Happy birthday, Hostess Twinkies. As of today, you’ve been satisfying America’s need for shelf-stable cream-filled sponge cakes for 80 glorious years. The cakes were invented on April 6, 1930, by a Chicago bakery manager named James Dewar, who was looking for something cheap to sell to his Depression-hit customers and realized he wasn’t doing anything with his shortcake pans. Today, Hostess sells 500 million of the things a year.
Some more fun Twinkie facts, courtesy of the Orange County Register:
- They were originally filled with banana cream, until bananas were rationed during World War II.
- They were named after a billboard Dewar saw for Twinkle Toe Shoes.
- Bill Clinton put some in a time capsule in 1999. Note to Bill: They only seem indestructible; they actually have a 25-day shelf life.
So celebrate, Twinkie! “Let other foods claim to be heart of America,” quips the Chicago Tribune
. “You are its hips, its thighs, its muffin-top midriff."