Happy Birthday, Twinkie

Sweet treat, invented in Chicago, turns 80

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Twinkie is about to have its mid-shelf-life crisis.

    The Twinkie is about to have its mid-shelf-life crisis.

    Today, the golden sponge cake with creamy filling turns 80 years old.

    Invented right here in the Chicago area, Hostess bakery manager James Dewar debuted the popular shortbread cakes in 1930. They were originally made with a banana-cream filling, but when bananas were rationed during World War II, the company switched to vanilla cream.

    In a case of "Don't fix what isn't broken," Hostess continues to use vanilla cream in its recipe to this day.

    Now, could an individual Twinkie actually last 80 years?

    Urban legend would have you believe so. It's true that Twinkies do spoil more slowly than most pastries because they are made without dairy products. However, the average shelf life of a Twinkie is actually about 25 days.

    How long a person could last on a diet of Twinkies is yet to be determined.

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.