Twinkies, the unassuming, freakishly flexible and apparently unbreakable treat treat known as “the lotion drag of the proletariat,” passed away Saturday of problems from financial truth.
Texas-based Coordinator Manufacturers declared it would shutter functions amongst a devastating work argument. Twinkies were 82.
Although they pre-dated the child growth, Twinkies became a the afternoon meal choice for post-World War II years of schoolchildren — something to take the pain off the bologna meals and the dutiful the apple company.
Hostess Manufacturers, pop-culture pupil John Thompson said, gradually protected all the lunchbox types, such as Wonder Breads, the Damage Dong and the Ho Ho. And the ascendancy of the Twinkie showed how “food had become technological innovation,” Thompson said. “A treat with stuffing, protected in clear wrapping.”
More than that, Twinkies have filed themselves into the social firmament for better and more intense.
Twinkies have provided countless yuks in movies. They were a vaguely effeminate doughnut substitute for cops (“They’re for my wife”) in “Die Hard” (1988). In the Pixar animated film “WALL-E” (2008), which is set hundreds of years in the future, the only surviving species is the cockroach, and its favorite food is an abnormally fresh Twinkie. (Folklore aside, a Twinkie’s shelf life is two to three weeks.)
Twinkies are a notorious footnote in the country’s judicial system. An attorney for San Francisco Supervisor Dan White argued in 1979 that his client should not be convicted of first-degree murder because of diminished mental capacity from eating so much junk food that it exacerbated his depression.
The “Twinkie Defense” did not help White, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the killings of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
The Twinkie was born in 1930 and is often credited to James A. Dewar, a Illinois baker for what was then the Continental Baking Co. The firm produced a cream-filled strawberry shortcake and, when strawberry season was over, Dewar saw no reason the machines needed to sit idle. He formulated a banana cream cake which, amid World War II rationing, became and remained vanilla cream.
The name? It was inspired by a billboard Dewar saw for Twinkle Toe Shoes. “I shortened it to make it a little zippier for the kids,” Dewar said in a 1980 interview.
The golden confection developed into a finger-shaped sugar sponge that was injected with a gooey filling capable of turning small children into google-eyed rocket boosters.
Hostess reportedly sells about $2.5 billion annually of baked goods; seriously, not extruded but baked — “just like your mother used to,” as the company once wrote to a skeptical customer.
Twinkies have survived the Depression, three major wars, the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, bankruptcy filings by the parent company and all the jokes about their post-apocalyptic staying power. But ultimately, Twinkies were vulnerable to labor problems at Hostess, which is now privately owned by two hedge funds.
The company argued that crippling wage and benefit disputes were its ruin and left it hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. The striking Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union blamed lackluster technological investment by Hostess and a focus on profits for the hedge funds. Either way, 18,500 people are out of a job, and an iconic product will cease production unless another firm scoops up the brand.