BUSINESS
11/16/2012 11:25 am ET Updated Nov 16, 2012

Twinkie Facts: 12 Things You Didn't Know About The Beloved Snack

The maker of one of America's favorite snacks is dying, so inevitably it's time for us to sing the Twinkie's praises.

Twinkies, which have been around since 1930, have a legendary history. But unfortunately their future is in jeopardy; Hostess Brands, the maker of the iconic snack, announced Friday that it will likely go out of business, close its operations and lay off all 18,500 of its workers.

Let's take a moment to stop with the freak-outs, and start with the celebration of some great Twinkie facts:

  1. The cream inside Twinkies was originally banana flavored. When the government rationed bananas during WWII, Hostess changed the flavor to the vanilla that we all know and love.
  2. A "Twinkie defense" is a term for a criminal defense in which the defendant's actions were supposedly affected by unimportant factors like diet.
  3. It's not very difficult make your own Twinkies, now that Hostess won't be making them anymore.
  4. Hostess brought its original banana flavoring back for a limited time in 2006 to promote the DVD release of King Kong.
  5. Twinkies are a popular food for eating contests, and one man ate 24 of them in under a minute. That's 3,600 Calories.
  6. There is a popular myth that Twinkies never go bad, which has inspired some cool time lapse videos.
  7. But the reality is that Twinkies don't actually stay good forever. They have a reported shelf life of 25 days.
  8. Twinkies have been subjected to many scientific experiments, including gravitational response tests and radiation tests.
  9. Last year, Greg Lawler strapped a Twinkie to a high altitude balloon and sent it to space. When it came back down, his 14-year-old assistant ate the Twinkie, commenting that it tasted "normal."
  10. In the 1980s, Hostess introduced strawberry-filled Twinkies. The product didn't last long.
  11. Deep-fried Twinkies have become a carnival and fair staple and are supposedly delicious.
  12. In 2010, nutrition professor Mark Haub went on a "Twinkie diet," during which he ate only convenience store junk food for 10 weeks. He lost 27 pounds.

And now you know.

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