, this sweet presumably possesses properties that would make it immune to the natural process of decay that the other products possess.
This made it an easy target for jokes related to its “legendary ability”, making it one of the most popular myths about this product.
Since these confectionery products do not have a defined shelf life, they are said to last for whole decades without corrupting or deteriorating, and if left in the protective plastic wrapping they can even go up to 50 years! Or at least that’s what the myth tells us.
I don’t know about you, but the fact that these sweets do not decompose easily is not something to be happy about because it means that the content of artificial preservatives of which it is composed and the quantities of chemical components such as to give it immortality is highly high and therefore unhealthy… but in the end we are here for a good time not a long time, I’m right? Furthermore that made one of the most amusing cultural references ever so that’s great too.
In fact, in the movie dedicated to the infernal anti-hero Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, there is a scene in which the bad Carrigan, who has decomposition powers, looks for something to eat. While grabbing an apple and then a sandwich, both begin to rot instantly in his hands because of his gift, but when he touches a Twinkie, it remains intact and immune to his power, allowing him to eat it with satisfaction.
THE TWINKIE DEFENSE
It must be said, however, that these soft sponge cakes do not have, as we might have been thought, an absolute and commendable reputation in public opinion.
In reality, the Twinkies have a “dark” side that still resides in the minds of many Americans and fanatics of this dessert.
I’m talking about one of the unofficial legal maneuvers known for its lack of credibility, in a comic and derogatory way, defined as “the Twinkie Defense”.
In the indictment process against Dan White accused of manslaughter, White’s defense asserted that the depression that had caused the killing of the mayor of San Francisco and the supervisor, resulted from the intake of large quantities of sugar through junk food, in which the unfortunate Twinkie was also mentioned.
Although the defense did not focus only on this aspect to formulate the harangue and even less defined the snack as the cause of his client’s actions, due to a fanciful journalist with quick headlines, it was called The Twinkie Defense, which led to its rapid popularity and with it the misinformation about the case for ordinary people.
Unfortunately, the aggravating excessive amount of sugar present in these packaged products led the infamous cake to take on the “weight”, erroneously attributed by the people, of a process with few positive resolution possibilities. In fact, he was accused of pre-intentional murder, further anchoring the stigma to the dessert.
Hmm… there was a rather grim ending for an article, don’t you think?
Let’s brighten it up with this tasty photo.
There you go 🙂
So what do you think of the Twinkies, have you tried it? If you want, tell us in the comments section below, and if you like this article, consider sharing it with who you want. We will appreciate it a lot!
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THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND THE TWINKIES: THE ORIGIN, HISTORY AND LEGEND