Friday, Nov. 16, 2012


When the manufacturer of the classic Twinkie snack cake announced its plan to stop the ovens and shut down its business this week, a little part of America died. Hostess Brands' Twinkies have not only been a mainstay on our supermarket shelves and in our bellies, they've been a staple in our popular culture and, above all, in our hearts. Often criticized for its lack of any nutritional value whatsoever, the Twinkie has managed to persevere as a cultural and gastronomical icon. Harold Ramis' character in Ghostbusters famously used a Twinkie to explain psychokinetic energy, and Woody Harrelson's character in Zombieland willfully tracked down the "spongy, yellow, delicious bastards" throughout the film. An urban legend even claims that Twinkies are so packed with preservatives, they'll last forever. Sure, they don't really have an infinite shelf life, but that doesn't matter, because soon the Twinkie might not even be available on shelves.

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January and has been plagued by financial and labor woes since then, along with changing American tastes for snack food, forcing the company to close down its 33 bakeries across the U.S. This move throws the future of the Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling into jeopardy. Never has there been a better time to stash a few boxes of Twinkies away and hope they really are non-perishable.