Twinkies Don’t Last Forever

This month, as I'm sure everyone is aware, is the 75th anniversary of the creation of Hostess Twinkies. To mark that anniversary it's worth linking to this article in which a Hostess marketing person tries to debunk that urban legend about how Twinkies last forever. He claims they only last 25 days. Yeah, right:

"We hear that they can survive a nuclear winter. Of course, it’s all urban legend," says Hostess marketing manager Kevin Kaul. But in fact, Interstate Brands Co., Hostess’ parent company, designates a 25-day shelf life for its most famous product. Interstate has 17 bakeries nationwide; they crank out 500 million Twinkies a year.

Food Urban Legends

Posted on Wed Apr 27, 2005


Nope! It's true! They have a shelf life of about a month, tops. They don't go *bad*, or grow fuzz or anything, but they *will* go stale. Stale twinkies are chewy.

If you don't beleive me, a simple experiment can be done: Buy a twinkie. Wait a month. Buy another twinkie. Wait another month. Buy a third twinkie. Compare.
Posted by Bobcat  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  12:46 AM
Come the Nuclear Holocaust, the only things left will be cockroaches and Twinkies.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  12:56 AM
well you don't want the cockroaches to starve, do you?
Posted by Sharruma  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  02:12 AM
Question from the ignorant foreigner. What are twinkies?
Posted by Nettie  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  02:16 AM
My household receives a kids' magazine called "National Geographic Kids." In the recent issue was a short ariticle about a teacher who wanted to see how long a Twinkie would last, so he put one on top of his chalkboard. Years later (I forget how many... at least 15) it's still there, dried out and dusty, but not a spot of mold.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  04:22 AM
nettie, it's a spongy cream-filled cake.
This might explain it better:
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  04:51 AM
...I'm trying to decide if the logo across the bottom is alluding to something a little bit dirty or not.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  04:52 AM
For the durability of the common twinkie, look at and be educated.

And Nettie, twinkies are a sort of imitation food substitute.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  09:20 AM
The nuclear winter comment is strange.
Since it would be much colder than normal in a nuclear winter, packaged food such as Twinkies should last longer, not less time, in those conditions.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  09:26 AM
"Question from the ignorant foreigner. What are twinkies?"
Oh, how I envy you! To not know what twinkies are must be sheer bliss.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  09:28 AM
I don't like cockroaches
Posted by Buggie  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  09:29 AM
No one likes cockroaches Buggy.
Posted by Dany  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  10:16 AM
How long would they last in space?
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  12:14 PM
Maybe they (or any other food) would last forever in space. With no air and no moisture, they could not rot, oxidize, grow bacteria, or otherwise spoil. It would also be so cold that they would probably not become rancid.

But there's nobody in space to eat them.
Posted by Big Gary C in Dallas  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  03:29 PM
OKAY CATCH THIS!!!!! for the poor guy who doesnt know what a twinky is (may god have mercy on you) they are these nasty little cake things. no but we actually had some people at my school do some experiments with twikies. they are indestructible. when exposed to high temperature they don't really burn they just bubble and when they cool there shape is obviously the same, but the taste is about the same. they did all sorts of crazy stuff to them and found out that radiation is not absorbed by them and stuff. so yeah they would so survive a nuclear attack!
Posted by Erica  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  05:52 PM
Maybe the first sucessful manned mission to Mars should release a few and we could study Twinkies in space? Sorta extra-terrestrial-esque-ish-like
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  06:23 PM
I've heard this claim from Twinkie, Incorporated before, on the Food Network's "Unwrapped". They tried to claim that Twinkies are just ordinary cakes, made from ordinary sugar, flour, and eggs, and that they will go stale after a month like little cakes normally would, and have to be constantly replaced in stores on roughly the same freshness cycle as other baked goods.

I didn't believe it either. Having eaten Twinkies, it just doesn't seem possible that they are "normal" little cakes. There's something artificial and durable about them that just doesn't jive with that assessment.

Especially if you've ever bit down into one of those freak-occurence hardened cream nubbin plugs (more common in the imitation twinkie brands). No pre-industrial pastry ever bore such a malefic booby-trap as that.

Anyway, I much prefer those chocolate cupcakes with the white icing swirls. Love those things. Sometimes I just get a craving for them when I see them at the convenience store. Yum.

>>>In the recent issue was a short ariticle about a teacher who wanted to see how long a Twinkie would last, so he put one on top of his chalkboard. Years later (I forget how many... at least 15) it's still there, dried out and dusty, but not a spot of mold.<<<

Obviously he wasn't a science teacher, or he'd take a more empirical approach. Just because it looks fine doesn't amount to much; the only test that counts would be to open that thing up and take a bite. But who could have such courage?
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  07:34 PM
...particularly since, if it's sitting on top of the chalkboard, it looks just fine from about four feet away.

That ain't exactly a smoking gun, as it were.
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  07:36 PM
Thus is proven the power of the urban legend.. People will stubbornly refuse to believe the truth, because the fiction is presented better...
Posted by Bobcat  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  08:14 PM
Nay, friend. Tis not the power of the urban legend, tis the wretched mediocrity of the yellow oblong cake itself that calls the baker's account of the matter into question.

Tis hard to believe a chewy yellow sponge with a chemical aftertaste is truly a dainty and perishable pastry.
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  08:22 PM
"Ring Ding, Ring Ding, I wish I had a Ring Ding... chomp mmmm... I wish I had Another Ring Ding"... That was my most favorite American TV commercial, many years ago when I was Little Raoul. I bet those Ring Dings would not be too Ringy Dingy now, eh? Ha ha- I made the Llamas laugh and spill their cerveza. Now they are singing I wish I had another cerveza. I still want the Ring Dings. Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  08:59 PM
Erica, I'm a girl!
Posted by Nettie  on  Thu Apr 28, 2005  at  09:39 AM
I remember my father once eating a Twinkie that had sat in our sweets drawer for a couple of months. He vomited about 20 minutes later, so I'm pretty sure they don't last forever.
Posted by David  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  02:01 AM
More about Twinkies: The Chip Shop, which is a famous English-style (and Brit ex-pat owned) fish and chips place just down the street from me in Brooklyn invented the deep-fried Twinkie. They have apparently since become very popular at State Fairs and such around the country. It might sound really gross, but they are damn tasty, though so rich you can only really just have one.
Posted by David  on  Fri Apr 29, 2005  at  02:08 AM
We don't have Twinkies here in the UK. I wish we did. <sigh>
Posted by Nona  on  Tue Mar 13, 2007  at  07:03 AM
Ok there is an associated press article about a teacher who kept a twinkie for 30 years in his class room, and it was still good. now that was a most likely a climate controled room. But about cockroaches and twinkies.. I was part of an experiment in which we locked cockroaches in a fish tank with a twinkie... they didnt eat it they died from starvation. go figure.

Posted by Xaviar  on  Sat Jul 05, 2008  at  04:59 PM
i founded a modly twinkie one time!!! the truth is unvailed!!! i am the first!!!
Posted by kassidy jones  on  Thu Oct 16, 2008  at  10:39 AM
The truth is... that the idea for the twinkie, along with that of Monster energy, was handed to man by God through a dream. it is the food of heaven... its meant to last forever!
Posted by Imperfect Desciple ID  on  Tue May 05, 2009  at  02:24 PM
this twinkie thing remids me of zombieland:)
Posted by Gio  on  Mon Mar 01, 2010  at  05:34 PM
Wow a science teacher who kept their job for 15 years. Twinkies are great try the choc or strawberry ones.
Posted by S.W.A.T.  on  Fri Jul 22, 2011  at  06:06 AM
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