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Otters Oddities

Twinkie Twinkie little cake, all your ingredients are very fake. But you,re tasty that much is true, now jump in my pie hole and I'll make you poo.....

So.....never ever write poetry again? Gotcha! I never claimed to be a poet. Quite the contrary, in fact. I claim to be crazy.


Most, if not all, Americans have had a Twinkie at some point in their lives. It's just cake with a cream filling. These days they flavor the cream with vanilla. Before World War Two, they flavored it with bananas. But, with the war came a shortage of bananas, so they had to change the recipe.

We've also all heard the story about how a Twinkie left on the shelf will be exactly the same twenty years from now as it is today. That is, in fact, a lie. Supposedly there are so many preservatives in Twinkies that they stay fresh forever. Not true. In fact, Hostess never left Twinkies on the shelf for more than two weeks.

Their never-rotting properties were just another lie foisted off on a gullible public to illustrate how bad artificial preservatives are for the human body.

Speaking of lies foisted off on a gullible public.....

IT'S MONDAY! Made Up Monday, to be exact. I'm about to tell you something and you get to tell me if I'm lying or if I'm telling the truth.


First, a bit of history. Twinkies were conceived of in 1930 by a baker who lamented the fact that the machines he used to inject strawberries into shortcakes sat idle when strawberries weren't in season. So, he decided to use a banana cream instead. He got the idea for the name from a billboard that advertised 'Twinkle-Toe Shoes'.

He always claimed that the inspiration for Twinkies came to him one day in a flash of insight.


I call shenanigans, though. All he really came up with was the name.

See, the Twinkie is much older than you think. Much, much older.

Sometime in the fourth or fifth century C.E. in Roman controlled Briton, someone compiled a collection of Roman recipes and called it 'Apicius'. The book is named after Marcus Gavius Apicius, who was a gourmand who lived in the first century C.E. during the reign of Tiberius.


One of the recipes in Apicius describes a small, handheld shortcake that had been filled with a cream flavored with bananas. It was called Placenta Ariera. (banana cake in latin).

In Apicius it was noted that it had been a favorite of Julius Caesar, and when bananas were in season, it was a highly sought after delicacy.*


Co-inky-dink! You scream at me!

Not so much, me-thinks. Apicius was first translated into english in 1936, after the Twinkie was first produced. However, before that, it had been translated into Italian, French and German before that. In fact, the last translation was into German in 1867 in the town of Heidelberg, Germany.



So....the baker who came up with it in 1930 was a second generation immigrant. His parents had come to America in 1874 from.....Heidelberg Germany. And his father was a renowned chef who would have been the target audience for Apicius when it was translated.


So, how much of a coincidence was it? I think our friendly baker took credit for an old food simply by slapping the name Twinkie onto it.

Now, did I just lie to you? Or did I not lie to you? Answer in the comments and I'll be back tomorrow to reveal the answer.


* Consider the Romans also thought fried finch brains were also a delicacy......

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