Hostess Brings Back Banana-Creme Twinkie By LAUREN SHEPHERD
Twinkie lovers, get ready to go bananas.
The sweet treat known for its golden spongy cake and its creamy vanilla center is returning to its roots with banana-creme filling - the flavor that first made the snack a hit with sweet-toothed people more than 70 years ago.
Hostess, owned by Kansas City, Mo.-based Interstate Bakeries Corp., began selling the banana-creme snack cakes last week at retail stores nationwide. The filling tastes just as sweet as the standard vanilla but with a subtle hint and smell of banana.
Old-timers may remember the taste from the pre-World War II years. From 1930, when the Twinkie was first invented, to the 1940s, Twinkies were filled solely with banana creme. But a banana shortage during the war forced Hostess bakers to replace it with the vanilla flavor.
Hostess has reintroduced the flavor during limited-time promotions in the past, but always took the treat off the shelves when the promotion ended.
The company was finally persuaded to make the flavor part of its lineup for good after Hostess offered it for four weeks last year for the release of the movie "King Kong." Total Twinkie sales jumped 20 percent during the promotion.
The flavor got high marks from Amanda Reid, 29, who was taking a break Tuesday from her litigation consulting job in midtown Manhattan. After biting into the Twinkie, she pronounced it "banana-y."
"You can still taste the original Twinkie flavor underneath it," she said. "It almost makes it seem like it's a little bit healthier than a regular Twinkie."
The fruit flavor may make banana Twinkies taste like a healthier snack, but according to the nutritional information, there's little difference between the banana and vanilla flavored versions, which contain 150 calories each.
Hostess sells more than half a billion Twinkies each year.
Twinkies - Tingling Taste Buds for more than 75 Years
One of America's best known and most loved snack cakes, Twinkies have been tantalizing taste buds and filling lunch boxes since 1930. Twinkies are the stuff of legends - President Clinton put one in a time capsule - and have achieved the status of cultural icon, with the American Society of Media Photographers recently mounting a photo exhibition featuring Twinkies. But to most people, they're just fun to eat.
Whether we're carrying a supply in the glove compartment for a quick on-the-road snack, freezing them, deep frying them, or eating them right out of the package, millions of Twinkie lovers would agree with creator Jimmy Dewar's statement that "Twinkies was the best darn-tootin' idea I ever had."
Many of the 500 million Twinkies sold every year spark wonderful creative impulses, as moms, dads, school teachers and kids take to their kitchens to invent gourmet recipes, including Twinkie Shortcake, Twinkie Misu and Twinkie Sushi. And let's not forget those amazing Twinkie Wedding Cakes. A collection of Twinkie recipes is scheduled for publication next year and we'll keep posting some of these delectable delights on our website.
For Twinkie Recipes, click here.
The Hostess ® brand got its start in Indianapolis in 1925. Continental Baking Company purchased a bakery called Taggart that was selling popular new bread called Wonder ® (maybe you've heard of it). Continental began selling Wonder Bread as its national bread brand but needed a line of cakes to sell alongside. Hostess cake was born, including the chocolate cup cake which is still popular today.
Continental hit the sponge cake gold mine in 1930 when Jimmy Dewar invented Twinkies ® . Seeing a need for an inexpensive product during the depression, Dewar made use of shortcake pans that were only used during the strawberry season. Dewar's idea was to inject the shortcake with a banana crème filling to make them a year-round treat and sell them two for a nickel. Dewar's quest for a catchy name ended on his way to St. Louis to present his sweet invention. Driving down the highway he passed a billboard advertising ?Twinkle Toe? shoes, and from this the Twinkies name evolved.
The Twinkies' popularity skyrocketed and it soon became Hostess' best-selling snack cake. During World War II a banana ration caused Continental to switch to the vanilla crème center that is loved today. Twinkies have become an American icon and nearly half a billion are made each year.
Through the years Hostess has developed new treats including Ding Dongs ® , Ho Ho's ® , Suzy Q's ® , Sno Balls ® and fruit pies, as well as a wide range of donut products, including the popular Donette ® brand of bite-sized donuts.
In the summer of 1995, Interstate Bakeries Corporation acquired Continental Baking Company. This made Interstate the largest wholesale baker of fresh delivered bread and cake in the United States.
You can buy the Twinkie Recipe book below here.
Fun twinkie info here at Wikipedia.
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